Color Coding Water Lines & Poly B™ Replacement

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Color Coding Water Lines Pipes

Color coding is the process of assigning a particular color to pipes to differentiate the content in them and avoid confusion or mix-up. It is essential to use color coding wherever there is more than one pipe to prevent users from harm.

Although there are different types of pipes used to transport liquid from one point to another. it is crucial to label each pipe and indicate the direction of the movement of the content in it for the convenience of anyone working on it.

Why Color Code Plumbing Lines?

Color coding water lines is highly effective in minimizing cross-contamination of hazards within a sanitary processing facility. Color coding may not have been made a requirement under the law; a company can use color coding to show its commitment to the quality and consistency of their products. Companies that are in the beverage, food processing, pharmaceutical, and dairy products industries use color coding to keep to a high level of safety first for their employees and also to end-consumers.

Waterworks require compliance with certain recommended standards relative to pipe marking. The standard proposes that the name of the liquid or chemical and the direction of the flow be indicated on the pipe labels. However, the standard suggests a comprehensive color coding for the pipes that feed equipment.

Color codes for separating pipes are classified into water lines, chemical lines, and others. In a situation when colors of the pipes in use are incredibly similar. It is suggested that a six-inch band should be used at every 30 inches to assist workers in identifying the content of each pipe.

Color coding water lines is very helpful for employees to identify the contents of pipes easily as well as the hazards they contain. With a comprehensive color code, employees are provided with in-depth information about the danger involved in the content of each pipe. This prepares them for work especially when they, unavoidably, have to work on the pipe. Water line color coding helps workers to move from one facility to another without having to master a new pipe marking system.

Benefits of Color Coding Water Lines

The underlying objective of color coding is to separate and organize for the prevention of confusion and avoidance of hazards. This is a basic standard to prevent disaster. Other benefits of color coding water lines include the following:


Effective communication is essential in any workplace. Also, it is essential that workers are provided with adequate and vital information about their day-to-day operations to help them stay safe. In this regard, information regarding the pipes and their respective colors should be made available in an easy-to-read and consistent manner. Also, color coding should be used for easy and quick identification of contents. Lastly, color coding should complement the company’s chemical hazard communication program.


In any water treatment facilities, workers are usually required to carry out regular maintenance to ensure efficiency at the highest level. To assist workers in carrying out their tasks effectively, color coding water lines should be implemented and communicated to the workers. As a result, workers can move from one task to another without referring to charts, binders, or labels. This enables workers to complete tasks faster and reduce time spent.

Poly B™ Replacement- A Better Approach in Implementing Color Coding

Most people do not care about the kind of pipe used in their home as long as it is working correctly. Also, to carry out color coding effectively, companies may need to change their existing poly B piping.

What is Poly B™ Piping?

Poly B™ is also known as Polybutylene. Poly B™ is the gray plastic pipe most commonly used as a water line used to supply water to homes. This type of pipe is unarguably cheaper than the copper pipes but believed to be great material. Over time, Poly B™ piping was noticed to be leaking behind drywall, which resulted in big issues such as water damage and mold.

If you have had to repair the plumbing in your home, the plumbing contractor may have carried out a poly B replacement to your poly B piping. You would be amazed to learn that some insurance companies will not insure your home if it had poly B piping in it.

Read: Poly B™ Piping Lawsuits and Insurance, and What is Poly B™ Piping?.

One of the downsides of poly B piping is that the pipe may seem to in a perfect condition judging from its outward appearance. However, it may have deteriorated inside and been waiting to rupture anytime without giving any warning signs.

Another problem with poly B piping is its fittings. These fittings are made of plastic. They are vulnerable to cracking and leaking over time. Sometimes, either the pipes are installed incorrectly, or the fittings are too tight causing small cracks and eventual leakage.

Having a plumbing leak? Contact our Emergency Plumbers.

More on Poly B™ Piping and Replacement

Besides, Poly B™ piping also has water pressure issue. If you experience high water pressure in your area, already weakened joints of poly B pipes can rupture anytime. The most significant downside making poly B replacement inevitable is its failure to handle chemicals and hot water effectively. Poly B™ pipes begin to breakdown quickly when used near high heat areas like a hot water tank.

Read: Buying a Home with Poly B™ Piping

Although the life expectancy of Poly B™ pipes before they start to leak is about 10 to 15 years after installation. Poly B™ piping is no longer approved for new plumbing installations. Still have existing poly B piping in your home or company? You’ll need to replace them sooner than later. In the same vein, companies that still have poly B pipes are advised to start poly B replacement as soon as possible and also as a part of a color coding process.

Read: Poly B™ to PEX Piping, Making the Switch

Since the primary purpose of color coding water lines is to separate and organize different pipes carrying diverse content, using poly B piping will not achieve this objective since they cannot adequately handle chemicals and hot water. Consequently, poly B replacement is a prerequisite to implementing color coding. Start with poly B replacement if your facilities have poly B piping installed. Safety and efficiency are the underlying objectives of color coding, but these cannot be achieved with poly B piping.

Urban Piping Poly B™ Replacement Offices…

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