Division of Labor and Industry


Do's and Don'ts of Compressed Air Storage Tank Operations - Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety - Safety Inspections


The following is a partial list of operational hints that will provide a safer, more economical, and longer operating life for your compressed air storage tank.


  • Operate an air tank which is not constructed to meet the requirements of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (A.S.M.E.) Code.
  • Operate air tank which is not equipped with a functional A.S.M.E. Code safety relief valve set at or below an established maximum working pressure.
  • Mount the vessel rigidly without vibration buffer supports under tank legs.
  • Ever operate a vessel without a properly equipped and operating pressure gauge!
  • Ever bypass the pressure control switch, or any switches, which control pressure.
  • Ever restrict the design function of any safety relief valve-for example; tie down, paint, block, cap, or remove.
  • Make welded repair on air tanks.
  • Use plastic pipe for any air discharge line.
  • Pile stock up against the tank.


  • Respect the pressure vessel. It can be dangerous!
  • Test the safety relief valve monthly.
  • Drain condensate from the tank regularly-daily, if necessary.
  • Keep vessel mounted level at all times with vibration protection in place.
  • Have the vessel inspected biannually, as required by State law.
  • Protect tank from damage caused by vehicle traffic or plant operations.
  • Inspect at least weekly for air leaks.  If you find an air leak, determine its source (i.e. line, fitting or crack).
  • Report new installations to the State Office of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety.
  • Have all welded repairs made only by companies holding the "R" stamp authorization or the A.S.M.E. "U" symbol.

Quick Links:

For additional information, contact:
Division of Labor and Industry
Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety

1100 N. Eutaw Street - Room 605
Baltimore, MD 21201
Fax: 410-333-7827
e-mail: dldliboilerinspection-dllr@maryland.gov

Emergency telephone number: 410-767-2990