FERC Tainter Gate Inspection

At the time of their installation in 1961, these tainter gates were the largest in the world. Even by today’s standards, they are huge. Over 60’ tall, these gates dwarf the others we typically inspect. The arms are almost 65’ long.

Familiarization tour – John, Mike & Peter.
Large Tainter Gate

Our inspection was conducted at “Arm’s Length”, a term used to describe the FERC required Close Up Detailed 10 year inspection. FERC notes that the purpose of this inspection is to detect broken welds, broken bolts, fatigue cracks, and the initiation of corrosion. Observations from a distance are not sufficient for this purpose. If the inspector is not close enough to touch the gate feature he/she is inspecting, the inspection can not be considered a Close Up Detailed inspection. A total of 34 gates were inspected via Industrial Roped Access.

Scope of inspection:

  • We identified areas of deteriorating paint, corrosion, section loss and any visible cracking of the steel members.
  • The condition of the steel was evaluated using the Condition States for Painted Steel.
  • The trunnion assemblies were inspected for rust, weeping, pack rust, and other defects as visible from the exterior.
  • The gate seals were inspected for seal deterioration and leakage.
  • We identified and reported any significant deterioration or cracking in the concrete in the immediate vicinity of the gates.
  • We photographed significant deficiencies and took representative photographs of all members.
  • We noted defects on simplified gate drawing templates.
  • Our in-depth report included detailed notes and photographs of each deficiency along with a summary of our findings.

Large Tainter Gate
Individual gate inspection – by Mike.

The weather conditions alternated between frozen spray and gentle warm breezes over the several days we were on site. Check out the video at the bottom of the page of John in the spray zone.

John in spray zone

Movie of John in spray zone.