Written by Steve Hudgik
Pipes must be color coded. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.144 requires color coding of physical hazards and OSHA references ANSI A13.1 for marking of all other types of piping.
In most cases the ANSI A13.1 pipe color code applies. Exceptions to this include:
Ammonia Pipes Used In Refrigeration Systems – use the IIAR piping color code
Medical Gas Pipes – use the CGA piping color code
Marine Pipes – use the ISO14726-1 piping color code for pipes on ships
Commercial buildings, apartment buildings, schools and offices present some additional piping color coding challenges. Fluids, such as water, have a wide variety of uses and the many different types of water pipes need to be identified. In some cases local jurisdictions or contractors have marked each type of water pipe using a different color. The problem is this results in a proliferation of non-standard colors, which may cause confusion.
The ANSI A13.1 piping color code applies to commercial buildings, apartment buildings, schools and offices, and is the pipe color code standard that should be used. An additional color band can be added to provide more detailed information about the pipe contents. Graphic Products has compiled a consensus standard that provides the piping color code banding colors most frequently used in these types of buildings.
Should pipe color coding be done by painting pipes or should color coded labels be used?
Labels cost considerably less than painting and require essentially no maintenance. And consider that even if you color code your pipes by painting them, you still must apply labels to identify the contents and direction of flow. That means zero savings on labeling plus the additional cost to paint.
A crucial criteria is to have labels that require no maintenance. That's why it is important to use pipe marking labels made using DuraLabel printers and supplies. DuraLabel supplies are the only Tough Tested pipe marking supplies, and DuraLabel vinyl is THE ONLY vinyl that comes with a warranty on the labels you make. That type of warranty is unheard of, and is only possible because DuraLabel Tough Tested vinyl has proven itself as making the most durable, long-lasting labels and pipe markers in the industry.
When you are thinking about piping color codes, think DuraLabel. It's the standard everyone else is trying to meet. Call 1-888-326-9244. today and ask about the special DuraLabel Pipe Marking kits. You'll be glad you did.
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