Color Codes for Pipes: The ANSI/ASME Standard

Do you need specific colors for your treatment plant? See what colors and products you should use.

Sometimes colors matter for more reasons than just aesthetics. Applying the proper colors to water and wastewater pipes in treatment plants can help owners and contractors identify the contents of each pipeline and, ultimately, make repairs and maintenance an easier and safer task.

When it comes to water and wastewater treatment, the most commonly used standard for identifying pipelines by color is ANSI/ASME A13.1-2020 Scheme for the Identification of Piping Systems. This standard covers ideal colors, bands, signage and text that should be used to label pipes in both industrial and municipal treatment areas. But how do you know which coatings to use to most closely match these recommendations AND still provide corrosion protection?

The Right Color and Coating

When using the ANSI/ASME standard, it's important to know what paint colors will most closely match those recommended by the scheme, as most coating manufacturers use different color codes to identify their finished products.

For example, pipes carrying raw water should be coated in a brown/green color, and Tnemec recommends 110GN Clover for these pipes. For potable water pipes, they should be coated using a safety blue, or specifically 11SF True Blue/Safety, if using Tnemec products.

It's also important to know which coating material should be used for each pipe in a plant, as the pipe material and condition of the pipes should be considered when choosing the right coating. Since pipes come in a variety of materials – from steel to ductile iron to PVC – and could already be coated or primed, you might need to check compatibility of a coating before it is applied.

Some More Help for Your Pipes

As with any project involving coatings, check with your local coating resource for a little guidance in choosing coatings for your pipelines. For some information about which Tnemec colors you should use in your plant, you can click here to download the Tnemec Color Guide for Water and Wastewater Pipes.

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