Cavitations I Have Known

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

  • Genesis 6:17-24

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

  • Genesis 8:1-5

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

  • Luke 17:26-29

About a month ago, I bought a soft ice maker for my wife.  She was eating ice.  We later found that compulsive ice eating was related to iron-deficient anemia.  After five days in the hospital, she is now on the slow road to recovery.  Her hemoglobin is far below low normal, but the latest blood work showed that the numbers are rising slowly.

But, in operating the new countertop ice maker, it had two means of stopping the machine.  If the ice bucket was full, the machine would stop until you cleaned the ice from the sensor, a laser on one side and a UV detector on the other – ice blocking the light and the bucket must be full.  The other means of shutting off the ice maker is if the water level is too low, and the internal pump cannot lift the water into the freezing chamber.

One day, I heard a horrible gurgling noise and knew immediately what it was.  The pump was cavitating.  The sensor for low water level had not shut off the pump.  Cavitation can easily destroy such pumps, probably with plastic vanes on the pump impeller.  I quickly added more water, but I turned off the ice maker also.  Soon after hearing this noise, I saw the following episode of Origins.

The following episode of Origins on the Cornerstone Network is entitled Flooded but not Forgotten.  Bruce Malone gives an argument for Noah’s flood.  Of his many points, one is cavitation, starting at 11:20 into the video.

Also being a Chemical Engineer, I agree with Bruce Malone on how cavitation is formed.  Besides, when I was in South Carolina, I was designated the pump expert for the maintenance department.  I went to special classes on the topic.  All redesigns were supposed to be checked by me.  We had small pumps, like sump pumps that you might have in your basement to pumps so large that the impellers were larger in diameter than if one grown man stood on another grown man’s head.

Someone had the bright idea of replacing a small pump that had failed with a sealless pump.  The biggest maintenance issue was periodically replacing the seals and the cost of the liquid dripping from a broken seal, so it made sense.  The engineer that bought the experimental pump did not run his calculations by me as he had been instructed, and our joint boss asked me to double check his work.  The other engineer was my office partner at the time, and this had “make-an-enemy-out-of-a-coworker” written all over it.

The pump was being employed on a system that I had become the operational expert at my previous assignment, rewriting the operation procedures for the equipment.  It took less than five minutes to calculate that my office partner had bought the wrong pumps.

Trying to not offend, I asked, in a conversational tone, “Did you take into account that the distillation towers operate under extreme vacuum, less than half a pound per square inch, absolute pressure, at the surface of the water that you are pumping?”

The confused look on his face showed that he had never thought about that.  He recovered well enough to say, “These pumps are so good.  They can pump with less than ten feet of water at the suction.  The pipes leading to the pumps have over thirty feet of water in them.  They’ll be fine.”

I replied, “But that is based on atmospheric pressure.  To overcome the vacuum, it will take over 33 feet in those standpipes just to get to atmospheric pressure.  Then you add your extra ten feet, and you are close to 45 feet, to be safe.”

He raised his voice, “The pump will work fine!”  And he stormed from the room.

I had a totally different reason to visit the control room that was right above the new pump a few months later, about fifteen feet above the pump.  My responsibilities had expanded to project management if an outside contractor was used, in other words, baby-sitting and a lot of paperwork.  The noise sounded like someone was grinding stones into powder in the basement.  I went into the control room and took care of my little issue.  The noise was so loud that you could not hear yourself think.  Since I knew all the people in the control room, they begged me to fix the noise.

I didn’t want to run my coworker under the bus, so I said for them to raise the water level in the standpipe another 10-15 feet and the noise would go away.  They screamed that it had taken nearly two years to get my new procedure approved.  Management refuses to make any more adjustments to the procedure, and management insists that you people make the noise go away.  “You people” meaning the department that I now belonged to.

My reply was that the new pump was in cavitation.  Air bubbles were forming against the pump’s impeller and as the spinning impeller shoved the bubble toward the outer edge where the linear velocity was highest, the air bubble would get bigger and then explode off the surface of the impeller.  That was the noise.  If they did nothing, the noise would go away in maybe another month.

They asked, “Then if the noise is only temporary, why make the change in the operating procedure?”

My reply was, “The noise will go away because the pump will have totally disintegrated inside.  No noise, but no water being pumped either.”

As I turned to go to the exit, one of them said that I had no idea what I was talking about.

Wishful thinking.  I never went back because I was moved from a lead engineer role for all maintenance to a brand new technical training department, never returning to engineering.  The pump failed about a month later as I had predicted.  The pump had to be replaced, and it was not my responsibility to do the calculations.  I liked those guys in the control room and my old office partner.  I never bothered saying “Told you so.”

But what Bruce Malone was saying is that fast flowing water can literally move mountains and explain anomalies in the layers of sedimentary rock.  And with seismic activity like the world has never seen since, the mountains formed while the earth was flooded (or at least got a lot taller), and the water then receded.

The host made a statement that Bruce Malone let stand, but I take exception on a “technicality” that would have muddied the argument in what their point was.  If two tectonic plates slowly bump into each other, they will not stop.  The host’s point is correct in that they need to bump dramatically, at high speed, to quickly form mountains.  But the slow-moving plates, that bumped into each other thousands of years ago cause most of the earth’s earthquakes today.  They do not merely bump and then stop.  Now, that earthquake business can be very slow, but not when God “remembered” Noah and caused the waters to recede.  God made those initial plate movements quickly to let the water recede and protect the earth from another global flood.

Some may still argue that the flood was a local flood, but that does not fit the observed rock formation observations around the world.  These naysayers are also calling Jesus a liar in that He stated that the flood killed them “all,” excluding those on the ark of course.  Those scientists who are determined to adhere to a godless formation of the world simply continue to ignore the evidence.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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