Color Code Your Pipes

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On April 21, 2015, Posted by , In Tip Of The Week, With 2 Comments

Correctly labeling your equipment is very important and will save you more headaches than you can imagine. One of the easiest ways to stay organized is to color-code your pipes (and repaint them if they’ve faded or aren’t consistent). Chief engineers and Resident Managers tell me about the importance of this all the time, so for this week’s tip, I’ll share some of their insights and our own tips for how to label and paint your equipment.

What color should I paint my pipes?

It’s best to stick with standards for painting and labeling your equipment. The most recent ANSI/ASME (American National Standards Institute/American Society of Testing and Materials) standard requires the following:

  • Fire quenching fluids – Red with white letters
  • Toxic and corrosive fluids – Orange with black letters
  • Flammable fluids – Yellow with black letters
  • Combustible fluids – Brown with white letters
  • Potable, cooling, boiler feed, and other water – Green with white letters
  • Compressed air – Blue with white letters

Why painting your pipes matters:

Painting your pipes yourself has benefits of its own. One LogCheck user insists that operators paint their own pipes from beginning to end to make sure they understand exactly where each one goes. Though this may seem like busy work, it gives you a great view into your facility from a different perspective and can ultimately make it easier to uncover issues in the future.

If your facility is part of a portfolio, it’s also helpful to maintain consistency between other buildings. Another LogCheck user requires consistent painting across their portfolio so that operators can cover shifts at other buildings and still know what they’re looking at.

Generally though, color-coded pipes simply keep you organized. Make every pipe’s role in your system instantly apparent, and you’re bound to understand your facility better.

2 Comments so far:

  1. Rob LeCompte says:

    What color to paint electric piping

    • Bradley Short says:

      It depends on who you ask, but we usually just see unpainted galvanized conduit. You’re more likely to need to access electrical lines than you would with a fluid pipe like water or air, so we recommend leaving it unpainted.

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