Published November 16th, 2020
What is a Pressure Vessel Inspection?
A pressure vessel inspection, also known as a boiler inspection, is a safety check done regularly to ensure that pressure vessels are safe to hold liquids or gases under pressure. Pressure vessel inspections help prevent boiler or pressure vessel failure that can lead to costly damage to property, business reputation, or loss of life.
This article will briefly discuss:
- the importance of using pressure vessel inspection checklists;
- the requirements for pressure vessel inspections;
- the main causes of pressure vessel failure;
- technology for proactively inspecting boilers and pressure vessels; and
- boiler and pressure vessel inspection checklists you can use.
Boilers and pressure vessels vary by shape, construction materials, working pressure, vessel threads, safety features, and maintenance features. Engineers, safety officers, or boiler inspectors use pressure vessel inspection checklists to help maintain the good working condition of pressure vessels and their safety accessories which keep liquid and gas pressure in check.
Inspection requirements for pressure vessels depend on country-specific regulations such as the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations of 2000 (PSSR) in the UK, regional guidelines such as the Pressure Equipment Directive of 2014 (PED) from the European Commission, and applicable industry standards such as the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Generally, pressure vessels should be inspected at least once every two years and tested at least once every five years. Visual examinations of pressure vessels, or storage tanks/vessels that operate at pressures above 15 psig (pound-force per square inch gauge), should also be conducted after installation, before operation, and during maintenance to detect potential cracks and ensure boiler and pressure vessel safety.
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.
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.
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.
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.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture 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
- Customize checklist templates to fit the type of boiler or pressure vessel and meet the requirements of industry standards
Featured Pressure Vessel Inspection Checklists
Pressure Vessel Inspection Checklist (Unfired)
A pressure vessel inspection checklist is used by engineers and boiler inspectors to help ensure that pressure vessels are safe to hold liquids and gases under pressure. It is used when conducting external and internal inspection of pressure vessels, as well as inspecting safety devices and piping systems. This iAuditor template is created based on a document on the inspection of unfired pressure vessels. Inspectors can use this to:
- Take photos and make notes on issues found during inspections.
- Assign corrective actions using mobile devices.
- Automatically store reports for easy recordkeeping and utilize the data for future reference.
- Meet industry standards by customizing the digital template according to the type of boiler or pressure vessel.
Pressure Vessel Safety Checklist
This pressure vessel safety checklist is used for routine inspections of pressure vessels in a German-owned discount supermarket chain with over 10,000 stores in 20 countries. Use this checklist to record details of compressor packs, system racks, and enthalpy units and take photos of the low temperature receiver, pressure relief valve discharge point, and medium temperature receiver. Easily customize this checklist to meet your business needs using iAuditor’s drag-and-drop template editor.
Boiler Inspection Checklist
A boiler inspection checklist is used for inspecting oil or gas-fired boilers before issuance of certification. Use this checklist to perform an internal, external, and operational inspection of boilers and specify boiler efficiency details such as Oxygen %, Stack Temp., PSI, and more. Converted using iAuditor, select Safe-At Risk-N/A when inspecting insulation, safety relief valve, and combustion control system, among others.
Boiler Log Sheet
A boiler log sheet is used to document the daily inspection of boilers to make sure that the pressure and temperature are within the recommended range. Use this log template to record scheduled daily inspection or multiple inspections within a day to maintain the safety of boilers. Utilize iAuditor’s scheduling feature and don’t miss another periodic boiler inspection.
Pressure Vessel Risk Assessment Template
Use this pressure vessel risk assessment template when a new boiler, pressure vessel, or new equipment is to be installed and determine possible risks from a new equipment and changes in processes within the workplace.