There are two related causes of ignition in storage tanks: static from normal tank operations and static from a direct or nearby strike. The mechanism is similar, with static ignition taking place over minutes whereas lightning ignition takes place over a fraction of a second.
According to API 2003, A.7., in order for an electrostatic charge to become an ignition source, four conditions must be met:

  1. A static charge must be generated
  2. The charge must be accumulated to the level at which it is capable of producing an incendive spark (A.6.2), that is, a spark with adequate energy to ignite
  3. An appropriate gap across which the accumulated charge may arc (source of ignition)
  4. An ignitable gas mixture must be present around the source of ignition
In-Tank Static Drain being installed through the thief hatch
In-Tank Static Drain being installed through the thief hatch


  • This type of drain, installed through the thief hatch and secured to the top of the tank, introduces thousands of electrically sharp points into the stored product, offering a low-resistance path for bound charge to leave the liquid and vapor space.
  • Allows the charge to dissipate faster than it accumulates.
  • The bonded mass of the tanks system is electrically bonded (grounded) through the existing electrically continuous metallic piping or with dedicated conductors on non-conductive piping to the injection well, truck load-out, and site electrical service ground.
  • This brings all site components and structures to the same potential and to ground potential, thus reducing the possibility of arcing.

At Lightning Master, we utilize advanced engineering and manufacture our products in-house so we can guarantee that the quality of our products meets our customers’ high standards. We also provide each of our customers with comprehensive service including a quality assurance program to make sure that their systems continue to provide protection long after installation.

[pardot-form id=”574″ title=”Contact Us”]