Pipe marking : why is it essential?



How to identify the content that circulates in a piping network or its direction of flow? The marking is there to make our job easier!

A simple, but essential, practice to avoid problems.

An incorrectly identified or simply unidentified pipe poses a danger to employees.

In fact, in the event of an emergency and emergency intervention, there should be no room for doubt when it comes to knowing which fluid (gas or liquid) passes through which pipe. Imagine the repercussions of an accident where you cannot act right away because you are not sure what is in your pipes...

Thus, a small simple gesture, such as marking, will significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Because it does not just happen to others!

The identification of piping is regulatedCanadian laws require it in sections and of the National Plumbing Code (1). However, in the event of an infringement, no penalty is provided for...  Yet, as you have understood, all companies should use it.

Indeed, a bad marking complicates the maintenance or renovation work on these pipe networks. This can lead to a waste of time, money and in some cases a faulty engineering design.

In summary, using pipe markers to identify the pipes is essential to:

  • Work safely: They avoid unnecessarily endangering employees, contractors and first responders,
  • Avoid additional costs: They allow you to act quickly and avoid costly mistakes,
  • Save time: They immediately inform employees of the best places to intervene,
  • Improve efficiency: They clearly inform maintenance teams and external contractors,
  • Optimize compliance: By setting up a marking plan, they facilitate compliance with national standards (1), as well as with the recommendations of ISO 20560 (2) and ANSI/ASME A13.1 (3).
Marking makes it possible to quickly identify the content of a pipe thanks to a visual element, in this case the labels. It is therefore important to know how to recognize the different fluids by a color code combined with its name. Colors are important because they facilitate understanding and are universal. The following table illustrates the ANSI/ASME A13.1 pipe color code chart:

If your objective is to carry out a project in a building, marking must be the final step and should in no case be neglected. This is a practice that will ensure the safety of your employees and greatly improve the efficiency of your maintenance teams.

For more details on pipe marking, contact us.

(1) Quebec Construction Code, Chapter III – Plumbing, and National Plumbing Code of Canada 2015 (amended), 1st printing

(2) https://www.iso.org/standard/71570.html

(3) A13.1 - Scheme for the Identification of Piping Systems - ASM

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