Understanding the Differences Between an API 650 and API 653 Inspection

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Api 653

Above ground storage tanks are an integral part of a variety of different ventures, both agricultural and industrial in nature. But many tank owners and operators aren’t entirely aware of the American Petroleum Institute (API)’s code of regulations and standards for these tanks; and these standards are crucial to ensuring that your tanks function as they should.

Two of the most prominent sets of API standards are the API 650 and API 653 standards. But what do these mean, and how can you tell between the two?

If you’re still not sure what the differences between these two groups of storage tank inspection standards are, this quick guide should help you:

API 650 standards are for the construction of welded steel storage tanks for oil

These standards typically include above ground welded steel tanks that store oil and other fuels, as well as liquid fertilizers. Butt-welded steel tanks have been the standard in storing these materials for decades, and it’s essential to properly construct them for optimal tank lifespan and function. API 650 inspectors will thus examine a tank’s rivets, welded joints and other aspects of the tank’s construction.

API 653 standards encompass above ground storage tank repair and reconstruction

API 653 standards tend to be more holistic, and look at the entire tank from top to bottom, including its foundation and settling patterns. These standards are used on inspections of older tanks about once every five years. Inspectors will look at the tank’s outer shell for signs of corrosion and leakage, as well as signs of distortion that could compromise the tank’s ability to hold its contents. Lastly, an API inspector will test the tank shell’s thickness with an ultrasound device.

Have any other questions for us on the API’s inspection standards and how you can make sure your tanks meet their criteria? Ask us anything in the comments section below. More can be found here.

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