Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to Choose a Pipe Marker

Pipe markers are essential labels for any facility as it provide pipe contents, direction of the flow and potential hazards its contents may bring. However, choosing marking pipes is a crucial step towards achieving an efficient and safe facility. All visible pipes must be properly identified - contents, direction of flow, ownership, additional information if there are special hazards involved, etc. But where do you start? How will you know if you've chosen the right pipe markers? This guide will walk you through all the necessary details you need to learn before making that decision.

 First step to consider in choosing a pipe marker: find out what your needs are.

There are markers made specifically to cater to a particular type of environment. Do you need to label greasy and oily or dry and clean pipe surfaces? Is it for outdoor or indoor use? You might need to take into consideration the following types of pipe markers:

Snap-Around Markers are easy-to install labels ideal for oily, greasy or rough surfaces. They easily snaps into place with no adhesives necessary. Self-Adhesive Markers on other hand can be easily peeled and pressed into place. They are suitable for dry and clean pipes. Both Snap-Around and Self-Adhesive Markers are perfect for indoor and outdoor use.

 For extreme outdoor conditions, High Performance Markers are your best choice. Pre-coiled for easy wrap-around installation, it has overlaminated polyester that provides superior durability enabling it to withstand abrasion & chemicals, high-humidity and harsh environments. They are best suited for dirty, oily, greasy or rough surfaces including stainless steel.

After distinguishing where the pipe markers will be used, you may now proceed to the next step: choosing the right size.

All markers must comply with ASME (ANSI) Standard A13.1-2007. This is the standard for everything pipe marking and labeling related details. They provide a table that recommends proper letter size, length and height of color field for differently sized pipes.

Third step is choosing the right color. Pipe markers are color coded to easily identify the type of material and hazard the pipe is carrying. There are 3 hazard categories for above-ground piping system:

  • High-Hazard Materials - uses black characters on a yellow background
  • Low-Hazard Materials are divided into two color schemes based on physical state:
               a) Liquid materials use white characters on a green background
   b) Gaseous materials use white characters on a blue background
  • Fire Suppression Materials - uses white letters on a red background

After choosing the right size and color, it is now time to choose your pipe wording. There are so many standard legends to choose from depending on what your needs are. Choose the wording that best suits your need. If you want to opt out for customization, there are suppliers that carry out custom wording.

Lastly, set the quantity based on proper label placement. Determine where your pipe markers should be located and at what intervals. ASME (ANSI) A13.1-2007 maintains that markers should be placed at entry points, adjacent to all valves and flanges, both sides of floor, ceiling or wall penetrations, adjacent to changes of piping direction and on intervals (markers on every 50' is acceptable).

Injuries and property damages can be prevented with proper identification hence, it is essential to be armed with the right knowledge on what to consider when choosing the right pipe markers.   

No comments: