The primary purpose for plumbing tags is to provide simple but effective identification. From marking pipes with information about the substance inside to identifying valves for servicing; there are many applications for plumbing tags.
The most common usage for this type of nameplate is to adequately mark shut-off valves. This enables customers or first responders to quickly identify shut-offs in the event of an emergency.
These tags are also used to identify which liquids flowing through each pipe. This is seen more frequently in plants with chemical or steam filled valves, as not knowing the applicable hazards could lead to injury to workers or damage to equipment.
For safety reasons, pipes and valves which need to be serviced or repaired at a future date can also be marked with a prominent tag. This keeps workers safe and helps inspectors.
In addition to marking for identification, plumbing tags are often used for branding purposes. Since tags will be added anyway, it makes sense for plumbing servicers to use these tags for some promotion. This can be as simple as an organization name and contact phone number, to a fancy design with a logo and QR code. It just depends on the organization.
This also benefits their customers as having an easy to access contact number can be very useful if there are any additional problems with their plumbing.
Some of the most commonly used materials for plumbing tags include:
- Anodized Aluminum
- Stainless Steel
The key factor to consider is the environment in which the nameplates will be used. Since this application may include exposure to water and other fluids, selecting a material which can handle these conditions is crucial.
An all-around solution used by countless industries, embossing produces a raised design in the metal material.
This process is often used for marking pipes and valves, including steam trap valves. While embossing cannot include color designs, many organization use anodized aluminum material which can be colored for coding or branding purposes.
These characters are durable enough to withstand harsh environments, but also highly legible. Even if the nameplate is obstructed by fluids or paint, the numbers and letters will still be readable.
Similarly to embossing, stamping creates indentations in the metal substrate. However, these characters are recessed (instead of raised).
Indented characters are very durable, and easy to read in most environments. This method is also used for marking custom metal cable ties.
Another commonly used process for this application is photo anodization. This process seals a design in between layers of aluminum for a printed appearance, but extreme durability.
Since the design itself is protected by the material, it will not simply scrape off or wear from exposure to water or chemicals. In comparison, a topical screen printed tag will have a very short shelf life if unprotected from similar conditions.
In addition, nearly any design can be added to photo anodized nameplates. This includes custom images, logos, barcodes, and more.
Attaching a flat nameplate to a rounded pipe seems like a challenge. However, there are various methods for making and labeling pipes and valves with plumbing tags.
Adhesive backing is typically applied to plates being attached to equipment or other flat surfaces. If the pipe is large enough or the tag is thin enough to bend slightly, this is a possible means of attaching.
In addition, plumbing tags can be produced as cable ties can be used to easily wrap around pipes and attach to themselves. This is a straightforward solution which doesn’t require any additional hardware.
If you are considering utilizing cable ties for your plumbing application, keep in mind that there are limitations to the amount of information that can be marked on these tags.
Plumbing tags are a versatile tool to mark both pipes and valves for identification and branding. By providing relevant information right at the source, these nameplates have a high level of utility.
For organizations which perform and inspect pipes and valves, plumbing tags are an excellent solution.