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How to Troubleshoot a Pressure Tank

There are several reasons why a vessel may need service, however, two main causes why a vessel may need service are either accident or performance related.

In the case of an accident, such as a tool falling into the tank and causing damage; surface scratches and dents can typically be repaired on-site, provided they do not go beyond minimum requirements, with mechanical polishing or hand/wand electropolishing. 

Reduced agitator performance or failure is often due to worn parts, improper assembly or a bent or broken shaft.  Agitator repairs may be addressed with the agitator manufacturer or the vessel manufacturer, depending on the situation, down-time, and severity of the failure.

When troubleshooting a drop in pressure in a tank or vessel, a typical cause is often related to seals. One sign of seal failure is product coming out of the seal.  To help reduce the frequency of an unexpected seal leak occurring, it is recommended to use a good seal maintenance program to solve a lot of pressure / performance issues, such as:
•    Seal replacement has been neglected
•    Flat spots on seals are a sign for replacement
•    Improper or incorrect seals for the outlet
•    Nicks, scratches or mishandling of seals

A best practice is to avoid product waste and critical down-time is to inventory seals for all outlets and manage seals in a preventative maintenance program.

It is important to note that any weld repairs to the ASME pressures zones on tanks, require an R-Stamp.  The R-Stamp is a certification required by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessels for repair of an ASME tank or vessel.

Depending on the size of the vessel and type of repair, Apache’s service techs may be able to make repairs on site or in some cases, tanks are shipped back to the factory. Apache can provide services including:
•    Field service and troubleshooting to all types of stainless and high alloy tanks
•    ASME / National Board R-Stamp repair and modifications
•    Surface finish repairs
•    Non-code repairs and modifications including piping and heat transfer jackets
•    Seal and agitation repairs and modifications
•    Accessory repairs
•    Head and tank shell repairs
•    Leak detection
•    Audit and service contract available

Visit Small Vessels

Visit Large Tanks


When do you need an ASME R-stamp for repairs to an ASME tank?

The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessels requires a Certificate of Authorization and R-Stamp for the repair or alteration of boilers, pressure vessels and other pressure retaining equipment.

Any repairs to the ASME pressure zones on tanks require a R Stamp welding. Any repairs not in that designated area will not require an R Stamp welding.

Apache's Field Service Technicians are fully certified ASME welders. For over 40 years, Apache continues to maintain rounds of audits and inspections from ASME compliance and safety professionals that speak to the consistency of the welders and the effectiveness of the quality control department.

Our Field Service team are  R-Stamp certified. Apache will also provide all compliance addendum documentation required for ASME repairs of modifications in the field.

A host of modifications are available to ASME and non-ASME tanks and vessels. We offer a feasibility audit to compare field modifications to the cost of a new system.

Call Joe Hertel, Field Services Manager,  at 920-356-7334 to discuss your application.


Sometimes Tank Damage Isn't as Bad as You Think

Sometimes things just happen, like a tool accidentally falling into the tank and causing damage.  The damage might be a bent agitator or it might be damage to a side wall or baffles.  We see these kinds of things all the time and we can fix them most of the time.


Repair and refurbish experience:

  • Repair and replace agitator shafts
  • Add agitation to a non-agitation vessel
  • Refurbish outlet valves, seals, or-rings and gaskets
  • Relocate nozzles and fittings
  • Replace manways
  • Repair jackets (conventional, dimple, half-pipe)
  • Add cooling or heating coils
  • Detect and repair leaks
  • Refinish product contact surfaces
  • Repair sidewalls
  • Change bottom head configurations
  • Modify tanks, platforms, catwalks for repurposing
  • Convert non-pressured vessel to pressurized (if approved by engineering)

Download the Tank Group Field Services flyer


Bob Dolan is Retiring from Field Services after 22 1/2 Years at Apache

 

After 22 ½ years in Apache’s field services group, Bob Dolan is retiring! Apache Stainless is grateful for Bob’s many years of service and sharing his expertise with engineering, sales and customers.   

Bob recounts some memories through the years with one of his first jobs completing assembly of six tanks (partially built at Apache) in 1996.  It was extremely hot with a tight timeline. When the tank arrived, the roof was already off for it and other equipment to be set. The team worked through the night to set and weld the vessel to be out of the way of the day shift millwrights.

“I enjoy the work.  It is gratifying to help customers and I enjoy meeting people,” Bob expressed.  “In the first 18 months, I went from a beginner to a STEP 7 certified welder.  After 22 ½ years, I believe I’ve welded and serviced tanks throughout the entire U.S.”

“The most challenging job I was on was a tank with a cone bottom.  At first sight, it looked like maybe it couldn’t be done. The bottom had to be cut off to get inside.  Then I had to service and polish it while hanging upside down.  I made a platform to lay upside down, 25 ft. off the floor.  That project took one week.”

Bob recalls another project where an extremely heavy 32” flange wasn't lining up with the pump.  The company had an option to bring in new equipment which would have been costly and time-consuming. Bob modified an elbow pipe leading to the flange that ultimately allowed a perfect fit with the pump.

“They didn’t think I could do that one, but we did it. My advice to serving customers and creating solutions is to ‘keep it simple’. Don’t overthink it, most of the time a solution is more cost and time effective for the customer and Apache with a simple approach and customers will agree.”

Bob has been a member of the Free Masons for over 33 years. “Free Masons are guided by a code of morals, type of lifestyle, honesty and integrity. I think that it fits in well with the service industry and I’ve tried to do my best to live up to that code.” Bob adds.

In his retirement, Bob is going to get to his rebuilding work on the five antique Harley Davidson motorcycles in his home shop. He is planning time for more travel and spend time with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

“It has been rewarding working for a company that holds itself to high standards. I’ve always enjoyed working at Apache and the feeling of self-satisfaction of helping customers. One time, I had a customer say, ‘When I saw you walk through the door, I know everything was going to be okay’.” 

All of us at Apache Stainless wish Bob a happy and healthy retirement!


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