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ANSI & Pipes

What are the ANSI pipe marking guidelines and do we have to follow them?

No, many industries have not followed the ANSI guidelines. But they can still a useful guide to smaller firms, even as they becomes less popular with larger firms. The ANSI pipe marker guidelines define both color codes and sizes.

Material Marker Color
Fire Quenching Materials Red
Materials Inherently Hazardous Yellow
Materials of Inherently Low Hazard, Gas Blue
Materials of Inherent Low Hazard, Liquid Green

Pipe OD Min Pipe OD Max Length of Color Field for Pipe Marker Size of Letter for Legend
0.75" 1.25" 8" 0.5"
1.5" 2" 8" 0.75"
2.5" 6" 12" 1.25"
8" 10" 24" 2.5"
10" -- 32" 3.5"

The problem, unfortunately, is that the modern process plant has become ever more complex and internationally "aware". To most nuclear and large international chemical firms, the traditional ANSI pipe marker designs are both superficial and outdated. Note that OSHA or an ISO 9000 audit team inspects your plant, not ANSI!

The demand, then, to put more and more information on the pipe marker is driven by several new regulations and standards: the EPA Standards for Clean Air, the OSHA Process Chemical Specifications and ISO 9000 programs. Just as OSHA is changing their focus from compliance-oriented standards to performance-oriented standards, plants are changing too. Before, the only question was whether or not your pipes, valves and hazards were labeled at all. Simple, one-word legends were sufficient (enough to "CYA", to put it bluntly). Now, the questions are more complicated: (1) do your employees actually understand potential hazards, (2) do they know how to avoid the hazard, and most importantly (3) do they know what to do in an emergency. Passive, single word pipe markers have been supplanted by those giving more information and integrating into the plant's proactive hazardous communication training.

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