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3 Things You Should Know About Fuel Tank Testing

Monday, September 3rd, 2018
storing fuel and maintaining fuel tanks

Have you ever tested your fuel tanks? There are many benefits of bulk testing your fuel tanks as part of routine maintenance for your business. Taking proper care of your above-ground storage is crucial to keeping your fleet humming and your equipment safe from contaminants and other issues.

The biggest reason to conduct regular fuel tank testing is to minimize the risk of failure. A failure could cost your company thousands of dollars in expensive hazardous clean-up costs, fines, and even litigation. Maintenance is a far cheaper and safer course of action. It is important to know how to plan a testing schedule, as well as what to look out for.

Make testing part of your routine

The key to preventing fuel tank failures is incorporating bulk fuel tank inspections as part of a specific maintenance plan. The government does not prescribe minimum inspection procedures for this. So, it is up to you to come up with when and how often to perform maintenance and inspections. The best way to do that is to understand what is involved and what you need to do.

Planning fuel tank storage tests

There are two tests you should conduct when inspecting your fuel tanks. These are fuel sample and integrity tests.

Take a fuel sample

To conduct the fuel sample test, you should check to see if there is water in your tank. If water is present in the storage container, it can decrease the power of your engines over time. This occurs because the water causes biodegradation of fuel. As engine power decreases, it can lead to dangerous and serious issues, especially if you operate large machinery.

In fact, if water is not discovered in time, contaminants can cause engine failure. So, if you have a fleet of commercial trucks or construction vehicles, this can render the affected vehicles inoperable, and therefore your company.

Water is heavier than fuel, so it will sink to the bottom of the tank. Since water often has contaminants in it, this can result in the build-up of bacteria at the bottom, resulting in rust and other corrosion.

Test the integrity of fuel tank

The fuel tank integrity test starts with a visual inspection, although you should always be inspecting these containers. What you should look out for depends on the type of fuel tank you use.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (SPCC Rule), you should test and inspect your tanks for integrity on a regular schedule and whenever you affect repairs. You should also frequently inspect the outside of your tank for signs of corrosion, discharge, accumulation of fuel, and general deterioration. The visual inspection should be done around the entire tank, including the foundation and support structures.

You can check with the SPCC plan type to determine how often you should check your tanks. The plan will also tell you the qualifications your inspecting personnel should have. You are required to retain inspection and testing records for at least three years. However, the EPA recommends you keep records of all your tanks for the duration of their lives.

Preventing leaks in above-ground fuel tanks

The best strategy to prevent above-ground leaks is to conduct consistent visual tests of the integrity of the tank. One small test can prevent dangerous and costly leaks. You should have the inspection done by personnel who are trained at your facility or who are familiar with its operations. However, if you need to conduct a test under government order, you will need to hire an expert.

If you need a professional to monitor your fuel tanks and to keep your fuel needs on track, contact Kendrick Oil today. We provide fuel and related services to clients throughout the United States including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Louisiana. You can call us at (800) 299-3991 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Products and Services.