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Main Air Compressor- Starting, stopping

Air Compressor

Marine air compressor is an important auxiliary machinery system on ships and other ocean going vessels. It is used for producing compressed air, which has a number of applications on board, both in the engine and deck departments.

It’s the duty of a marine engineer to ensure that the ship’s air compressor is running smoothly and efficiently. Following are the points for smooth starting and stopping of MAC onboard ship.


Check the oil level in the crank case Check the drain valve is fully open Check cooling water supply is sufficient in the flow sight glass Ensure that the discharge valve leading to air bottle is fully open Switch on the compressor and put it in auto Check whether the compressor pressure switch is working properly i.e. at set pressure it must auto start/stop Check for any abnormal sound Check hissing sound near all the valves for air leakage including solenoid and drains

“Never approach the suction filter when the compressor is running as the strong suction pressure may cause suction effect and lead to an accident.”


Put drain in open position and switch off the compressor Switch off the main power supply Never shut the discharge valve of the compressor After compressor is completely stopped, close the drain/ un-loader

“At cold climate condition, stop the cooling water supply and drain the water.”


The Ultimate Guide to Operating Procedures of Engine Room Machinery. Anish Wankhede [2014]

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