Preparing for Your Pipe Marking Project

Have you been tasked with implementing a pipe labeling system or improving upon your facility’s current system? If so, you have a project ahead of you that might feel daunting for anyone not experienced in pipe labeling.

A pipe-marking project is best tackled with careful planning. If you jump right in and start installing labels in one corner of your facility without considering the rest of your space, you’ll likely run out of the labels you need and spend time asking questions down the road about what certain pipes contain. So before you start, follow these steps to help your pipe-marking project go smoothly.

1. Do Some Research – Learn the Requirements

The ANSI/ASME A13.1 standard for pipe marking is the industry consensus standard, so you should follow its guidelines instead of coming up with your own pipe-marking scheme. Following these guidelines will help you ensure your facility is compliant with safety standards and it will make your life easier in the long run.

Consequently, before you do anything else, investigate this standard and learn what it says about pipe sizes, colors and placement.

2. Do an Inventory – Identify the Right Labels

Next, take what you’ve learned and look at your facility. To determine what kind of labels you need and where you need to put them, you should do an inventory of the pipes in your workplace. You can walk around and do this or you can get out diagrams of your building that show you what pipes contain. Choosing the latter option can make the process a bit easier and eliminate a lot of guesswork. Just make sure you can recognize the corresponding pipes in your actual workplace.

3. Make a List – Include Sizes and Colors

While you’re walking through your facility, make a detailed list of the pipe labels you will need.  Note the location that will need the label, as well as the size and color the label needs to be.

Remember, ANSI/ASME assigns six mains colors for pipe marking and four optional colors. You can use the optional colors at your discretion. Just make sure you use them consistently.

4. Decide Whether to Order Labels or Make Them Yourself

Many companies sell pipe marking labels online. If you go this route, you can select the colors, sizes and text you need and have the labels sent to you. This process is generally simple and it’s often a good option if you don’t need too many labels.

For facilities that do need large quantities of labels, printing the labels on-site could be a cost-effective option. You can purchase an industrial label printer, which will allow you to print labels yourself. By making labels yourself, you can also avoid running out of labels, since you can always go print more.

5. Schedule Time for Installation

Finally, determine whether the installation of pipe marking labels will disrupt operations in any way. If applying labels could get in the way of people doing their regular jobs, consider scheduling the installation for off-hours when fewer people will be in the facility. You can also assemble a team to help you install labels so the project gets done more quickly.

Have more questions about pipe marking? Take a look at this free guide.

Additional Resources