Pipe Labeling Standards

Posted by Clarion Safety Systems on 24th May 2019

Pipe Labeling Standards

Pipe Labeling Standards for Pipe Markers
Pipe markers are an important safety item. They make it easier for people to quickly identify what is flowing through pipes and to trace pipes to their sources. Without this information, pipes in a workplace could easily be handled unsafely. For example, pipe markers indicate if a pipe is carrying pressurized fluid. Pipe labeling standards help to ensure that pipe markers are easily recognized and identified.

The Role of Pipe Labels
The pipes in a workplace can carry pressurized fluids, extremely hot or cold contents, caustic fluids and other harmful things. Team members need to steer clear of some of these. In the event of an accident, it is essential to quickly identify what hazards are being dealt with.

Additionally, from time-to-time pipes and attached machinery need maintenance. Being able to identify what is flowing through which pipe and to where is immensely valuable for safe and well-informed servicing.

In short, all workplaces should have pipe labeling requirements. Trying to figure out what is in an improperly labeled pipe is not only dangerous, it is also very time-consuming. The need for pipe markers is exponentially greater in workplaces that have numerous pipes running in parallel between different areas.

ANSI/ASME Labeling Standards
The first step to properly marking what is in a pipe is to simply attach a pipe label with the contents written on it. For example, a quick visual cue to know that a pipe is carrying toxic contents would let team members know immediately that they need to use extra care.

This is where pipe labeling standards such as the ANSI/ASME standards come into play. ANSI/ASME is a system that labels pipes with three levels of information: a color indicating the category of the contents, a written label indicating the exact contents and arrows indicating the flow direction of the pipe. Here are the colored categories under this pipe labeling standard:

  • Black on Yellow – Flammable: Flammable contents are marked with a yellow pipe label with black text. Any fluid that is a vapor or produces a vapor that can ignite and will continue to burn in the air should be marked as such. For example, a pipe carrying hydrogen should have a yellow pipe marker with black font.
  • White on Brown – Combustible: Combustible fluids should be marked with a brown label with white text. Anything that may burn but is not flammable fits this category. For example, acetic acid should be marked with a brown label and white font.
  • Black on Orange – Toxic & Corrosive: Fluids that are toxic, corrosive or will produce a toxic or corrosive substance are labeled in orange with black font. Nitric acid, for example, would need such a pipe marker.
  • White on Red – Fire-Quenching: Any fluid used in a fire-suppression system is marked red with white text. This can be water or any other substance used by sprinklers or other fire-suppressing systems. For example, halon would be marked like this.
  • White on Green – Other Water: Water that is not used as part of a fire-suppression system is marked in green with white text. For example, the water for the boiler system would be in this category.
  • White on Blue – Compressed Air: Any vapor or gas under pressure is marked in blue with white font. Only contents that do not fit into other categories are marked with this one. For example, compressed air for machinery would be marked blue with white text.
  • White on Black, Black on White, White on Purple and White on Gray – User-Defined: These color combinations are reserved for user-defined categories. They allow a more flexible application of the ANSI/ASME pipe labeling standard.

The key goal of the ANSI/ASME pipe labeling standard is to clearly indicate the contents and flow direction of a pipe. Additionally, pipe markers should make identification easy from all important locations.

The pipe markers should be easily visible from the point of normal approach. There should be pipe labels near any valves, flanges and changes in direction. Both sides of any ceiling, wall or floor penetrations should be labeled. Any line entry or reentry points should be labeled. Finally, straight pipe runs and every 50 feet of piping should be labeled.

Valve Markers
Safety labels should be placed near valves and, ideally, directly on them. Anyone manipulating a valve should be able to easily identify its contents based on clear valve markers. Again, this is both a safety concern and a practical, logistical issue.

Find Pipe Markers for Your Workplace
Clarion Safety Systems is a leading provider of compliant safety labels, signs and other safety items. Ensure your workplace piping is compliant with ANSI/ASME pipe labeling standards with pipe markers from Clarion Safety Systems. If you have any questions about safe and compliant workplace labeling, contact Clarion Safety online or call (877) 748-0244 to talk to our experienced team.