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I GOT A PHONE CALL ONE DAY FROM A FRIEND WHO was working in a new construction project with

tanks and piping. He told me how the tanks he was working with were built 2 years prior and had tilted flanges
in its nozzles. This was a problem for pipefitters now, because they would have to degrade their accesories to
build the connecting pipe. However, when we were talking we discovered that the tilting was too big according
to API 650.

7.5.6 Nozzles
Nozzles (excluding manholes) shall be installed within the following tolerances:
a) specified projection from outside of tank shell to extreme face of flange: ±5 mm (3/16 in.);
b) elevation of shell nozzle or radial location of a roof nozzle: ±6 mm (1/4 in.);
c) flange tilt in any plane, measured on the flange face:
±1/2 degree for nozzles greater than NPS 12 in. nominal diameter,
±3 mm (1/8 in.) at the outside flange diameter for nozzles NPS 12 and smaller;
d) flange bolt hole orientation: ±3 mm (1/8 in.).
The gasketed face shall be machine-finished to provide a mínimum gasket-bearing width of 19 mm

Something had to be done about it.

But how to do it without testing the entire tank again?

I remember once when a contractor installed a new manhole whose flange wasn´t machined according to the

We couldn`t carry on another hydrostatic test, so we decided to ask the contractor for an hydrostatic test of the
flange only.


Although it seems difficult, it is not.

Most of the nozzles and manholes of a tank, if they are not the IFR type, when looked from the inside, show an
extensión of the pipe. Let`s call it “back of the neck”.

What you can do, is that you can weld a plate with filling facilities to the “back of the neck”. Then put the lid of
the manhole in position and fill the space with wáter.

The water then can be pressurized using a positive displacement hand pump. It is important that the pump be
hand operated, because of the low water volume involved. If you use a powered pump, and you are careless
with the pressure gage, you could make the nozzle blow up and you could be in danger.

So, what to do with the tilted flanges in the nozzles of my friend?.

Well, the first thing that I would do is to try and remove the flange from the nozzle and reweld it in a better
position to fit the tolerance given by the standard. If that can be done, then you can test the new weld only, with
an arrangement like the one before.
What to do when you don´t want to weld anything?

I remember once when we had to hydrostatically test an articulated drain from an internal floating roof (one of
those which use swivel joints). In these roofs, there is a Little box welded under the center of the roof that acts
as a collector of the rain.

The complete drain ends in a flanged nozzle situated in the Shell. However, there is no flange in the collector
box underneath the roof. How to seal that end of the drain for an hydrostatic test?

By using a setup like the one drawn below (specially with small nozzles)

But what if is the neck of the nozzle that is too tilted? And what you do if you already made the hydrostatic

That would be a Little more difficult, but not imposible.

You would have to build an enclosure having the same curvature of the Shell so you can put it against the
Shell. The seal between the 2 surfaces can be accomplished using a foam rubber. Then you can put some
threaded tie rods. As seen in the picture. Then you can test the new nozzle only and not the tank again.

There is nothing imposible. If you forget to install a nozzle, you can install it after hydrostatic test if you know
what you are doing.