API 653s in Good Condition: The Best Practices


Photo of a large outdoor storage tankAPI 653 standards have existed since the 1990s; these standards have been in place to prevent tank failures, which contribute to environmental damage. The codes, however, can be challenging for today’s operators. They strive to keep their tanks compliant with current standards, which mean doing tank inspections, cleaning, and worrying about utilization.

While such activities seem like a burden now, operators know that investing in these today will help them prevent or manage problems in the future.

Monthly inspections can spare owners and operators from tank-related troubles; this way, they’ll also determine when API 653 tank repairs and modifications are necessary.

Insulation Concerns: Can Inspections Catch That?

Finding concerns under the insulation and metal jacketing is a real challenge for owners and operators. Even the most thorough 5- or 10-year inspections miss corrosion under the insulation (CUI). A missed CUI results in tank failure.

In some cases, tanks can leak months after the 10-year inspection. Leaks can occur in unseen areas or behind horizontal insulation panels. Left unaddressed, these result in monumental expenses because you will need another inspection and cleaning service.

Saying No to Moisture Damage

Tank inspectors agree that good practices are important to API 653’s customer’s insulation programs. One practice involves exposing the tank’s corner weld to ensure the tank’s shell meets the floor or tank chime.

When you “raise” the tank’s insulation, inspectors can thoroughly check critical areas under the tank’s construction. The exposed area also enables owners to check for moisture from the bottom of the tank.

Insulation support systems also matter. These provide a sturdy foundation for the insulation panels, which provides API 653 inspectors instant access to critical areas. Extra care is necessary because the support system cannot flex or sag; if you are not careful, the support system might crush the metal shell jackets.

Inspections and other best practices for API 653 are necessary to keep tanks in good condition. Invest time and effort in these to prevent major troubles in the future.


About Sarah Bennett 416 Articles
Sarah is a highly experienced legal advisor and freelance writer. She specializes in assisting tech companies with the complexities of the law and providing useful information to the public through her writing.