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Storage Tank Inspection Steps

Regular inspection of storage tanks, including chemical tanks, fittings, venting systems, and accessories, is crucial for ensuring operational safety, environmental protection, and regulatory compliance. These inspections help identify and mitigate risks such as leaks, corrosion, and structural weaknesses that can lead to hazardous spills, contamination, and costly downtime. Proactive maintenance and inspection not only extend the lifespan of the equipment but also contribute to the overall efficiency and reliability of industrial operations.

Step 1

Empty the storage tank. Neutralize any chemical that remains in the tank. Thoroughly clean the exterior and interior of the tank. A dirty tank cannot be properly inspected.

 

Step 2

Visually examine the exterior and interior of the tank for signs of cracking, crazing or brittle appearance. Use a bright light source to inspect the tank interior from the manway opening. It’s recommended that no one enter the tank for any reason, unless all confined space safety measures are followed according to the end user’s safety program.

Step 3

Check the areas around fittings and where different portions of the tank converge into one another. Give special attention to “corners” where the sidewall and dome meet and where the sidewall and bottom meet.

 

Step 4

Inspect the interior of the storage tank. Use a bright light source to inspect the tank interior from the manway opening. An interior inspection is essential because stress cracks can often show up on the inside of a tank before appearing on the outside. It’s recommended that no one enter the tank for any reason, unless all confined space safety measures are followed according to the end user’s safety program.

 

Step 5

Carefully inspect the dome of the storage tank for brittleness. With fume-emitting chemicals, the dome can be subject to oxidation and embrittlement without any actual contact with the chemical. This must be done using safety certified personnel lift equipment so that there is no walking or standing on the dome surface. Polyethylene tank domes are NOT designed to be stood on or walked on.

 

Step 6 

Check fittings, hoses, gaskets, and all connections for any signs of general corrosion or deterioration and leaks.

 

Step 7

Check the vents and scrubber piping and make sure they are functioning properly. Ensure that the end of the scrubber piping is never submerged in more than 6 inches of liquid.

 

Step 8

Confirm that filling the tank from tanker trucks does not cause over pressurization and doesn’t end with a line purge that “balloons” the tank.

 

Step 9

Ensure the secondary containment of the chemical storage tank is adequate in size, and in good condition.