API 510 - Pressure Vessel Inspection Code

Last update: Jan 13, 2017

API 510, Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: In-Service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration, is an inspection code, written and published by the American Petroleum Institute (API), to establish standards for the inspection, repair, alteration, and rerating activities for pressure vessels and the pressure relieving devices protecting these vessels. The first edition of the code was originally published in June of 1997 and the most recent release was the 10th edition, published in May of 2014. 

API 510 applies to most refining and chemical process vessels that have been placed into service. It covers vessels which have been constructed under certain construction codes, such as the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel CodeIt also covers vessels that have been constructed without a construction code or to a code that has not been recognized. Furthermore, it covers vessels which were constructed to a code but have since lost their nameplate or stamping. Finally, it can be used to cover pressure vessels in other industries at the user’s discretion and as acceptable per jurisdictional rules. Absent from the list of covered vessels are those that have been officially retired from service and abandoned and those that are specifically excluded per section 1.2.2.

Internal, external, and on-stream pressure vessel inspections are covered under API 510. Minimum requirements for implementing risk-based inspection as an alternate to conventional inspection planning criteria are also provided. API RP 572 supplements API 510 to provide logic and best practices to assist practitioners in the “how to” inspect pressure vessels.

Updated editions of API codes, standards, and recommended practices are typically released every five years, and are often referenced by equipment manufacturers and operators, governmental agencies, and insurance carriers in company policies and regulations.


Relevant Links

Recommend changes or revisions to this definition.


Join 8,000+ fellow asset integrity professionals! Get Inspectioneering's latest information straight to your inbox. Enter your information below:

December 29, 2016 By John Reynolds at Intertek

The Fall API Standards Meeting was incredibly productive and addressed, among other issues, the API Inspection Summit, balloting for the 11th edition of API 510, and improvements to the inspection section of each damage mechanism in API RP 571.

Highlights from API’s 2016 Spring Refining Standards Meeting: Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI)
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

This brief article contains updates and highlights related to the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) at the 2016 API Spring Refining Equipment and Standards Meeting.

New API Inspector Certification Endorsement Program (ICEP)
November/December 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Several new API inspection recommended practices exist in which inspectors need to be knowledgeable and qualified. This article details some of those standards.

March 30, 2015 By John Reynolds at Intertek

The 2015 API Spring Refining and Equipment Standards Meeting will be held at the Seattle Sheraton during the week of April 13-16, with plenty of interesting meetings for Inspectioneers.  You do not need...

New and Revised Editions of API Standards Just Published
June 2, 2014 By John Reynolds at Intertek

Three new API standards have been published, and one has been revised and updated to a new edition. The standards are described in this post.

March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Phil Smith at Chevron

The rules and regulations applying to U.S states, cities and Canadian provinces and territories concerning piping, pressure vessel and storage tank inspection can be described as "a coat of many colors," and are meant to represent continuous improvement over time. This table provides some information that will hopefully be useful to you regarding the level of acceptance of API 510 by the state, city, province and territorial authorities.

August 5, 2013 By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Versa Integrity Group

At PinnacleAIS, we often get requests for a Senior API Inspector. But what does that mean exactly? What qualifications are required? Is there a test or a certification that provides the end user with assurance they are getting a higher caliber inspector or inspection service? Often there are different ideas of what comprises a "Senior" Inspector.

July 8, 2013 By John Reynolds at Intertek

This week’s post takes up right where last week’s post left off in our discussion on Corrosion Management and Control (CM&C) Management Systems. As I have said previously, this information is based off a series of articles I did on PEI&R MS, which you can reference here. Here are the next four...

January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

A new API Individual Certification Program (ICP) will be offered soon to certify inspectors who perform quality assurance (QA) surveillance and inspection activities on new materials and equipment for the energy and chemical (E&C) industry. It is being developed by the API with the assistance of numerous, experienced subject matter experts (SMEs) involved in source inspection activities.

September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Three new recommended practices (RP) are under way within the API Inspection Subcommittee (SCI) which will add to the list of SCI standards available to owner-users to improve their mechanical integrity (MI) and inspection programs.

September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

In May of this year, a workshop was presented at the annual NPRA Reliability and Maintenance Conference at the George R. Brown CC in Houston. This article is a reader’s digest summary of what was presented at that workshop by the four panelists.

November/December 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
By Don Cook at State of California

On July 26, 2006, the State of California revised its Petroleum Safety Orders. The Petroleum Safety Orders are part of the California Code of Regulations Title 8 and address the health and safety requirements for places of employment in the State of California.

July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

One has seen the television commercials already introducing "2007 model year" vehicles; "totally re- engineered", "bold new styling", and "more standard equipment" to name a few. The release of the 9th edition of API Std. 510, Pressure Vessel Inspection Code, conjures up similar images although the clichés might be "completely redesigned", "improved technology throughout", but "same great engine". The 9th edition had its beginnings back when API Std 570, Piping Inspection Code, hit the road in 1993. The new piping code had clear organization and content geared toward industry's changing requirements. API 510, on the other hand, was a seasoned code tinkered with through the years. Numerous ballots added and changed words, sentences, and such. The code became a bit disjointed with so many changes and further, did not align with the piping code. Thus, the long term vision was to rewrite API 510 using API 570 as the model and align the two codes.

AIM Programs: Incorporation of all the Disciplines that Impact the Integrity of Infrastructure and Equipment
Partner Content

The goal of asset management is to effectively manage corporate assets in order to gain maximum value, profitability and returns, while safeguarding personnel, the community, and the environment. A true Asset Integrity Management program incorporates...

May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
By Roland A. Goodman at American Petroleum Institute

The API Subcommittees on Inspection and Pressure Vessels & Tanks are ever vigilant in keeping up with current trends and state-of-the-art technology for in-service inspection of pressure vessels, process piping, and aboveground storage tanks. One result of this effort is the recognition of risk-based inspection (RBI) methods by the API inspection codes (API 510, 570, and 653) as a valid methodology for developing an inspection strategy.

AIM Programs: Incorporation of all the Disciplines that Impact the Integrity of Infrastructure and Equipment
Partner Content

The goal of asset management is to effectively manage corporate assets in order to gain maximum value, profitability and returns, while safeguarding personnel, the community, and the environment. A true Asset Integrity Management program incorporates...

November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The API-570 Piping Inspector Certification Program is nearing the end of the grandfather period. Five hundred thirty-one (531) inspectors have been certified to date under this provision, which will remain in effect through November 15, 1996.