The Three Most Essential Standards in an API 653 Tank Inspection

Storage tank construction

The American Petroleum Institute (API) plays a larger role in the world of above ground storage tanks for fuel and liquid fertilizer than you may think. About once every five years, all above ground storage tanks are subject to inspection by API-653 certified inspectors. And having your tanks fail these inspections is never ideal — you’ll likely either have to invest in costly repairs or replace your tanks entirely.

Want to be certain that all of your above ground storage tanks will be in good enough condition to pass their API 653 tank inspections? Here are three of the most crucial standards that an API inspector will expect from your tanks:

Tank bottom, shell and roof

Some of the most important API 653 standards deal with the exterior of each above ground storage tank. API inspectors will look at the tank’s paint coatings, insulation and steel weldings, as well as the condition its roof and bottom. The condition of the tank’s bottom is especially crucial, as this is the area most prone to leaks.

Tank corrosion rates

Above ground storage tanks hold a variety of corrosive materials, from fuel to liquid fertilizer — and the contents of these tanks corrode the tanks that store them. As a result, an API inspector will check your tanks for corrosion using ultrasound technology that can determine the thickness of the tank’s shell.

Tank settlement

Every tank settles into the ground as a natural part of its lifespan, but sometimes tanks can settle out of plane and run the risk of tipping over. API inspectors will examine the rate and angle of settlement and will thoroughly examine the tank’s foundation to see it’s in adequate condition.

Have any other pointers for keeping above ground storage tanks up to API 653 standards? Share with us and with your fellow readers by posting a comment below.

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