Thoughts And Perspectives From The Team

Tank Inspection: Why Is It Important?

AUTHOR T Bailey, Inc.

PUBLISHED Nov 18, 2023

Whether your industrial tanks are designed to store fuel or water, it is vital to have them tested regularly. A tank inspection will identify any problems that threaten the structural integrity of the tank, like corrosion. As this article explains, regular testing will prevent leaks and other potentially serious problems.

T BAILEY, INC. specializes in quality tank fabrication, adhering to all regulations to ensure that your tank not only stands the test of time but also meets industry standards.


What Are Storage Tanks?

Industrial storage tanks are designed to hold all kinds of liquids, gasses, and even food products. There are many different shapes, sizes, and types, enabling consumers to select exactly the right type for their specific applications. Carbon steel and stainless steel offer maximum strength and durability. 

Selecting the best storage tank for your product is vital. These are the most common types:

  • Fixed roof tanks maintain consistent pressure inside and are used for most liquids.
  • Floating roof tanks are commonly used to store fuel.
  • Horizontal tanks are used in many industries.  
  • High-pressure tanks are mostly used to store liquified gasses, water, and fuel.


What Causes Storage Tank Leaks?

The primary cause of leaks for in-service tanks is corrosion, which may be caused over time by whatever the tank is storing, from water to chemicals. But, a well-designed, properly manufactured tank won’t leak if used correctly and is properly maintained.  

When a new tank leaks, it is almost exclusively due to poor fabrication practices. T.BAILEY manufactures top-quality steel tanks that comply with the highest industry standards. We offer a one-year warranty that covers workmanship as well as a limited warranty on coatings

Be aware that inadequate welds and joints are usually the first sections of industrial tanks to leak. Additionally, if tanks aren’t securely or properly seated they can shift, crack, and start leaking. 


Why Does Tank Inspection Matter?

Storage tank inspections are the most important aspect of tank maintenance. They minimize the risks of leaks, spills, and contamination of soil and water sources. At the same time, they maximize the lifespan of storage tanks, irrespective of what they are being used for. A regular storage tank inspection will also ensure that your tank remains operational at maximum capacity. 

Safety is another exceedingly important element that tank inspection companies take care of. When an industrial storage tank leaks, both people and the environment are at risk. Of course, the type and severity of hazards will depend largely on what is being stored. 


Types of Industrial Tank Inspections

There are many different tests and inspections used to assess the integrity of industrial tanks. These include visual inspections to check for signs of damage or corrosion and leak testing. In general terms, inspections may be risk-based or time-based. Additionally, non-destructive testing is commonly used to assess tank integrity. 


Risk-Based Inspections (RBI)

RBIs involve assessing and prioritizing inspection efforts based on the potential risks associated with the tank's contents, its location, and its condition.


Time-Based Inspections (TBI)

TBIs involve conducting routine inspections and tests at fixed intervals, often based on regulatory requirements or industry standards, rather than specific risk factors. 


Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

NDT is a critical method used to assess tank integrity without causing damage. Various sophisticated techniques enable inspectors to detect corrosion, material flaws, and other structural issues. 

While T. BAILEY doesn’t offer tank inspection services, we do employ certified inspectors and we understand the intricacies of the inspection role. We will undertake repairs, suggest repair plans for customers, and challenge proposed repair plans if they are not in compliance with the necessary standards. 


Benefits of Industrial Tank Inspections

The benefits of industrial tank inspection range from knowing your tanks comply with the necessary regulations to peace of mind that potential risks are minimized. 


Regulatory Compliance

Storage tanks are fabricated in accordance with numerous federal and state standards. And, they must be maintained and repaired so they continue to comply. One of the key standards is API, which covers all storage and fuel tank inspection, repair, and alteration of aboveground storage tanks.


Structural Integrity

Structural integrity is based on sound design. When fabrication is performed in compliance with the relevant codes and standards, storage tanks will perform according to design. Regular tank inspections ensure that structural integrity is maintained over time.


On-Site Safety

When industrial tanks leak, the safety of on-site workers is compromised. The greatest risk is that owners and operators may be exposed to hazardous chemicals and flammable contents. Water can also cause major problems, sometimes leading to sinkholes that can compromise the safety of all those on-site. 


Reduces Environmental Risks

It stands to reason that the same on-site safety risks apply to the surrounding environment. For instance, chemicals can contaminate the soil or water sources while gasses will pollute the air. Regular inspections minimize these dangers. 


Saves Money

Catastrophic failures can result if tank maintenance and regular tank inspections aren’t undertaken. Not only will this lead to expensive downtime, but it will also result in costly repairs. 


Fewer Interruptions During Downtime

Sticking to standard tank inspection procedures and processes will minimize interruptions during downtime. 


Elevate Safety for Workers and the Community

Everyone is going to feel safer if they know that your company is taking responsibility for its tank inspection services. 

Need Help with Your Industrial Tank Inspections? Contact T BAILEY!

It doesn’t matter what you are storing in your industrial tanks, regular inspection tank procedures are essential. Corrosion is a major issue that can lead to tanks leaking and potentially failing altogether. Usually, this is due to wear and tear, but poor construction practices can also result in leaks. Either way, tank inspections are the solution. 

If you aren’t sure where to start, contact T BAILEY for guidance and advice. Our certified on-site inspectors are ready to help identify problem areas and we will devise and undertake a compliant repair plan.