MRO Magazine

Pipe-marking guide outlines standards for marking pipes and valves


May 12, 2011
By PEM Magazine

"Guides & Standards for Facility Pipe Marking," a guide created exclusively for pipe identification in commercial, public, school and retail buildings, is now available from safety labeling solutions provider Graphic Products Inc.

The free pipe marking guide describes requirements for identifying the size, color and content of pipe markers. It also explains the proper placement of markers on specific pipes. Additionally, "Guides & Standards for Facility Pipe Marking" features pipe marking support products — like DuraLabel printers, heavy-duty valve tags, and pipe grabber sleeves — as options for simplifying what otherwise would be difficult pipe labeling applications.

"If you think of how many different liquids and gasses are transported and directed through pipes and valves within even one facility, keeping track of pipe contents and functions can become quite complex without standards," said Heather Massano, category research representative at Graphic Products. "That’s why the guide is so popular among facility safety professionals; it covers so many standards that facilities are better able to maintain efficiency and keep workers safe."

The five-page guide is based on the ANSI/ASME A13.1 – 2007 Standard for the Identification of Pipes. It then expands on that standard to provide a method for more specifically color coding pipes within the six categories defined by ANSI. For example, ANSI requires that water piping be marked using a green label with white text. The guide provides a standard for identifying nine subcategories within this one ANSI category. These are subcategories typically used in commercial buildings. They include various types of water such as chilled water, condenser water, domestic water and high temperature water.


The appropriate subcategory color is given along with the correct abbreviation. The descriptor for the associated valve tag message is also provided.

Another section of the guide outlines ammonia refrigeration pipe marking standards relating to compliance with the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR). The IIAR "require[s] the posting of a component identification and abbreviated reference chart to explain pipe marking in areas that are conspicuous to operating personnel." Proper abbreviations for system types (e.g., liquid drain), their physical state (e.g., vapor, liquid or liquid/vapor), pressure level (low or high) and flow direction must all be identified when marking ammonia refrigeration pipes. Each of these is outlined in Graphic Products’ new guide.

"Guides & Standards for Facility Pipe Marking" concludes with brief discussions on proper pipe marker placement, a pipe marker size chart for understanding correct pipe marker dimensions, and an introduction to DuraLabel’s popular pipe marker printers, supplies and accessories.

"Facilities don’t want to be caught non-compliant or risk the health and safety of workers, so this pipe marking guide is provided to help prevent such occurrences," Massano said.

The new facility pipe marking guide is available free to facilities worldwide and may be requested by visiting