Gas detection systems in oil tankers

Good afternoon!

The gas detection system is one of the most critical systems installed onboard oil tankers.
It can warn operators for potentially dangerous situations such as the leakage of oil from cargo tanks to ballast tanks. Could someone provide a few good practices for the routine maintenance and testing in order to ensure that the system remains 100% functional at all times?


Hello, to begin with, it is suggested to follow the planned maintenance procedures specified by the system manufacturer.
It is also recommended to arrange an annual health check of the system once per year by an authorized service team (the cost is trivial compared to the consequences of an inactive gas detection system)
In addition to the above, it is recommended to include the following checks/actions in the maintenance routines:

  1. Actual alarm checking/triggering from sampling points in the pump room and the ballast tanks.
  2. Replacement and/or cleaning of the filters as necessary.
  3. Checking / replacement of the sampling pump membranes as necessary.
  4. Calibration of sensors.
  5. Checking for possible sampling piping blockage and blow-through with air.
  6. Overhauling of all solenoid valves in the cabinet.
  7. Familiarization/training of deck and engine room personnel.

is any flag or 3rd party requirement for annual calibration of fixed gas sampling?


Hello @AngelikiK To the best of my knowledge there are no specific Flag or 3rd party rules/recommendations requesting the annual calibration of fixed gas sampling systems.

The SOLAS FSS Code requires the below monthly maintenance routines by the crew:

  1. visual inspection;
  2. testing of audible and visual alarms;
  3. zero and span calibrations
  4. Additional maintenance as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Records should be kept onboard for the above maintenance jobs.

Nevertheless, an annual health check of the system by an authorized service team is a good practice as it can bring on surface “hidden” issues for this critical system.


thank you Parascho!

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