Storage Tank Inspections

Above-ground Storage Tank Inspection

Vector Tank Solutions offers In-Service and Out of Service API (American Petroleum Institute) and STI (Steel Tank Institute) tank inspections by certified inspectors and technicians at any facility around the globe. Our inspectors have over 20 years of experience in the power, refining, pulp and paper, and chemical and Petrochemical industries. We provide our customers with ultra-quality above-ground storage tank inspections, data acquisition and analysis, corrosion prevention plans, and interval inspection plans to help prevent corrosion, leaking and failure issues that allow continuous facility production and safety. We ensure all above-ground storage tanks remain in compliance with all applicable codes and offer Fitness for Service and Risk Based Inspection analysis to further ensure the life of your storage tank.

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Routine Inspections

It is vital to regularly inspect the storage tanks in your facility to ensure they are safe for continued service. The API 653 external inspection of your storage tanks include the tank shell, roof, bottom edge projection (chime), appurtenances and nozzles, ancillary equipment, and the foundation the tank is sitting on. In addition to the owner/user visual inspections you perform on a regular basis, the tank containment should also be thoroughly inspected regularly. A leak in the containment can lead to serious damage to the tank, or allow product to escape and damage the environment if a failure occurs, and therefore needs to be repaired or replaced immediately. However, most people do not take the time to check the containment properly, so these inspections should be performed frequently. API 653 internal inspections on your storage tanks allow you to confirm the current condition of your tank bottom (floor), the internal piping and appurtenances, and the condition of floating roofs and components on internal and external floating roof tanks. STI SP001 (Steel Tank Institute) inspections are available for shop fabricated tanks and also small field erected tanks within your facility that are less than or equal to thirty feet in diameter, fifty feet in height and hold a maximum of seventy-five thousand gallons of product. STI inspections also include containment and all associated piping within the containment, as well as all horizontal storage tanks, such as diesel fuel tanks, gasoline storage tanks, kerosene tanks, and jet fuel tanks.

Adhering to intervals for fuel tank inspections is crucial to identifying any signs of corrosion or irregularities with your equipment and allows tank inspectors to calculate the remaining life of your storage tanks using corrosion rates. Maintaining a proper inspection interval schedule reduces costs due to leaks and failures resulting in out-of service downtime to repair your equipment.

An API Inspector will review any previous API 653 petroleum tank inspections and storage tank testing data to determine proper inspection intervals for your storage tanks. Also, by assessing these reports, they can build a complete picture of the tank’s condition and recommend repairs to ensure continued service and safety. An owner/user should always provide their monthly visual walk-down report of these inspections; however, we also provide monthly owner/user walk-down inspections on all tanks within your facility. Many facilities have SPCC plans that govern the frequency and type of storage tank inspection and equipment, and our experienced inspectors can easily help navigate these sometimes complicated requirements. You can also take advantage of API 580 (RBI) risk-based inspection programs for your storage tanks, which often allows facilities to extend their inspection intervals by determining the probability of a storage tank failure and the consequences of a storage tank failure in your facility.

API 653 is the inspection code for welded and riveted above-ground storage tank inspections. It applies to above-ground steel storage tanks, but may be utilized as a standard for other storage tanks in your facility, if your SPCC plan and/or engineering allows. API 653 inspectors also rely on many API recommended practice documents such as API 651, API 652, and API 571. API 651 addresses the cathodic protection system of the tank’s bottom plates. API 652 provides guidelines for the application and inspection of internal tank liners. API 571 deals with damage mechanisms which is a fantastic document giving inspectors and engineers the information we need to recognize problems such as Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI), Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC), Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking, Brittle Fracture, and other damage mechanisms associate with storage tanks. Also, API 577 focuses on welding processes, metallurgy and inspections, and API 578 provides guidelines for material tracking and identification so the correct material is always used. In addition to the API 653 inspections, state statutes and jurisdictional requirements may impose stricter guidelines on storage tank maintenance and storage tank testing.

When it comes to determining the proper standard for storage tanks, you need to identify which one applies to your facility. Our experienced inspectors can meet with you, walk-down your facility, review SPCC plans, and easily assist you in choosing the required and most cost effective inspections for your tanks. This will help you save money, save time, and continue to operate safely and efficiently.

Storage tank inspections are an often forgotten part of the country and world’s vital infrastructure that provide fuels and essential products. The industries we use and see daily depend on this infrastructure for shipping, manufacturing and fabrication. Tank inspection and reporting will ensure your equipment is always operating when you need it, and allows budget planning for future repairs or replacements.