3 Ways To Test A Watertight Door

by Grace Motley

Managing the movement of water on a ship is critical. Watertight doors are used to help contain leaks or flooding to one area of a ship. Without secure watertight doors, a ship can easily sink.

It's important that you take the time to test your watertight doors often to ensure their seals remain intact. There are several methods that you can use to test a watertight door, and using multiple methods will allow you to verify the integrity of the doors before you set sail.

1. Visual Inspection

The easiest way to test a watertight door is to complete a visual inspection of the seal that runs along the outer edge of the door itself. This seal is typically made from a durable rubber material that is capable of withstanding a high level of water pressure.

Look for any visible signs of wear to the seal. Cracking, gouges, or soft spots are all weaknesses that might cause the seal to fail when faced with holding back a wall of water.

Any watertight door that shows visible signs of damage should be considered faulty and replaced before the ship can set sail once again.

2. Chalk Test

The chalk test is another way to verify that your watertight doors are in good condition.

Use a piece of chalk to draw a continuous line around the seal of the door. Once you have covered the seal with the chalk line, close the door tightly. Open the door and examine the chalk line.

If you see that the line has been completely erased, this means that your watertight door is sealing properly. Any areas where the chalk line remains are spots where the seal isn't coming into contact with the door frame.

These areas could become leaks when a watertight door is in use, so you will need to replace the door prior to your next trip.

3. Water Test

The ultimate goal of a watertight door is to prevent the transfer of water between separate areas on a ship. The water test is the ultimate test of a watertight door's seal.

You will need a pressurized hose and a companion to complete a water test.

With your companion standing on one side of the door, you will stand on the other and direct a pressurized stream of water directly at the door's seal. Move the water stream around the entire perimeter.

Your companion will watch closely for any water infiltration that indicates your watertight door must be replaced.