Pipe Marking Your Facility
Warehouses often have a variety of different types of piping that are quite different than that of many other facilities. In addition to things like pipes for fire suppression systems, the warehouse is likely to have more clean water pipes and fewer pipes that carry chemicals or fuels than a traditional manufacturing facility.
This doesn’t, however, mean that you don’t need to make sure the pipes are properly labeled. In fact, it may even still be required by organizations like OSHA and others. Whether it is required or not, however, it is always a good idea. When you are looking into pipe marking in the warehouse, it is a good idea to take the following five tips into account.
5 Tips for Pipe Marking in the Warehouse
1. Follow Pipe Marking best Practices
If you are labeling the pipes in your facility, it is always a good idea to follow the industry best practices. In some cases, this will be required, but for many warehouse situations that is not the case. No matter what regulations are in place, however, following the industry best practices on pipe marking will help ensure your facility is as safe as possible.
Look up the ANSI pipe marking standards to choose the right colors, sizes, words and symbols to use on each pipe. This will help ensure that emergency responders and others who work on or near the pipes will be able to easily tell what is contained within the pipe.
Industrial Pipe Marking Color Chart
|Red||Fire Quenching Fluids|
|Green||Potable, Cooling, Boiler-Feed, and Other Water|
|Purple||[Definable by User]|
|Black||[Definable by User]|
|White||[Definable by User]|
|Gray||[Definable by User]|
* Source ANSI/ASME A13.1
2. Use Proper Pipe Marking Labels
You don’t want to use just any type of label when marking pipes. This is because different types of pipes will require different types of label stock. For example, if you are applying pipe markings on a hot water pipe, you need to make sure the label will stick properly. If you just choose a normal paper based label, it will likely come off very fast.
If you’re installing a pipe marking in an area with high humidity, you’ll want to consider high temperature label stock or other options that are made specifically to stand up to the environment where the pipe is located. When done properly, this will allow you to have markings that can last for many years without any problems.
3. Plan the Installation Properly
When you are getting ready to place pipe markings in your facility, make sure you take the time to plan out the job properly. This is important because the pipes in warehouses typically travel well above the ground, and often above objects like shelving, racks or other machines.
In order to get the markings placed properly and do it in a safe way, it is often necessary to block access to an area so a ladder or some type of mechanical lift can be safely used. Taking all possible precautions while working in this way is not only important for ensuring the pipes are marked correctly, but also for the safety of the person or people who are doing the actual marking.
4. Use Accurate Information when Marking Pipes
If you are marking pipes in your warehouse, it is important to ensure that the markings have accurate information on them. It isn’t enough, for example, to simply state that a pipe contains water. You need to identify things like whether the water is hot or cold, potable or waste, used for cooling or fire suppression or something else entirely.
This should be an easy process when you use an industrial label printer (which you can find here), since you can design your own label and make sure it has all the information you need on it. The best way to do this is to start with any pipe labeling best practices (as mentioned above) and then go through and make sure any additional information that is required is printed off as well.
In most cases this will only take a few minutes to create a label design and print it. You can then print as many of these labels as you need, depending on the length and size of the pipe that you will be marking.
5. Pipe Marking Placement
The last, but perhaps most important, tip is regarding choosing the proper placement of the label on the pipe. The goal should always be to make the pipe marking readable from anywhere that a person might be. So, if the pipe is up above the ground, the label should likely either be facing down, or there should be two labels, one on each side.
This placement will make it so people can see the label at all times, which is often very important. In the event that there is a pipe that is about eye level, it is a good idea to use multiple labels to ensure it can be seen from any direction. There are even some pipe labels available that will completely wrap the pipe, repeating the information.
This is a great way to ensure people can always see what is contained in the pipe, which direction it is flowing, and any precautions that must be taken. Plan the placement of the labels out before you get up near the pipe, as this will help you to make the right choice.
|Pipe Diameter||Minimum Label Length||Minimum Letter Height|
|3/4″ – 1 1/4″||8″||1/2″|
|3/4″ – 1 1/4″||8″||3/4″|
|3/4″ – 1 1/4″||12″||1 1/4″|
|3/4″ – 1 1/4″||24″||2 1/2″|
|3/4″ – 1 1/4″||32″||3 “|
Importance of Pipe Marking in the Warehouse
The above five tips can help to ensure your pipes are properly labeled, and it is done in a safe and efficient way. None of these tips will help, however, if you don’t make proper pipe marking a priority for your warehouse. While it does take some time and effort to complete this job, it is well worth it in the end.