Operation  •  Hazardous Cargoes  •  Dangers  •  Handling  •  Cleaning  •  Gas Blanketing  •  Heating  •  Miscellaneous  •  Fault Finding  
Possible Faults and their Remedies   
Please note these are guidelines and recommendations only, and are by no means exhaustive. The personnel operating the tank are ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the tank in their care.

Even though these tanks have been severely damaged, the tank shell remained intact, with no product spillage.

Accidental Cargo Discharge  Chemical Reaction/Product Contamination 

Probable Cause
Careless opening of outlet valve or disconnection of hose containing cargo or leakage via incorrect fittings or hoses.

Check if cargo is present before opening valves or disconnecting fittings. Check that hoses and fittings are correct for the tank.

Probable Cause
Tank and fittings not properly cleaned of previous cargo and / or cleaning agents.
Incorrect cleaning agent used. May result in contamination of new cargo, violent chemical reaction, crusting / congealing of residue in tank and fittings or damage to the tank.

Ascertain previous cargo carried and check Cleanliness Certificate. Check cleanliness of tank outlet valves and other fittings in contact with cargo before loading. Check cleaning agent compatibility before use.


Probable Cause
Excessive operating pressure. May result in rupture of the tank or hoses or release of
cargo through the pressure-relief valves, with possible risk of spillage and injury.

Note the maximum working pressure marked on the tank data plate and ensure that it is not exceeded. Ensure that the correct ullage space is provided to enable expansion of the cargo.

Excessive Steam Pressure 

Probable Cause
Excessive pressure introduced into heating system. May damage tank or rupture hose causing failure of heating, escape of steam, contamination or escape of cargo.

Do not exceed the maximum working pressure of the heating system marked on the tank data plate.

Hose Blocking 

Probable Cause
Hose kinked or flattened so unable to pass air or liquid. May cause over-pressure or
vacuum collapse.

Hoses should be inspected before use and correctly laid out before filling. Hoses
should be clearly marked to prevent constriction caused by objects being placed on them.

Heat Damage to Empty Tank 

Probable Cause
Heating tank prior to cargo loading, exceeding maximum design temperature of shell. May cause deformation of or damage to shell and fittings.

Ensure pre-heating temperatures do not exceed the maximum design temperature
indicated on the tank data plate. Care should be taken not to overheat small quantities of cargo, especially cargo residue. Verify that the thermometer is in working order.

Tank Overheating 

Probable Cause
Exceeding maximum operating temperature and / or the maximum working pressure of the steam heating system. May damage tank shell, insulation, fittings, and cargo.

Do not exceed the maximum operating temperature marked on the tank data plate.
Verify that the thermometer is in working order.

Vacuum Collapse (implosion) 

Probable Cause
Vacuum created in tank during pumping out, or as a result of tank cooling after system cleaning, or after discharge of heated cargo. May result in damage to tank shell and injury to personnel.

Ensure tank is vented (via manhole or air-line) during cargo discharge and after steam cleaning and discharge of heated cargo. If a vacuum valve is fitted to the pump and / or tank, check that it operates freely.

NOTE. Special precautions must be taken when handling hazardous cargo to guard against venting of harmful vapours to atmosphere.

Cargo Vapour Explosion 
Probable Cause
Naked light or electrical spark in presence of cargo vapours during loading / discharge or in presence of cargo leakage.
May result in fire or explosion.

Strictly observe the "no naked light" rulings in the vicinity of tanks. Ensure a good earth
connection has been made to the tank prior to loading / discharge. Check tools and clothing (especially boots) for spark risk

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