Industrial Valve Tags
As any building maintenance manager or HVAC engineer knows, it is vital to know exactly the location and purpose of the various plumbing conduits and controls that keep a commercial structure functioning well and safely. And the larger the building, the more vital the task. Nothing is more befuddling to a contractor or plumber than to be confronted with a large, confusing array of pipes and valves that are not all clearly and individually labeled with easy-to-find industrial tags.
Common Abbreviations for HVAC
Industrial Valve Tags Use for HVAC Applications
This immutable fact-of-life is particularly applicable to the HVAC (?Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning?) industry, where an astounding variety of controls and conduit types may come into play. The need extends far beyond just heating, cooling, and ventilating ducts. It also encompasses general plumbing, cold and hot water circulation (both supply and return), fire sprinkler systems, steam under pressure, and much more.
If each one of these conduit-and-control points is not clearly marked?with plumbing tags for pipes and valve tags for valves?then only chaos can ensue. Making sure such industrial tags are in place is not just a matter of convenience or good building management. They are essential to safety as well, in that they can help avoid pipe-related accidents and expensive repairs. And, depending on the jurisdiction, it may be impossible to pass a safety inspection without them.
That?s where we come in. Ketchum Mfg. Co. manufactures (right here in the U.S.A.!) high-quality industrial tags for the HVAC and related industries. Designed to communicate at a glance vital information about the conduits and controls to which they are attached, these circular plumbing valve tags are available in brass or steel, and in either 1? or 1?? diameters. They can be purchased in sets of 25, sequentially numbered; or, with our custom laser engraving, you can include additional identifying information on the tags (such as a logo, special symbols, or specific text).
Browse our selection of commercial steel and brass valve tags here. Or, if you are looking for industrial tags in special shapes or sizes, please let us know.
Industrial Valve Tags Help Protect Property and Save Lives
Cutting costs is all well and good, where justified and appropriate—but not at the expense of worker safety. One of the best and most cost-effective safety investments a company can make is in high-quality and clearly marked industrial valve tags.
Every year, American workers risk exposure to extreme heat, explosive materials, volatile chemicals, and high-voltage electricity running through a variety of pipes, wires, and other conduits in the workplace. Failure of any of those conduits at any point can cause not just costly damage to products, equipment, and structures, but also serious if not fatal injuries to workers.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports something in the vicinity of 15,000 industrial injuries every year—and that’s just from thermal burns alone! You can add to that number the myriad types of electrical burns caused by currents traveling through the body and chemical burns from contact with hazardous chemicals spilled or splashed on the skin or eyes, not to mention related inhalation injuries causing burns to the nasal passages, throat, and esophagus.
One of the primary points of vulnerability in any operation involving the flow of corrosive or extremely hot or cold fluids from one location to another through these conduits is the valves that control that flow. Industrial fluid systems have dozens of valves that control the flow of critical fluids from one part of the system to another. The key to managing these control valves is a logical and unambiguous system of tagging them. Marking the valves with mission-critical information is key to preventing workplace injuries and significant operational downtime.
An extreme example illustrating the result of the failure of valve tags is the 2009 Jaipur fire in India, when over 260,000 gallons of gasoline was released while being transferred from the Indian Oil Corporation’s oil depot to a pipeline, leading to a major explosion and fire. The incident killed 11 people (including two operators), and injured 300 others. The resulting fire burned for 11 days, completely destroying the terminal.
An investigation afterward revealed that an operator had made a mistake in the sequence of opening and closing valves controlling tank filling and tank discharging. If the tagging of valve controls had been clearer, this accident could have been prevented.
Also in 2009 a similar incident occurred at the Caribbean Petroleum Corporation tank farm facility in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, when aerosolized gasoline from an overflowing storage tank exploded as soon as it reached an ignition source, resulting in significant damage on-site and off-site and a fire that raged for over 60 hours before being extinguished. Again, the cause was ultimately determined to be human error due to misunderstood valve controls. If the operator had had the advantage of clear valve tags, the accident may never have occurred.
Emergency room medical logs and insurance reports detail all the human costs of industrial disasters such as these. But how to prevent them? A wide variety of conduits supply steam, compressed gases, volatile liquids, and much more in an industrial facility. The key to controlling the flow of these dangerous substances is, first and foremost, the valves themselves, which fall into several main categories:
- Gate valves
- Ball valves
- Plug valves
- Butterfly valves
Almost as important, however, are the industrial valve tags which clearly indicate their purpose and proper usage—for safety’s sake.