1st Nov. 04

On board a motor tanker where I was serving as 3rd Engineer, one day I found that both the main air compressor lub-oil levels had gone up and on close inspection found that it was contaminated with fresh water.

The problem was investigated and we discovered that the fresh water contamination had occurred due to a leak from the fresh water hydrophore charging line valve.

The valve was replaced with a new one, both the compressors cleaned and suction and discharge valves replaced with new ones. Then the compressors were tried out to satisfaction.

Cause: - Both the compressors were situated at the bottom platform and the air discharge going to the small drain bottle where the air went to a common header and carried on to the air bottles and to different services. The hydrophore charging line was connected to the common header and then to the drain bottle and eventually into the compressor cylinder and to the rank case.

Action Taken: - After the incident, instructions were given that the drain bottle valve to be kept open when compressor is not working, and the common header drain valve to be opened at intervals and checked for excess water pressure.
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