Following the environmental damages that early 1990’s tank failures contributed, large-tank engineers and manufacturers created API 653 codes to which all tank installers and maintainers should adhere.
That is not to say that there have not been any challenges in complying with these standards of API 653, especially among terminal operators of large storage tanks. The company owners also incur high costs in tank inspections, and in repairs, replacement parts, and general maintenance.
API 653 recommends you schedule monthly inspections besides the 5-year and 10-year service inspection of external and internal features, respectively, of the large tanks.
Since, as the site operator or owner, you do not need API 653 certification to conduct these monthly inspections, you can do so by yourself.
You, however, need to be knowledgeable of the particulars to check and keep a detailed record of the inspections so that your licensed tank regulator can refer to them when reviewing your tank’s status.
Inspecting Heated Storage Tanks
It can be very challenging to inspect heated large storage tanks that have a layer of insulation. Every year, large tanks publications cite cases where inspection fails to identify critical defects from corrosion in heated storage tanks that by the time a certified inspector comes in, most tanks are beyond repair.
So, should you be a site owner or operator of such tanks, it is highly advisable you always engage a certified API 653 specialist even in the monthly inspection.
For instance, if a leak occurs in a hidden area, or between the insulation panels, without expert help you can hardly identify the points of intrusion that caused the leak.
Not only will contracting an expert that has specialized knowledge in API 653 standards save you a failed storage tanks, but you will also enjoy long-term solutions to larger storage tank maintenance issues.