Standard Markings for Pipes

There is a color coding system for the marking of pipes for convenience.  As much as this is not yet a compulsory requirement, it is however important that it is implemented as the benefits are far reaching.  This practice ensures that no pipes can be mistaken in any way. ANSI has given a Pipe Marking Guide which is industrially used and accepted to ensure that there is a clear distinction given. The labels on these pipes bear color code or a legend.  This provides the primary means of identifying the contents of the pipe.

The labels clearly state the content present in the pipes and includes arrows signifying directional flow of the contents in the pipe.  The legend has proved to be useful particularly if the pipe is close enough to read. On the other hand, in instances where the writing or labels are far high up inhibiting reading of the contents, then the color gives a secondary identification method of the contents of the pipe.

By observing the color of the pipe label, you can clearly tell if the pipe has hazardous or flammable contents/materials. ANSI has promoted global observing of the color coding of pipes. This has been achieved through education of companies and also their employees on the importance in adhering with the ANSI A13.1-2007 standards in place.

What are the color codes?

White and green labels

This signifies that the pipes have liquids which are classified as low hazard.  Examples of these kinds of liquids include boiled feed, potable water and storm drain water.  Also, according to the standards agency or body this color means that the legend of the pipes does not necessarily need to specify the coldness or hotness of the liquid carried.

Black and yellow

This signifies that the pipes contain very flammable and hazardous material. This means that the fluids flowing through the pipes can be explosive, and unstable under pressure or extreme temperatures and also flammable.   Examples include derivatives of hydrocarbons, chlorine, natural gas and nitrogen.

White and blue

This signifies that the pipes have material of low hazard. This is a designation that is mostly reserved for gasses like compressed air.

White and red

This color signifies that the content of the pipes have materials which quench fires.  Examples include dry chemicals like potassium sulphate, potassium bicarbonate, foam, water and carbon dioxide.

Black and orange

This is a color that signifies that the contents of the pipes are toxic and corrosive chemicals like alkalis, ammonia and acids.

It is important that you know the designated colors if you want to correctly interpret the contents of any pipe that you come across whether it is being transported or not.  Consequently, as an industrial leader, you want to ensure that you educate your employees accordingly so that they do not misinterpret this kind of color coding.  The key to understanding and adherence to this kind of color coding is knowing what they mean. It is the key to knowing what kind of chemicals are in those pipes.  Just like aisle marking you need to fully understand the meaning.