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Pressure Vessel Inspection Checklists

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Published March 26th, 2020

What is a Boiler or Pressure Vessel Inspection?

A boiler or pressure vessel inspection helps ensure that pressure vessels are safe to hold liquids or gases under pressure. Engineers, safety officers, or boiler inspectors use pressure vessel inspection checklists to help maintain the good working condition of pressure vessels and safety accessories that help keep liquid and gas pressure in check.

Pressure vessel inspections help prevent boiler or pressure vessel failure that can lead to costly damage to property, business reputation, or loss of life. Following applicable industry standards (ASME, PSSR, PED) for the inspection of boilers and pressure vessels also helps organizations comply with existing occupational health and safety laws.

This article will briefly discuss (1) the main causes of pressure vessel failure; (2) technology for proactively inspecting boilers and pressure vessels; and (3) boiler and pressure vessel inspection checklists you can use.

3 Main Causes of Pressure Vessel Failure

There are several causes of pressure vessel failure that can have dangerous consequences if not caught early and immediately corrected during routine inspections. Consider these common reasons why pressure vessels become unfit for use and watch out for them during routine inspections.

  1. Hardware issues
    Error in design, plate material used, construction, or installation can cause cracks and erosion on boilers and pressure vessels that could lead to leakage or rupture. Compliance with industry standards for the manufacture of boilers and pressure vessels can help prevent failures and other hardware issues.
  2. Errors in repair
    Welding, coating, and other methods of pressure vessel repair that do not conform with standards may not properly address issues and render the vessel unsafe for use. Periodic inspections should be conducted by engineers or boiler inspectors to proactively determine if boilers, pressure vessels, and safety devices are still in good working condition or already in need of repair or replacement.
  3. Lack of monitoring 

    Prolonged use of pressure vessels without periodic maintenance or routine inspections can lead to catastrophic accidents. Whether inspections are done annually or every 4 hours, they can help keep the vessels at optimal condition and prevent unforeseen accidents if they are conducted by competent personnel.

    Wrong material used and lack of internal audits contributed to the rupture of a pressure vessel in 2009 that caused injury, damage to nearby businesses, and loss of life in the state of Illinois.

Technology to Proactively Inspect Boilers and Pressure Vessels

iAuditor, the world’s most powerful mobile inspection app, can help engineers and inspectors conduct external and internal inspections of pressure vessels to determine their soundness to withstand pressure while holding liquids or gases. With iAuditor, you can:

  • Conduct scheduled pressure vessel inspections with a mobile device
  • Capture and store unlimited photos of issues found during inspections
  • Immediately assign corrective action for urgent issues and receive live status updates
  • Share inspection reports through the app with superiors and colleagues
  • Automatically organize recordkeeping for long-term storage of information as required (usually 5 years) by industry standards
  • Customize checklist templates to fit the type of boiler or pressure vessel and meet the requirements of industry standards


Erick Brent Francisco

SafetyCulture staff writer

As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.