ANSI Pipe Labeling and Marking Standards

What are OSHA's requirements related to ANSI Pipe Marking Standards?

Pipe labeling marking standards are not specifically outlined or defined by OSHA, but standard number 1910.261(a)(3)(i) notes the ASME's (ANSI) standard A13.1 as the recommended scheme for identification of pipe systems.

The ASME Standard for Pipe Identification is a widely used guideline in determining pipe identification requirements. The ASME A13.1-2007 editorial notes indicate that, "A13.1 is intended to establish a common system to assist in identification of hazardous materials conveyed in piping systems and their hazards when released in the environment."

It goes on to identify that this scheme provides pipe system identification recommendations for industrial workplaces, power plants, commercial and institutional installations, and buildings used for public assembly.
Editorial Note Source and A13.1-2007 Guide Purchase Information:

Brady Pipe Marking Color Guide

Brady Pipe Marking Color and Size Guide

Download a printer-friendly pipe marking color and size guide for the ANSI standard A13.1.

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ANSI Pipe Marking Standard Details

Pipe Marker Color and Classification Scheme

Label Color Text Color Color Pipe Contents
Red White Fire-quenching fluids
Orange Black Toxic and corrosive fluids
Yellow Black Flammable fluids
Brown White Combustible fluids
Green White Potable, cooling, boiler feed and other water
Blue White Compressed air
White Defined by user
White Black Defined by user
For examples with different legend text and color combinations, download our pipe marking guide to the ANSI standard A13.1.

Pipe Marker Visibility and Size Requirements

The ANSI standard A13.1 states that, "Markers shall be located so that they are readily visible to plant personnel from the point of normal approach." They need to instantly tell you all you need to know about pipe contents, direction of flow, and whether the contents are hazardous or safe.
Outside Diameter of Pipe or Covering Length of Color Field Letter Height
3/4" - 1 1/4" (19-32mm) 5" (127mm) 1/2" (13mm)
1 1/2" - 2" (38-51mm) 8" (203mm) 3/4" (19mm)
2 1/2" - 6" (64-152mm) 12" (304mm) 1 1/4" (32mm)
8" - 10" (203-254mm) 24" (609mm) 2 1/2" (64mm)
10" (254mm) or bigger 32" (812mm) 3 1/2" (89mm)

What if your pipe or covering outside diameter is less than 3/4 inch or 19 mm?

In cases where it is difficult to label a pipe or covering due to size, we advise using durable and long-lasting valve tags in place of pipe labels or markers.

Pipe Marker Placement

Now that we know what our pipe labels need to look like and how big they need to be, we need to understand where they go.

Brady Recommendations for Pipe Marker Placement

Marking Valves and Flanges
Mark pipes adjacent to all valves
and flanges
Marking Pipes Through Floors or Walls
Mark pipes at both sides of floor
or wall penetrations
Marking Pipe Direction Changes
Mark pipes in locations adjacent to
change in direction
Marking Pipe Intervals
Mark pipes every 25 to 50 foot intervals
on straight runs

Pipe Marking Products

Pipe Markers and Valve Tags

Pipe markers
Shop for pre-printed pipe markers including: vinyl labels, wrap-around markers, arrow banding tape, roll-form markers, and more. Additionally, valve tags are available in a various colors and materials.
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Pipe Marking Label Printers

BMP71 Label Printer

BMP71 Portable Label Printer

The BMP71 Label Printer is ideal for printing pipe markers on the spot. With label widths printable up to two inches on continuous tapes, you may print pipe markers for pipes with a diameter up to 6" wide.
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BBP31 Label Printer

BBP31 Label Printer

The BBP31 Label Printer is a desktop label printer alternative that is a cost-effective option for printing higher volumes of pipe markers, big or small. With the ability to print vinyl pipe markers for pipes up to 10 inches in diameter and bigger, this printer can help you cover all your pipe marking needs.
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Pipe Marking Label Printer Software

Pipe Marking Label Printer Software

Brady Workstation Application

The Brady Workstation Application is a well-rounded label printing software, designed to handle printing jobs for many different kinds of facility identification, including pipe marking. With Brady Workstation you can simply install different applications based on the type of print jobs you have, giving you the option to print many different types of pipe markers with your Brady desktop printer.
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