Steam Pumps


James Hefner

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Jul 3, 2004
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I share Tom Bates interest in the steam pumps aboard the Titanic. My interest is in steam pumps in general; I own two of them already, and am trying to find homes for nearly two dozen of them from a chemical plant I work at here in Texas. I am also the moderator of a group pertaining to steam pumps on Yahoo.

I have searched the web trying to learn as much as I can about the steam pumps found on board the Titanic. I am sharing what I have found so far, in the hopes that others may be able to correct or add to what I have so far. (Some of the references I have found seem to contradict one another; thus, I am not 100% sure in what I have so far. Some of the content posted to this discussion group has been a big help already.

* All of the ship's pumps were steam-driven. Most of the pumps were of the vertical, single or duplex, direct-acting piston type, and were double acting. I have noticed that the ones in the feedwater water system were all made by G & J Weir of Glasgow, Scotland; maybe others were as well.

* I have heard that there were feedpumps (or March) pumps driven by the main engine shafts themselves; with a separate steam pump providing makeup (fresh) water as well from the fresh water tanks. But this seems to contradict what I have read elsewhere in this group that four pairs of Weir's main feed pumps, two pairs being located at floor level on either side of the forward end of the reciprocating engine room were used. Perhaps someone can clear this up for me.

* Four centrifugal pumps were used as circulating water pumps for the two condensers. (These circulated cooling water through the tubes of the condensers.) The two main circulating pumps were powered by two cylinder compound engines; the two auxiliary circulating pumps by single cylinder engines. Each pump had suction and discharge pipes of 20 in. bore. All four had suction pipes that were open to the sea outside the hull, but all four also had suctions down in the bilge (bottom) of the hull. Two could pump water from the reciprocating engine rooms, and two from the turbine room. I don't know who the builder was; I have seen in other ships were the shipyard itself built the circulating water pumps.

* As pointed out in previous threads, four G & J Weirs "Dual" type vertical pumps were used as air (condensate) pumps to pump the condensed steam from the bottom of the condensers to the two 2,790 gallon feedwater tanks in the turbine room. They had one steam cylinder located above the "wet air" (condensate) barrel, with a second "dry air" (vapor) barrel driven by links from the piston rod. The Weir "paragon" pump is a similar design, and can be seen on the webpage at: http://www.instruction-manuals.co.uk/category/MISCELLA/paragon.htm .

* As pointed out in previous threads, from the feed tanks, the water drained into two 4' x 4' x 3' hotwell tanks, one located on each side of the reciprocating engine room. From feed water was drawn from each of these tanks by four Weir hotwell pumps, one pair per hotwell tank.

* As pointed out in previous threads, condensate from the steam powered generators was collected and pumped to the Weir "Uniflux" horizontal surface feed heater by a Weir vertical simplex air pump, and was added to the stream of feedwater coming from the hot well pumps.

* As pointed out in previous threads, after leaving the Weir "Uniflux" horizontal surface feed heater, the feedwater went to a Weir's direct contact heater (or open feedwater heater) located at the D-deck level in the reciprocating engine room casing. Steam was supplied to the heater from the various pumps and auxiliary engines in the engine room. From here, the water flowed by gravity to four pairs of Weir's main feed pumps, two pairs being located at floor level on either side of the forward end of the reciprocating engine room. The feed pumps supplied boiler feed through a set of feed mains to the various boiler rooms, at a pressure above that of the working pressure of the boilers. These pumps were connected to the feed mains through valve chests which allowed any pump to feed any main. As I stated before, no mention is made here of "march" pumps driven by the main engine shafts.

I understand that there were five large and three small bilge pumps on board. The large pumps were capable of discharging 250 tons of water per hour, while the small ones were capable of discharging 150 tons per hour. This would equal the total pumping capacity I have seen quoted of 1700 tons per hour, or 28 tons per minute. Water was pouring in at first at the rate of 450 tons per minute. As the pressure between the inside and outside equalized, the rate of flooding lessened to 75 tons per minute, still too much for her pumps to handle.

What I have not been able to determine what type and make they were, and their exact location. The following is the best I could come up with.

* Five duplex ballast and bilge pumps, each capable of discharging 250 tons of water per hour. These were in separate pump rooms on the centerline between the boiler rooms. These steam pumps could be used to work the See's ash ejectors (there were two ash ejectors in the four large boiler rooms, and one in each of the small boiler rooms, for a total of ten). But they were also used as bilge pumps.

* Three bilge pumps, each of 150 tons per hour capacity. One was in each of the reciprocating engine rooms, and one was in the turbine room. When used as ballast pumps, they pumped the ballast water from a common 10”￾ main ballest pipe that was carried fore and aft through the ship with separate connections to each tank, and with filling pipes from the sea connected at intervals for trimming purposes.

* The Titanic had four refrigeration units on board. Two horizontal duplex CO2 machines, each of which comprised two self-contained units capable of independent working - so that actually four complete refrigeration units were provided. The refrigeration machine was designed and manufactured by Halls Thermotank Ltd. and was of the standard marine type. They were not steam pumps per say, but steam powered compressors, and worked along similar lines (I think.)

* Each of the four refrigeration compressors was fitted with its own steam service condenser, a brass circulating pump, and air and feed pumps. A duplex brass-ended water pump was also provided as an emergency stand-by unit.

* Each of the four refrigeration evaporators was internally divided into four separate units and was locked in an insulated recess above the machinery at the Orlop - Deck level. This recess also housed the three main brine pumps and their interchangeable connectors. The brine return tanks were placed at a higher level immediately above the evaporators.

* Adding up all of the steam pumps listed so far, we have one fresh water pump, four centrifugal circulating water pumps, five duplex and bilge pumps, four hotwell, air pump for the generators, eight boiler feedpumps, three ballest, and bilge pumps. We also have four brass circulating pumps, four air pumps, four feed pumps. and four emergency stand-by duplex brass-ended water pumps for the refrigeration units. That brings our total to 42 so far.

* Not mentioned, but I would think were also on board were one or more lubricating oil pumps, used to pump lubricating oil from the oil tanks to the bearings on the engines and turbine. Any others?

Thanks to all who have obviously helped in my research already, and for any additional help provided. I plan on sharing the results of my research in a message to my steam pump group on Yahoo; it will provide group-related insight into a popular icon.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

Surviving World Steam Project
http://www.survivingworldsteam.com
 

Tom Bates

Member
Aug 16, 2002
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Hey I will check for you on the number of pumps on board the titanic. And I love steam powered machinery. Do you use any Messenger programs like yahoo or msn if so could you add me my yahoo and msn names are on my profile because I would like to chat with you about steam pumps and share my photos I have.
 

James Hefner

Member
Jul 3, 2004
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Tom;

I don't use any of the messenger programs. However, I have a steam pump group I have set up on Yahoo for the purpose of sharing information on steam pumps. It is at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/steam_lizards/

We used up the space in our Photo Section a long time ago; plus you had to join the group to see them. I have since set up a Photo Gallery for our steam pump photographs at:

http://www.survivingworldsteam.com/gallery

Please feel free to join our group, or to pass any pictures or information you may have to me. Our group will be very interested in them.

Michael;

My listing of Bilge pumps came from the "Machinery" and "General Pumping Arrangements" sections of the Board of Trade's Report. I have since read some more of the testimony; it would appear they had more pump connections than pumps, and could move pumps around if needed.

However, the bilge pumps were rated at 250 and 150 tons per hour, or roughly 1000 and 600 gallons per minute (GPM). They would be huge; if they were single cylinder (simplex) pumps, the larger ones would have pump chambers around 12 in. in stroke and 24 in. in diameter. They must have weighed a ton; I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to move them from one compartment to the next.

It also sounded like they had a 250 tons per hour bilge pump AND a 150 tons per hour pump (for the ash ejectors) in some of the boiler rooms. Yet, it was my understanding that there were also bilge pumps in the Reciprocating Engine and Turbine Rooms; yet the same report said there were only five large and four small pumps. Hence, my confusion over the number of pumps and their location.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

Surviving World Steam Project
http://www.survivingworldsteam.com
 
S

Scott R. Andrews

Guest
James,

* I have heard that there were feedpumps (or March) pumps driven by the main engine shafts themselves; with a separate steam pump providing makeup (fresh) water as well from the fresh water tanks. But this seems to contradict what I have read elsewhere in this group that four pairs of Weir's main feed pumps, two pairs being located at floor level on either side of the forward end of the reciprocating engine room were used. Perhaps someone can clear this up for me...

There were no auxiliaries driven by the main engines. Ships having combination machinery plants followed turbine engine room practice, with all of the auxiliaries being driven independently of the main engines. For one thing, air pumps driven by the reciprocating engines were hard-pressed to clear away vapor and condensate quickly enough to maintain the high vacuum required by the turbine at all speeds. Additionally, the feedwater and condensate needs of very large reciprocating engines like those of the Olympic-class had made the use of pumps driven by links from the main engines impractical due to the enormous size of the piston and barrel required to provide the necessary volume. Several sets of independently controlled air, circulating and feed pumps were found to be considerably more flexible and efficient.

* Four centrifugal pumps were used as circulating water pumps for the two condensers. (These circulated cooling water through the tubes of the condensers.) The two main circulating pumps were powered by two cylinder compound engines; the two auxiliary circulating pumps by single cylinder engines... I don't know who the builder was...

There were four main circulating pumps with 29-inch inlets and discharges. These were driven by two cylinder compound engines of 13 and 22.5 inch bore and a 15-inch stroke. In the reciprocating engine room on the starboard side, there was a centrifugal circulating pump with 12-inch inlet and discharge, for working the auxiliary condenser which was supplied for use in port. This pump was driven by a single-cylinder engine of 8-inch bore and 12-inch stroke. All of these were of H&W's own design and manufacture.

* As pointed out in previous threads, from the feed tanks, the water drained into two 4' x 4' x 3' hotwell tanks...

The hotwell, or "control" tanks were supplied by Weir as well.

* Not mentioned, but I would think were also on board were one or more lubricating oil pumps, used to pump lubricating oil from the oil tanks to the bearings on the engines and turbine...

There were three lubricating oil pumps were supplied by G. & J. Weir. These were vertical single-cylinder double acting pumps having steam and pump cylinders both of 8-inch diameter, and a 15-inch stroke. Each had a capacity of 6,000 gph at 20 double strokes per minute. They were allocated one to the turbine rotor bearings and thrust block, one to the reciprocating engine thrust blocks and all of the shaft bearings and one as a stand-by.

The lube oil pumps drew their supply from the collection tanks into which the spent oil drained, and then forced the oil first through the two sets of lube oil filters and then through the two oil coolers. The oil coolers were supplied with cooling water from their own circulating pump. From the coolers, the oil was discharged to a pair of supply tanks located high up in the turbine engine room casing at the level of the Shelter Deck (C). Gravity provided the actual pressure to the bearings at a head of 20 psig.

...the bilge pumps were rated at 250 and 150 tons per hour, or roughly 1000 and 600 gallons per minute (GPM)... They must have weighed a ton; I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to move them from one compartment to the next...

These pumps wouldn't have been portable. The bilge pumps were fixed in position and were piped up directly to the bilge piping system. Typically, there is a large manifold associated with each bilge pump which allows the pump to be switched from one range of piping to another so that single or multiple pumps can draw from various locations.


Regards,
Scott Andrews
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,591
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Easley South Carolina
>>it would appear they had more pump connections than pumps, and could move pumps around if needed.<<

For the reasons Andrew cited, I doubt that very much. It's not unusual on any ship for some very large pumps to be located in one place, but have a veriaty of ways they can be set...or "lined up." with any number of conduits, pipes, etc.
 

James Hefner

Member
Jul 3, 2004
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Hi Scott;

Thank you for taking time to respond. As you probably guessed, I have already heavily from your postings in previous threads. I was hoping you would respond; thank you for your help. I will certainly credit you with helping me with my research.

Thank you for clarifying the setup with the boiler feedpumps. What you say makes perfect sense; it was also a typical setup in a stationary power house.

Thank you also for clarifying the number and design of circulating water pumps. I see that indeed the shipyard (H&W) designed and installed the circulating water pumps for the Olympia class vessels as well.

Thank you also for confirming my hunch regarding the lubricating oil pumps. I assume the cooling water circulating pump for the oil coolers was a steam pump as well?

I thought the notion of moving the bilge pumps around was crazy; yet in the description of the pumping machinery in the "Pumping Arrangements" section of the Board of Trade's Report; they list far more pump suctions than there were pumps. I assume the piping allow for various suctions to be valved in or out?

Were all five 250 ton/hr and three 150 ton/hr bilge pumps in the pump rooms between the boiler rooms? What size (cylinder bore x pump bore x stroke) were they?

Do you also know the size of:

* the eight main feed pumps,
* the makeup water pump,
* the four "Dual" air pumps,
* the four hotwell pumps,
* the air pump for the generators,
* any of pumps in the refrigeration plant?

Thank you in advance.

We know that the Titanic sank in part because her pumps could not deal with amount of water entering from the various holes made in the hull. I thought I would take the figures I have, and compare them to the pumping engines preserved in McNeill Pumping Station in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA. This pumping station once supplied Shreveport with all of it's drinking water; there is a website for it at:

http://www.mcneillstreet.org/default.htm

I also have pictures of some of her pumping engines in our Steam Pump Group's Photo Gallery at:

http://www.survivingworldsteam.com/gallery/album17

In converting tons to lbs and then to gallons; I used the US ton of 2,000 lbs = 1 ton. But, it was probably the British ton. I also used the fresh water conversion of 8.3 lbs/gallon; for salt water, it was probably a little more. (These two would probably cancel each other out slightly.)

The Titanic's five 250 ton/hr and three 150 ton/hr bilge pumps had a total combined pumping capacity of 1700 tons/hr, or 28 tons/min. or what I calculated to be 9.8 million gallons per day. That is roughly equal to the capacity of the No. 3 Worthington-Snow High Service Pumping Engine at McNeill; a very impressive pumping capacity.

However, the rate of water entering after the inside and outside equalized was 75 tons/min, or 26 million gallons per day. That is equal to the total pumping capacity of all four pumping engines (the Worthington-Snow above, a similar Allis Chamlers No. 4 high service engine, and two Worthington vertical triple expansion low service engines) installed in McNeill Pumping Station's 1921 High Service Room! No wonder they couldn't keep up.

Furthermore, the rate of water entering at the beginning was 450 tons/min, or a staggering 156 million gallons per day! That is equal to four or five McNeill Pumping Stations, with all five pumping engines (the four above, plus the No. 1 Worthington triple expansion duplex high service engine in the original pumping room) running flat out. Even if they had that much pump capacity on-board; they would have consumed nearly all of the steam produced by the ship's boilers.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

Surviving World Steam Project
http://www.survivingworldsteam.com
 

James Hefner

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Jul 3, 2004
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Please, take a look at:

http://titanic.marconigraph.com/hw04.html

Notice the pumps in the pump room, which is just ahead of the Evaporator room on the Orlop Deck. (The drawings are detailed, including their air chambers!) Were these pumps the brine pumps for the refrigeration system, or part of the feedwater systems?

It also appears to show a vertical duplex steam pump between the two engines. The description of the Machinery in the BOT Report mentions a "salt water pump" in the engine room, is that it? I assume it is also a Weir pump?

Also, are the dotted lines just inboard of the two engines the two Weir "Dual" air pumps; seen edge on? I must confuse I have no detailed plans of the ship other than the basic deck plans available on the web, so this is the first time I have seen steam pumps in the drawings for the Titanic.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

Surviving World Steam Project
http://www.survivingworldsteam.com
 

Tom Bates

Member
Aug 16, 2002
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I have a detailed engine room plan that shows all of the pumps. I been busy so i have not got a chance too cheak on the number on pumps on the titanic yet. Email me and i will send you the engine room plan. and a photo of a large pumping engines if you want to see them.And the pumps in the room next to the evaporator room are brine pumps.
 
S

Scott R. Andrews

Guest
James,

I'm a bit confused as to what you are looking at. The image that comes up when I click on the link you provided contains a section through the reciprocating engine room looking aft. The pumps in that section are on the starboard side at the level of the engine room deck plates. The section appears to be taken just ahead of the after low pressure cylinders of the main engines, so I think the pumps visible in that section are two of the four duplex pumps grouped together in the after starboard area of the reciprocating engine room. I think this grouping is the four duplex sanitary water supply pumps. (One of the problems with the plans published in both "The Shipbuilder" and in "Engineering" is that most of the pumps are not labeled as to their function. The "Engineering" plan has much more detail, i.e. a considerable amount of the piping is indicated, so it's possible to identify some of the pumps by tracing the connections. Even so, not all of the connections are shown completely and there are so many hidden lines crossing and/or superimposed one another that tracing some of the circuits on these drawings is nearly hopeless. I wish the actual H&W detail drawings for the machinery spaces were available, but so far there has been no indication that they still exist.)

I believe the duplex pump you mention in between the two main engines is the steam hydraulic pump which was fitted as a back-up source of power to move, by hydraulic power, the pistons of the reversing engines and the engine of the change-over valves supplying steam to the turbine. (Again, without proper labels, an educated guesswork is required.) The pump charged up a battery of hydraulic pressure accumulators which could be used to set the valve gear in the event of failure of the steam side of piston in these engines. Both the reversing engines and the change-over valve engine were Brown's steam-hydraulic engines. On smaller ships, mechanical back-up for the reversing engines was provided in the form of a large hand wheel which moved the rod to the links through a rack-and-pinion arrangement; however, the engines of the Olympic-class ships were far too large for manual operation of valve gear during maneuvering to be a practical alternative.

The dotted lines you see inboard of each of the engines indicates the relative position of the two reversing engines for the main engines. I guess they are shown dotted not because they are on the opposite side of the bulkhead, but because they are actually on the opposite side of the cutting plane of the section - the side nearest the viewer.

The partly solid, partly dotted object visible on the outboard cylinder support column is the turning engine of the starboard main engine. This was used for slowly turning over the main engine during warm-up and cooling-down, and for repositioning the moving parts during maintenance and inspection, or during idle periods or lay-up when steam is available.

Regards,
Scott Andrews
 

James Hefner

Member
Jul 3, 2004
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Scott;

I can understand the difficulty of determining what pumps are for unless you can following the piping. Some pumps, such as the ones in the pumps rooms, are obvious because of their location; but it sounds like the reciprocating engine and turbine room spaces were filled with pumps.

I must confess that I am amazed at how many pumps there were on board. The steam driven vertical duplex hydraulic pump for the auxillary reversing system brings the total to 50. There are probably others as well.

I would guess the Britannic had similiar arrangements in the machinery spaces; so between the two wrecks, there are 100+ steam pumps. Amazing.

Let's see. Two big reciprocating engines exhausting to a steam turbine. Four engine driven generators. Four refrigeration plants. 50 or more steam pumps. A myrid of auxillary engines and steam winches. Were the cargo cranes also powered by steam engines? Not to mention steam heating and steam for the Turkish Bath(?) No wonder she had so many boilers.

-James Hefner
Hebrews 10:20a

Surviving World Steam Project
http://www.survivingworldsteam.com
 
Dec 29, 2000
111
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Dear James,
I guess the boilers were not only that large number, because of the needs of steam by all engines, no more likly one do this because is more efficient to shut down or set on fire some boilers, than to 'throttle' a huge boiler.
Because little boilers can deal much better with a process of getting to pressure and to cool down than large boilers. So if Titanic is in harbour, usually the boilers were not completely shut down. As longer the stop, as more boilers were shut down. So only a small amoun of boilers has to be on fire, just enought to power some auxialary engines, and keep preheating of the other boilers. So even if a boiler isn't on fire, the water inside the boiler can be heated, so in only a short time a complette out of fire boiler can be reset to maximum pressure.
so many boilers can follow the needs of steam much better an effective, than a large boiler. Consider: A large boiler has to deal with a broad range of fuel amount, if you want to adjust it to a range of power output. How will one deal with the amount of air need to have a perfect oxidation of the fuel for a complete burn out? Powerplant boilers today spend much Technical and Regulatory material to that point, but still have ineffective points. So maximum power output isn't realy effective nor economical, even power output below a special term is also not recommendable. Here the boilers waste energy, fuel and water.
so with more boilers you set a couple on fire. This will fit the demand of steam right in time, and you start preheating other boilers. If now order comes, well, you just set another boiler on fire, and get the steam.... So more boilers make Titanic effektive and economical. It's a realy master piece to find the balnce betwen to much boilers, which means more effort and waste in work, material and manpower. And to less boilers wich make boiler economics not well adapting to different steam demands of the plant.
So one can build Titanic with maybe two huge boilers, but consider: Starting up such a boiler will take at least 2 hours, and 4 to have demanded pressure.. From cold, it will take up to 8 hours till pressure output is at demand...
And now consider how economical it might be to run one boiler at full power output, while another is only at 30%.. Or better to set both on 65%? How one should calculate the economical range of the boiler, to ensure maximum performance? This won't work well.

and for you project, vist my homepage and see if you like to get some pictures:

http://mitglied.lycos.de/Reichel/HE/IronLady.html
 

Rickyblender

Member
Apr 28, 2012
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i'm trying to model in 3D using blender
and wondering if there is a list of pumps with their images
and also a dwg showing their location and type

it would be nice if possible to make 3D model with soemthing more realist !


happy blendering
thanks for any help
 

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