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Understanding the New Ammonia Pipe Labeling Requirements

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Discover the new ANSI pipe marking standard and pipe color code for ammonia pipe markers.

If you use ammonia refrigeration piping and system components, it’s crucial that you understand the most recent pipe labeling requirement changes made by the IIAR (International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration).

IIAR updated Bulletin No. 114 Identification of Ammonia Refrigeration Piping and System Components, and perhaps the biggest change is that labels must now be orange, not yellow.

When yellow became the standard for ammonia pipe labels, they matched the A13.1 standard created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Yellow pipe labels were used to identify pipes that contained hazardous materials.

In 2007, ANSI A13.1 was rewritten by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to state that yellow labels were to be used to identify flammable pipe contents. Orange pipe labels were to be used to identify toxic contents, which is more appropriate for ammonia.

The IIAR adopted the use of orange labels for ammonia pipe marking to become more consistent with industry standards. However, you can still use the yellow color scheme if that creates consistency in your facility.

Also according to the IIAR Standard, Ammonia pipe markers must have these five sections:

  1. Marker Body: The body color must be Safety Orange with AMMONIA in black letters on the orange body.
  2. Physical State Section: This would be either LIQUID and VAPOR, with liquid printed in yellow and vapor printed in sky blue.
  3. Pressure Level Section: Pressure must be labeled LOW or HIGH. Pressure in excess of 70 psig is considered high pressure (printed in black letters on a red band), while pressure equal to or less than 70 psig is low pressure (printed in black letters on a green band).
  4. Abbreviation Section: Abbreviation lettering is black on a Safety Orange field. The abbreviation can be an integral part of the pipe marker or it can be applied separately.
  5. Directional Arrow: Directional arrows can be printed on the marker body. It must be black and proportionate in size to the marker.

Seton’s Setmark® and Ultra-Mark® ammonia pipe markers come with directional arrows right on the marker. The Opti-Code™ version does not include arrows, but Seton recommends using Arrows-On-A-Roll tape with these pipe markers.

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