Valve marking is essential for accident and injury prevention. These markings help identify if the pipe contents are hazardous or non-hazardous and convey other important information such as pressure, identifier, etc., thus, indicating whether any special precautions are necessary.
Additionally, valves used in different applications and settings such as industrial, commercial, and residential are usually governed by various regulatory agencies that may mandate the use of tags. These agencies include ISO, ANSI, NFPA, and more and have specific standards to ensure valve-related safety.
A valve tag is any type of tag attached to a valve for identification and/or to convey safety information. These tags are usually attached towards the end of a pipe and may be made of paper, plastic, metal, or wood, depending on the application and environment. Valve tags can be of different colors and sizes and may just contain a number, a few words, or even sizable information.
At their most basic, tags serve to identify valves, which is especially important where there are many valves in a setting. These provide crucial information about pipe contents, operations, safety instructions, maintenance requirements, and more at the point of need.
Valve tags facilitate easy identification of valves for requirements such as maintenance, repairs, and validation. A single valve may also need multiple tags on its body, at the bottom, and so on for the sole purpose of identification. This ensures easy and efficient communication sans ambiguity and enables workers to locate the device quickly.
Valve tag types depend on the kind of valve they are used with and can be quite a few in number. Plumbing valve tags help the maintenance team identify the location where an issue must be fixed and provide resolution as quickly as possible. Chemical valve tags are essential for worker and facility safety and may prove crucial to preventing accidental leaks, contamination, and wastage.
Tags like lockout tags fall under the safety tag category and are used when turning off an equipment’s electricity or any other supply source while the equipment is being worked upon. Temperature-related valve tags are used where valves control pipes carrying extremely hot substances. This is crucial to prevent accidental burns and injuries that can often prove to be rather severe. Water valve tags and pipe labels indicate whether the water is potable or not and help prevent wastage, illness, and other potentially unpleasant issues.
Valve tags made of tough plastic are usually an efficient and more cost-effective way of marking valves than metal valve tags. Plastic valve tags can withstand elements such as water, oil and grease, most chemicals, and a fair range of temperature. These are available in different shapes and colors, hence, are more versatile and suitable for a variety of applications. Additionally, it is easier to customize plastic tags and these are mostly reusable.
Valve tags are available in a variety of materials to suit different settings and requirements. In addition to the rather versatile, durable, and budget-friendly plastic tags, metal valve tags are also worth exploring. These can be engraved or embossed and make for a sturdy, long-lasting option. You may opt for stainless steel valve tags that promise good resistance to most environmental elements and do not rust or corrode.
There are aluminum valve tags, which are lightweight, can withstand low temperatures rather well, and promise excellent durability. When anodized, aluminum valve tags can brave heat to a great extent. Another popular option is brass valve tags. These are strong enough to withstand high temperatures, can be made harder or softer, and are corrosion-resistant.