How do I calculate how many pipe labels I will need?

When adding labels to your pipes it can be difficult to estimate how many of each type of label you will need. Understanding the requirements of where the labels need to go is a great start. From there, you can get a good idea of how many labels will be necessary.

For many companies, however, it makes sense to buy extra labels so they can be replaced should they become damaged. It is also nice to have extras in case addition piping is needed in the future. Another alternative to having to know exactly how many labels are needed is to have an industrial label maker on site. This way you can print off pipe labels (or any other labels) as they are needed. For facilities that still want to be able to calculate how many pipe labels are needed, the following information will be helpful.

Distance Between Labels

The main thing that you will need to know when calculating how many labels you need is going to be the distance of your pipes. For most types of pipes, it is recommended that you have labels every 25-50’’ so that they can always be seen. Larger pipes with larger labels can be closer to the 50’ distance, and smaller pipes with smaller labels should be 25’ or even fewer. Of course, the most important thing is going to be to make sur that the pipe labels re able to be read by those who are working on or around the pipes regardless of the distance between the labels.

Additional Locations where Labels are Needed

In addition to just placing labels every set number of feet, you will also need to place them in other strategic locations. According to ANSI/AMSE recommendations (which is what OSHA relies on for their standards), you will also need to put labels in the following places:

  • Walls & Floors – Anytime a pipe passes through a wall or floor, there should be a label put on both sides of the obstruction.
  • Changes in Direction – When a pipe changes direction, labels should be applied on both sides of the curve.
  • Flanges & Valves – Flanges, valves, and other parts of piping that can block someone’s view should also have labels placed on either side so maximize visibility.

Consider Using a Label Calculator

Once you have the information about your facilities piping, the easiest way to determine how many labels of each type are needed is to use a pipe label calculator. This will not only help to say how many are needed but can also identify the design and colors that are required based on what is being transported in the pipes for your facility.


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