ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Basic Troubleshooting Tips for Marine Engineers

Updated on July 24, 2013
Follow a Systematic Approach and Proceed Along Logical Lines
Follow a Systematic Approach and Proceed Along Logical Lines

Normally we use four senses to get an input for analysis:

  • Touch
  • Hearing
  • Sight
  • Smell

Another sense which is often overlooked is COMMON SENSE.

Although you can touch a bearing to feel if it is overheating, hear the noise from a worn ball bearing, see the smoke emerging from a damaged bearing or smell it, the most obvious sense (common sense) is often not used. To know when and what is to be checked is often most 'uncommon'.

To find out what is wrong, we tend to rely too much on automation and remote sensing devices, and when these devices malfunction, we are helpless to locate any fault. To carry out any analysis, the most important point or the starting point is a complete understanding of the system. Working principles and operation of the system to be known very well. Unless this is clear, there is no point in trying out hit-and-miss methods, like replacing components which are prone to damage, until you 'hit' upon the real defect, more by luck than any good judgment.

Keep Machinery. Valves, Electronic Circuit Components, etc. Well Marked or Tagged. It Saves Time on Finding the Fault
Keep Machinery. Valves, Electronic Circuit Components, etc. Well Marked or Tagged. It Saves Time on Finding the Fault

In most control systems, especially electrical, finding the fault is the most time consuming part of the troubleshooting operation. The final rectification of the fault may take only a fraction of the time spent in trying to identify and locate the fault.

The next tool is to proceed systematically, checking and eliminating the obvious causes, till you arrive at the solution. This may seem like a 'common sense' but it is surprising how few people proceed systematically.

Most engineers have pre-conceived ideas about faults. There is a common saying that most of us heard "when this happened, he changed this valve last time, so we will try this first". It may seem ridiculous but it is surprising how many operates on this principle. Mostly it is because they either do not wish to know about the system, or have a 'mental block' and are not interested in any analysis. As far as shipping is concerned time is money. No matter where the ship is, at port or at sea, ship staff will be on continuous pressure from the office to rectify the fault as soon as possible. So there is normally a deviation from the 'systematic way'. Efforts will be on rectifying the problem first, rather than identifying and analyzing it.

Wear Proper Personal Protective Equipment and Follow Safe Working Practices
Wear Proper Personal Protective Equipment and Follow Safe Working Practices

Unfortunately there are no short cuts in troubleshooting. The best way is to proceed systematically, and check till you eventually come to the fault. The time spent in doing this will benefit you next time when another fault occurs, and the more experience you get, the faster will be your troubleshooting. Some people appear to have almost a magical ability to find out the fault and rectify it. This happens when you have sufficient experience, and have proceeded along logical lines.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)