Open portholes/Pumps


Nov 14, 2005
2,174
1,074
308
It may be that the outlet pipes from the portable pumps were pointed into the hoppers of ash ejectors to suck the water out the ship .View attachment 75734View attachment 75735
Nice pics. I like the first one. Hadn't seen it before. Thanks. But what portable pumps were used? I still don't think they were trying to use portable pumps if they even had them. From what I know and I admit I could be wrong on this but I think they were stringing hoses to use to connect to existing pumps intake or discharge lines to reroute the water where they couldn't use the existing piping to reroute thru different valve arraignments. Like I said before. portable pumps are great if you have lots of time. They require a power source to work, either electric, air, engine driven or another prime mover. They might have had eductor pumps but anybody that's used them knows they are probably the least efficient pumps out there and you need another pump running to use them. I'm not trying to ping on your idea but I haven't seen or read where they used portable pumps. Over my career I've used hundreds of portable pumps of every kind I can think of. They work great in most applications but in Titanic's situation I don't think they could have made a difference. Interesting topic though. Thanks and cheers.
 

Bo Bowman

Member
Dec 23, 2019
75
52
48
Worland, Wyoming
I agree, 132 open portholes is a lot of incoming water. One wonders if the impact of hitting the ocean floor, which did great damage to the hull, popped these open. However I will admit that the prospect of a BRAND NEW CONSPIRACY THEORY is delicious. The old ones were getting a bit worn out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Nov 14, 2005
2,174
1,074
308
I agree, 132 open portholes is a lot of incoming water. One wonders if the impact of hitting the ocean floor, which did great damage to the hull, popped these open. However I will admit that the prospect of a BRAND NEW CONSPIRACY THEORY is delicious. The old ones were getting a bit worn out.
According to the Titanic historian Tim Maltin from an article I just read he stated that the reason for so many portholes being open was that when the ship stopped a lot of passengers opened the portholes to try and see what was going on and didn't re-close them when they went up on deck. Also stated that 12 open portholes were equal to the damage opened to the sea. You can read it if interested and decide for yourself on the accuracy of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,441
883
388
65
In any case, how watertight were portholes of those days when closed? If the passengers were able to open them with relative ease, they probably were not very secure under pressure from outside. Did they have rubber gaskets or similar seals?

At least some of the forward CLOSED portholes must have started to go under before the cabin or other space within was flooded. That would mean water pressure from outside became a factor.
 

Cam Houseman

Member
Jul 14, 2020
2,046
414
148
16
Maryland, USA
You'll probably find it on page 132. ;)
Actually lol, it was on page 64-65 of "Farewell Titanic"
Oh, so I was wrong, actually, apologies!

"in 2001, historian and artist Ken Marschall began a count of porthole openings that would eventually combine the photographic results of more than twenty years of expeditions, all the way through 2010. Along the portside, Marschall counted 132 portholes that were located in regions of the hull not ruptured, bent, or otherwise deformed by the final crash on the abyssal plain. Only in uncrumpled areas could people's intent be guessed at; of the 132 portholes, including a porthole under the front of the well deck, 18 percent appeared to be open. On the starboard side, 17 percent of the 114 C-and D-Deck portholes appeared to be open. "
"Marschall concluded that once the bow section broke away and begun plunging toward the bottom, any open E-Deck and F-Deck portholes would probably have swung shut and possibly "only appeared 'closed' today from the outside. So we'll never know how many of the E and F deck ports were undogged [not locked with a pin]-unless someone wants to take the time and expense of manually pushing on each and every port [with a submersible's arm] to see if it pushes inward, open." "

phew, that took me a while. Thoughts?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Dec 27, 2017
72
41
48
Isle of Man
On the subject of pumps they ran HOSES through from the Engine room where the main bilge and ballast pumps were located. Once connected these pumps would have provided the motive force to move the water. However (a) their combined suction was only a small percentage of the incoming water quantity and (b) the hoses would have been cut when the automatic trips closed the water-tight doors. Bear in mind that the total pumping capacity was only about 15% of the incoming waterflow using very pump option they had.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Nov 14, 2005
2,174
1,074
308
Actually lol, it was on page 64-65 of "Farewell Titanic"
Oh, so I was wrong, actually, apologies!

"in 2001, historian and artist Ken Marschall began a count of porthole openings that would eventually combine the photographic results of more than twenty years of expeditions, all the way through 2010. Along the portside, Marschall counted 132 portholes that were located in regions of the hull not ruptured, bent, or otherwise deformed by the final crash on the abyssal plain. Only in uncrumpled areas could people's intent be guessed at; of the 132 portholes, including a porthole under the front of the well deck, 18 percent appeared to be open. On the starboard side, 17 percent of the 114 C-and D-Deck portholes appeared to be open. "
"Marschall concluded that once the bow section broke away and begun plunging toward the bottom, any open E-Deck and F-Deck portholes would probably have swung shut and possibly "only appeared 'closed' today from the outside. So we'll never know how many of the E and F deck ports were undogged [not locked with a pin]-unless someone wants to take the time and expense of manually pushing on each and every port [with a submersible's arm] to see if it pushes inward, open." "

phew, that took me a while. Thoughts?
So with the math that would work out to 46 open portholes. Or 4 times the area open to the sea caused by the collision. 46 is still a lot. Thanks for the info.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Nov 14, 2005
2,174
1,074
308
On the subject of pumps they ran HOSES through from the Engine room where the main bilge and ballast pumps were located. Once connected these pumps would have provided the motive force to move the water. However (a) their combined suction was only a small percentage of the incoming water quantity and (b) the hoses would have been cut when the automatic trips closed the water-tight doors. Bear in mind that the total pumping capacity was only about 15% of the incoming waterflow using very pump option they had.
I'm wondering how that would work out for them. And what kind of hoses they were using. Seems regular fire type hoses would collapse if connected to the suction side of the pumps. Either way like you said and I said before they were up against it. Too much water coming in.
 

Hezekiah

Member
Mar 27, 2021
1
0
1
So I've heard before that Molly Brown reported that a few portholes were open near where Boat 6 was launched. It was on some Titanic Animations livestream (here) around 17 minutes in. I was wondering if I could have a source like with a testimony if anyone knows of one because I am trying to find some causes of the port list.
 

MiDKnighT

Member
Apr 7, 2021
9
4
3
Interesting question: If everything was done right - ie...all portholes were closed, all doors were closed, and all pumps were running at full capacity... Could the Titanic have survived long enough for Carpathia to get there?
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
6,497
1,319
323
NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
Interesting question: If everything was done right - ie...all portholes were closed, all doors were closed, and all pumps were running at full capacity... Could the Titanic have survived long enough for Carpathia to get there?
No, because the pumps were running at full blast from the very beginning and she sank relentlessly downward as well as tipping forward. When an open port reached sea level, unless the compartment it served was empty, the water would simply flow across it until the port was submerged, then as she sank deeper, the trapped air would be pushed out of the porthole due to the rising pressure within the compartment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

MiDKnighT

Member
Apr 7, 2021
9
4
3
No, because the pumps were running at full blast from the very beginning and she sank relentlessly downward as well as tipping forward. When an open port reached sea level, unless the compartment it served was empty, the water would simply flow across it until the port was submerged, then as she sank deeper, the trapped air would be pushed out of the porthole due to the rising pressure within the compartment.
So that begs the question - how many minutes longer could the ship had lasted with all port holes and outer doors closed and all pumps working at full capacity?

30 minutes?
15 minutes?
0 minutes?

I would think that all the open portholes and doors would have caused the ship to sink faster once the portholes had submerged.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,441
883
388
65
I would think that all the open portholes and doors would have caused the ship to sink faster once the portholes had submerged.
That's true, but isn't it a bit difficult to find out how many portholes in the slowly sinking bow section were actually left open by their occupants before they vacated the cabins? It was a cold night before the collision and I'm guessing (no more) that most would have been closed; but then, like someone mentioned elsewhere, perhaps need for fresh air might have made occupants leave a few open.

Also, as I asked before, how secure were closed portholes considering the pattern in which the Titanic sank? Some of the closed portholes would have gone under before the compartment within started flooding. If the ports did not have watertight seals of some kind, then the sea would have started seeping through as the outside pressure increased.
 
Last edited:
Nov 14, 2005
2,174
1,074
308
That's true, but isn't it a bit difficult to find out how many portholes in the slowly sinking bow section were actually left open by their occupants before they vacated the cabins? It was a cold night before the collision and I'm guessing (no more) that most would have been closed; but then, like someone mentioned elsewhere, perhaps need for fresh air might have made occupants leave a few open.

Also, as I asked before, how secure were closed portholes considering the pattern in which the Titanic sank? Some of the closed portholes would have gone under before the compartment within started flooding. If the ports did not have watertight seals of some kind, then the sea would have started seeping through as the outside pressure increased.
I would say its impossible to know for sure. Some probably closed them but didn't dog them down (latch). Others just left them open according to at least one Titanic historian. We know many were opened but just how they all were will be a mystery. They look watertight but just how much I don't know.

8507378fab731b1e7ba7e29e0f3cbfee.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Nov 14, 2005
2,174
1,074
308
So that begs the question - how many minutes longer could the ship had lasted with all port holes and outer doors closed and all pumps working at full capacity?

30 minutes?
15 minutes?
0 minutes?

I would think that all the open portholes and doors would have caused the ship to sink faster once the portholes had submerged.
A good question but I don't think that could ever be known. By the time the sea got up to that level it was done deal anyway (actually before that). Maybe only a few minutes at best. Water was coming in from other places as well. The pumps were no match for the water coming in at the rate it was. I've only been on a few ships but never a liner or cruise ship so I don't know if they have anything like "condition zebra". You would have to ask Mr. Currie or one of the other mariners here that. I'm sure they would know. Cheers.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,441
883
388
65
I would say its impossible to know for sure. Some probably closed them but didn't dog them down (latch). Others just left them open according to at least one Titanic historian
I think therein lies the problem.

1. The closed and "dogged down" portholes might have withstood outside water pressure for a while during the sinking but for how long? The further forward and lower any given closed porthole was, it would be exposed to most pressure and for the longest time before the final plunge.

2. The portholes that were simply shut but not latched down would simply allow water to seep though almost as soon as they went under, probably not very different from those left open.

It is an almost impossible calculation and subject to a large error factor IMO.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Sep 21, 2017
1,014
203
138
Those who are good at calculations I wander how much longer Titanic would of stayed a float, or never sunk if she had the same bilge pumps arrangement as the Aquitania did? The Aquitania had an unique system where the ash pot expellers could be used as well the bilge pumps too.
Titanic bilge pumps capacity rated at 1,700 ton per hour.
Aquitania bilge pumps and ash pots capacity rated at 4,500 ton per hour! More than 2.6 better rating and higher bulkheads too.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads