API 653 Tank Inspections
Tank Inspection Protocol API 653
What is API 653?
- API 653 is the standard for tanks over 50 feet tall or having diameter greater than 30 feet.
- Covers the maintenance, inspection, alteration and repair of steel, field-erected aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) built to API 650 or API 12C standards.
- API 653 inspections must be performed by a licensed inspector.
- Brittle fracture assessment are covered under API 653.
- API 653 includes welding requirements for field erected tanks.
4 Critical Components of an API 653 inspection
1. General Tank Information: Review tank description information including:
- Tank Specifications
- Tank Construction
- Release Detection Methods
- Spill Control
2. Tank Bottom, Tank Shell, and Tank Roof Inspections: API 653 allows different types of inspection to examine the aboveground tank components including:
- Ultrasonic (spot)
- Ultrasonic (Scan)
- Liquid Penetrant
- Penetrating Oil
- Magnetic Particle
- Magnetic Flux Scan
- Vacuum Box
- Tracer Gas
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3. Bottom, Shell and Roof: The structure of the tank is inspected to API 653 standards taking into account:
- Minimum Remaining Thickness
- Minimum Required Thickness
- Maximum Corrosion Rate
4. Settlement Evaluations: Examine whether the tank is tilting or settling in the ground improperly. These factors are also assessed under API 653:
- Out of plane
- Rigid Body Tilting
- Dish Type
- Edge Settlement
- Localized Dispersions
Monthly Inspections Recommended Under API 653
- Performed by site owner/operator’s inspector
- Assess the overall tank condition as thoroughly as possible without removing the above ground tank from service.
- Inspector performing monthly examination does not need to be certified, just knowledgeable.
- Monthly records of inspections must be maintained for regulators.
API 653 External Inspections
Required Every 5 Years
- Depending on the initial inspection findings, an external inspection may be required more frequently.
- External inspections are conducted by a certified API 653 inspector to assess the condition of the above ground tank and determine its suitability for continued service.
- This inspection does not require entry into the tank’s interior. Tank can remain in service.
External Inspection 4 Critical Components
- Inspector should review previous periodic inspection checklists and previous FEIs/FIIs
- Inspection should include tank thickness testing
- Must determine original shell thickness and establish current shell thickness
- Ultrasonic thickness testing can lead to ultrasonic testing scan (UTS)
API 653 Internal Inspections
Required Every 10 Years
- Depending on the initial assessment of the tank, internal inspections may be required more frequently.
- API 653 internal inspections are conducted by a certified inspector
- Internal inspection assesses the internal and external condition of the above ground tank and determine its suitability for continued service.
Avoid Penalties & Fines
- Establish a formal internal & external inspection schedule
- Routinely record your monthly inspection findings.
Contact one of our specialists for more advice on API 653 Inspections.
Learn More About AST Compliance
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40 CFR 112
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