Written by Steve Hudgik
Labels on pipes and valves provide critical information during an emergency situation. They inform staff, vendors, contractors, customers, and emergency response teams about the contents of the pipe, the hazard it poses, and the direction of flow through the pipe.
Pipe markers also help to improve productivity and safety during normal operations. They help ensure the proper lines are isolated for maintenance and the correct valves are closed. They greatly reduce the response time for shutting down a pipe by eliminating confusion.
Pipe marking standards are provided by both the ASME and ANSI Code. Both organizations have published the same code and both have numbered it A13.1. In addition, other pipe marking codes may apply for specialized applications. For example the IIAR (International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration) publishes the code for marking ammonia pipes used in refrigeration systems. The EN/DIN pipe marker standards are used in Europe. Although similar to the ANSI/ASME code, the EN/DIN standards call for slightly more detailed pipe marking.
Currently the codes do not require RTK information on pipe markers. However, it is generally a good safety practice to include RTK information anywhere someone may be exposed to hazardous materials. Pipes may leak, valves may not be fully closed, or accidents may expose workers to pipe contents. Having pipes marked with RTK information, although not required, is a good safety practice.
The ANSI A13.1 code is the most commonly known code for pipe marking. But it is not the only code. There are many other pipe marking applications and codes that cover them. In addition to labeling pipes, the pipe marking codes typically also cover valves.
Ammonia Pipe Markers (IIAR) - This standard is published by the International Institute For Ammonia Refrigeration. It applies to ammonia pipes used in cooling and refrigeration systems. This standard has also been adopted by some facilities for ammonia pipes used for other applications.
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