Title banner: Pearl Harbor * Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal

APPENDIX D Electric-Drive Machinery of Battleships

Pearl Harbor, T. H.

March 4, 1942

Salvage Bulletin #24

Subject: Outline of Reconditioning Procedure for Main Electric-Drive Machinery-U.S.S. CALIFORNIA

1. There follows an outline of procedure for reconditioning of main electric units on the CALIFORNIA. This procedure has been worked up by Lieutenant Commander McNally, Salvage Planning Officer, who has discussed the problem with numerous persons including some connected with the General Electric Company and the Westinghouse Company. Also, the procedure is based on actual experience and results in the case of electric motors, wiring and instruments heretofore salvaged and reconditioned. As further experience is obtained, this procedure will be modified to insure better results and to improve faulty practices. Suggestions for improvement will be welcomed, and should be turned in direct to Lieutenant Commander McNally.

2. General Procedures for Main Motor Spaces, Main Engine Room, Boiler Room, Control Room.

a. Before any uncovering is done, skim all oil from surface of the water.

b. Rig exhaust ventilation.

c. Immediately on unwatering, wash down with hot fresh water.

d. Sufficient working force must be on hand to wipe and dry down thoroughly. This is far more important than on a steam drive installation. No puddles can be allowed since this will keep the air saturated and prevent drying of electrical equipment.

e. Rig temporary lighting. Do not attempt to bring back ship's circuit at this time. To do so will slow down work. Remove all electric meters carefully; do not cut wires; save securing nuts. After proper tagging, immediately deliver them to the instrument shop of the Navy Yard. Segregate meters from the same board or same piece of machinery in wooden boxes as this will tend to keep records straight and avoid damage in transportation.

f. Remove all steam gauges, flush out with fresh water and then flush out with "tectyl." Then after proper tagging deliver to the instrument shop in wooden boxes similar to the ones used for the electrical instruments.

g. Remove all electric motors as fast as they are uncovered, flush them out with fresh water and deliver to electric shop in accordance with procedure already established by the Electric Salvage Planning Officer, Lieutenant (jg) J. W. Darroch.


h. When compartments and wires have been thoroughly dried, start reviving circuits. Do not remove junction boxes, fittings, etc. unless directed. First wash junction boxes and switches out thoroughly with hot fresh water in place and then dry by air blast; use alcohol or carbon tetrachloride in small amounts taking necessary precautions when using. Inside fittings of boxes will require removal. After cleaning prior to replacement of the fittings the inside of the box should be given a coat of air drying insulating varnish. As soon as you are ready, run temporary electric power source to the nearest feeder or distribution box and work out from there, cleaning and ringing out and relamping circuits as you go.

3. Main Motors.

a. Immediately remove ventilation motors and disconnect panels and send to the electric shop for reconditioning as they will be required just as soon as they can be restored.

b. Connect fresh water up to the fire extinguishing spray and thoroughly wash motors with fresh water for approximately four hours, rotating motors if it can be done; detailed instructions in this respect will be given as work progresses.

c. Connect steam up to motor steam heating service.

d. Make or use blanks for end bells if available aboard so that motor casings can be used as its own leaching tank. Work into design at least one electric motor driven outboard motor propeller and arrange leads for maximum circulation of warm fresh water. During first 24 hours use "Aerosal" in the water. Salvage Planning will specify the amount. Take salinity readings of the raw flushing water and the discharge. When these readings have equalized at about the eighth day, continue flushing for one more day.

e. Then remove water and heat motor by steam coils and dry by ventilation. Install cargocaire units in each motor room and maintain rooms in as dry a condition as possible, segregating from the rest of the ship.

f. When satisfied that motors are sufficiently dry, ring out circuits and watch megger readings. If readings do not come up it will be necessary to pull rotors and use alcohol for cleaning and use glyptol where necessary for patching. In order to prevent local short circuit currents every stay bolt that holds the laminations will have to be rung and insulation tubes and washers renewed as necessary. Detailed instructions at this point will be given by Salvage Planning. At this point also additional drying might be gained by use of the generator wiring itself by blocking the rotor or use of windings themselves. Detailed instructions will be issued by Planning. Dielectric test will be made, specific instructions will be issued by Planning.

4. Main Generators -- The same general principles will be applied to these as for the motors. The generators should be uncoupled in order to permit the reconditioning of the turbine end at the same time. It will probably be more difficult to make the generators their own leaching tank but it can be done and templates should be taken for preliminary work prepared from drawings in order not to delay operation on unwatering.

5. Control Room and Switchboards -- It cannot be too strongly emphasized that after the first fresh water wash-down these spaces and equipment must be thor-


oughly dried down and cargocaire units installed. Open all switches and ring through all circuits and record. This will provide the record of the worst condition. Then proceed to strip boards completely and thoroughly clean the board and fixtures and reassemble board. At the same time ring through again all cable when clear of the board and record. This is done in order to determine what percentage of the ground was at the board itself. Then clean all cable ends, carefully drying ends. When thoroughly dry paint with glyptol to seal ends. At this stage do not be impatient since all air in the compartments must be dry before the cables start to dry and glyptol should not be used until absolutely dry. Ring through and if not clear, report to Planning for detailed instructions. Dielectric test will be specified by Planning on cables when specifically ordered by Planning after study of readings and results.

6. Experience in reconditioning of steam and smaller electrical machinery procedure has already been developed to a point that detailed discussion is not necessary in this Bulletin. Attention is invited to Salvage Bulletin No. 14 which has much valuable information.

7. Experience has already shown that a very high percentage of electric motors and electric instruments can be reconditioned and put back into service if :

a. Instruments are handled quickly after being uncovered, so that fine parts are not subjected to progressive corrosion.

b. Motors and generators are handled quickly. Note that no windings should be subjected to megger tests until they are dried out, - otherwise the insulation may be destroyed by the test.

Captain, USN.

cc: Comdt.
Capt. Yard
Prod. Off. (5 )
Salv. Plan. Off. (5)
All Salv.
Off. File


Previous Chapter (APPENDIX C) * Next Chapter (APPENDIX E)

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Larry Jewell & Terry Welshans for the HyperWar Foundation