Pipe Marking 101 – Why is pipe marking important?

  • Safety – Eliminate accidents by minimizing identification errors.
  • Efficiency – No wasted time tracing pipes to their source.
  • Compliance – Reduce company liability and eliminate fines.

Guidelines for labeling pipes

There are four main arenas of pipe marking guidelines.

  1. Format – Standards and Formats vary from country to country.
    • EU Standard
    • Marine/Offshore (ISO 14726)
    • U.S. Standard (AMSE/ANSI Standard Standard A13.1-2007)
      Numbers 2 through 4 focus on the U.S. Standard
  2. Color Scheme – Color schemes help with classification
    Pipe Marking labels must effectively communicate the contents of the pipes, and give additional detail if special hazards (such as extreme temperatures or pressures) exist.

    • White on Green – All Water (Potable, Cooling, Boiler, etc.)
    • White on Blue – All Air (Compressed, Lab, etc.)
    • Black on Yellow – Flammable Fluids & Gasses
    • White on Red – Fire-Quenching Fluids
    • White on Brown – Combustible Fluids & Gasses
    • Black on Orange – Toxic/Corrosive Fluids & Gasses

    This group of colors is definable by the user. Some common uses are:

    • White on Purple – Acids & Alkalis
    • White on Black – Waste Media
    • White on Gray – Non flammable Gas
    • Black on White – Air Ventilation Systems
  3. Height of the text – The height of the text is based on the pipe size
    Text height and pipe marker label lengths should follow these recommended guidelines:

    Pipe Outer Diameter Text Height Minimum Label Length
    0.75″ – 1.24″ 0.5″ 8″
    1.25″ – 2.4″ 0.75″ 8″
    2.5″ – 7.9″ 1.25″ 12″
    8″ – 9.9″ 2.5″ 24″
    10″+ 3.5″ 32″
  4. Visibility – Pipe markers should be visually accessible upon entering the area.
    • Guideline #1 – Pipes should be marked as close to all valves or flanges as possible.
    • Guideline #2 – Pipes should be marked as close to directional changes as possible.
    • Guideline #3 – Pipes should be marked at points where they have penetrated walls or dividers.
    • Guideline #4 – Pipes should be marked every 25’ to 50’ interval on straight runs.
    • Guideline #5 – Pipe markers should be readily visible when entering the facility from the normal entry point.

Creative Safety Supply is committed to being your safety and labeling experts. We provide a wide range of industrial safety products, including made-to-order pipe markers and industrial pipe marking label printers so you can make your pipe markers in-house. Call today!

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