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Pipe Marking

Label pipes that contain hazardous materials with RTK labels

Bring your facility up to ANSI & ASME pipe marking code compliance. Request your FREE Pipe Marking Guide today! The guide covers the correct colors, placement, text size and pipe marker size to be ANSI & ASME compliant.

A pipe is a conduit used to convey, distribute, mix, separate, discharge, meter, control, or snub fluid flows. A pipe system includes piping of any kind including fittings, valves, and pipe coverings. Identify the contents, hazard levels and a pipe's direction-of-flow with DuraLabel Printers and Supplies.

All containers containing potentially hazardous materials must be properly labeled. Right-To-Know labels (RTK labels) are an OSHA instituted hazard communication standard that gives employees the right to know the hazards of chemicals they may be exposed to in the workplace.

The two common styles of RTK labels are the NFPA Diamond and the Color Bar Labels.

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Diamond:
    Communicates the type and level of hazard associated with a chemical. It uses color codes to identify what the risks are.
      Blue: health risks, red: Flammability, yellow: Instability, and
      white: special hazards. Numbers are used to rate the severity of the hazard on a scale of 0 to 4 with 4 representing the most severe and 0 representing minimal or no danger.
  • Color Bar Labels: Use a large format color bar to also quickly communicate the type and level of hazard associated with a chemical. Instead of arranging the colors and their urgency in a diamond shape, they are in a vertical row. Deciding which format of RTK label is purely personal preference.
    • Pipe markers should be placed:
    • To indicate direction of flow by labeling with arrows at one or both ends
    • To be visible from the point of normal approach
    • At any line entry or re-entry point
    • Near valves, flanges, and changes in pipe direction
    • At both sides of ceiling, wall, or floor penetrations
    • At least once every 50 feet on straight pipe runs
Special Conditions:
  • Use Dura Tags and Valve Tags to label hard-to-reach pipes
  • If pipeline is located above the normal line of vision, the label shall
    be placed below the horizontal center line of the pipe to
    maximize visibility
  • If pipeline is located below the normal line of vision, the label shall
    be placed above the horizontal center line of the pipe to
    maximize visibility
  • Use Pipe Grabber™ Sleeves when the pipe is too dirty and cannot
    be cleaned, or if labels won't adhere because the pipe is covered
    with rust, scale, un-lagged insulation, etc
Maintaining Labels
Labels should be properly maintained to ensure legibility and readability. Use abbreviations to maximize the space and convey the appropriate message. Under normal conditions labels will last five to seven years. Environmental conditions can cause a shorter or longer label life.

Pipe marker applications:

The ANSI A13.1 code is the most commonly known code for pipe marking. But it is not the only code. There are many other pipe marking applications and codes that cover them. In addition to labeling pipes, the pipe marking codes typically also cover valves.

Ammonia Pipe Markers (IIAR) - This standard is published by the International Institute For Ammonia Refrigeration. It applies to ammonia pipes used in cooling and refrigeration systems. This standard has also been adopted by some facilities for ammonia pipes used for other applications.

Medical Gas Pipe Markers (CGA) - this standard applies to medical gases used in hospitals and other medical facilities. The ANSI A13.1 standard applies to the non-medical gas pipes in these same facilities. Medical gas pipe marking is a critical application because of the severe consequences than can result from mistakes.

HVAC Pipe Markers - ANSI standards for pipe marking also apply to Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment. However, additional requirements for container HVAC related labeling is set by ASHRAE and ARI.

Marine Pipe Markers - Marine pipe markers use an international standard (ISO 1476-2) that defines the color and design of pipe markers used on ships.

Commercial Buildings - The ANSI pipe marking standard applies to commercial buildings, but because of the large number of applications and destinations for pipes, additional labeling may be required to adequately identify pipes.

Conduit Labels - The same DuraLabel printers that make pipe markers are suitable for making conduit labels and markers. For example, self-laminating "wire markers" are excellent for labeling conduit and tubing used in pneumatic systems.

Code Compliant Pipe Marking - What are some general rules-of-thumb to follow when inspecting or installing pipe markers? This link goes to a web page that provides an outline of what should be done to assure complete, code compliant pipe marking.

Australian Pipe Marking Standards - All pipes and containers of hazardous substances must be appropriately labeled to provide a safe work environment. Using color to identify the contents of pipes, conduits, and ducts should follow the Australian Standard AS 1345.

British Pipe Marking Standards - The Health and Safety (Safety Signs & Signals) Regulations 1996 require employers to properly mark visible pipes in the workplace which contain or transport dangerous substances. Using color to identify the contents of pipes, conduits, and ducts should follow the British Standard BS 1710.

European Pipe Marking Standards - Visible pipes containing or transporting dangerous substances and preparations, must be labeled in accordance with directives 67/548/EEC and 88/379/EEC.

Call us for more information at 1-888-326-9244 for your entire pipe marking needs.

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