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maritime DC & PPE Information Center

Color Codes for Valve Handwheels and Operating Levers


Valve Handwheels and operating levers on valves located within the ship are typically color-coded  for the specific system to help operators quickly isolate and operate portions of the system.  The handwheel color scheme is a very beneficial passive damage control feature because it allows personnel the ability to trace out, isolate and operate systems to control damage spread from pipe ruptures , flooding,  casualty damage.  There are also special cases when handwheels and operating levers are not color-coded.  For example handwheels on gauge valves located on gauge boards are not color-coded.  The most common way to apply the color schemes  is by paint especially when multiple colors are involved.  However the use of plastisol for solid colors is becoming more common.





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