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P&IDs (Piping & Instrumentation


Diagrams) and P&ID Valve Symbol
Library
Published on May 5, 2019

A piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) is a graphic representation of a process


system that includes the piping, vessels, control valves, instrumentation, and other process
components and equipment in the system. The P&ID is the primary schematic drawing used
for laying out a process control system’s installation. As such, the P&ID is crucial in all
stages of process system development and operation.

Contents and function

A piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID) is defined by the Institute of Instrumentation


and Control as follows:

1. A diagram which shows the interconnection of process equipment and the


instrumentation used to control the process. In the process industry, a standard set of
symbols is used to prepare drawings of processes. The instrument symbolsMessaging
used in these

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They usually contain the following information:

Mechanical equipment, including:

Pressure vessels, columns, tanks, pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, furnaces,


wellheads, fans, cooling towers, turbo-expanders, pig traps (see 'symbols' below)

Bursting discs, restriction orifices, strainers and filters, steam traps, moisture traps,
sight-glasses, silencers, flares and vents, flame arrestors, vortex breakers, eductors

Process piping, sizes and identification, including:

Pipe classes and piping line numbers

Flow directions

Interconnections references

Permanent start-up, flush and bypass lines

Pipelines and flowlines

Blinds and spectacle blinds

Insulation and heat tracing

Process control instrumentation and designation (names, numbers, unique tag


identifiers), including:

Valves and their types and identifications (e.g. isolation, shutoff, relief and safety valves,
valve interlocks)

Control inputs and outputs (sensors and final elements, interlocks)

Miscellaneous - vents, drains, flanges, special fittings, sampling lines, reducers and
swages

Interfaces for class changes

Computer control system

Identification of components and subsystems delivered by others

P&IDs are originally drawn up at the design stage from a combination of process flow sheet
data, the mechanical process equipment design, and the instrumentation engineering design.
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control schemes, allowing for further safety and operational investigations, such as a Hazard
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operability (HAZOP). To do this, it is critical to demonstrate the physical
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P&IDs also play a significant role in the maintenance and modification of the process after
initial build. Modifications are red-penned onto the diagrams and are vital records of the
current plant design.

They are also vital in enabling development of;

Control and shutdown schemes

Safety and regulatory requirements

Start-up sequences

Operational understanding.

P&IDs form the basis for the live mimic diagrams displayed on graphical user interfaces of
large industrial control systems such as SCADA and distributed control systems.

Phases of Use for P&IDs:

Design and layout of process system

Component specification

Development of control system schemes

Safety and operational analysis (HAZOP – hazard and operability study)

Installation and/or build-out of the system

Startup, shutdown, and operating schemes and procedures

Employee training of process system operation

Maintenance and modification to the system

P&IDs also are used as the basis for the live graphic representation of a process system in its
HMI (human-machine interface) or other control system.

Symbols Used in P&IDs

There are standard symbols used to represent the components in these diagrams. It is
important to note that these symbols are NOT to scale and are NOT dimensionally accurate.
They are merely used to represent a certain type of component. These symbols are also
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they are representing. Another important consideration is that the diagrams do NOT always
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Valve Symbols for P&IDs

The generic symbol for a 2-way valve is two triangles pointing to each other with the tips of
the inner points touching. The pipe lines are represented by lines connecting to each side of
the valve symbol. Various types of lines are used to represent different pipes, tubes, and
hoses. These examples use single solid lines which represent simple rigid pipes or tubing.
Typically all pipes will run either vertically or horizontally and use only right angles. The
direction of flow is indicated by an arrowhead at the end of the line where it meets the next
component as well as at every 90 degree turn.

No alt text provided for this image

Type of Valve

The type of valve is represented by adding a shape to the center where the points touch.
Shown here are P&ID symbols for the most common valve types.

No alt text provided for this image

All of the valves represented above are 2-way inline valves that are used for flow control,
either on/off or throttling. For Multi-port valves, such as 3-way and 4-way, the structure of
the symbol is similar, having a triangle to represent each port or “way”.

No alt text provided for this image

3-way and 4-way ball valves can contain additional detail that defines the type of ball
drilling which is either a “T” or “L” port ball. Another detail that may be represented in the
diagram is the flow path in the non-actuated or de-energized state. This is shown using small
arrows next to the symbol as shown below.

No alt text provided for this image

There are a multitude of other valve types as well. Here are some of them.

No alt text provided for this image

Type of Actuator

The method of actuation is defined by a line coming up from the center of the valve with a
small symbol, many times containing a letter, at the top of the line. Here are some examples
of ball valves with different methods of actuation.
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When
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articles it is represented by an arrow on the line between
the valve and actuator. Another method used to represent the fail position is with two letters
“FO” or “FC”.

No alt text provided for this image

End Connections

End connections can be represented generically with the lines representing the pipes going
directly into the valve as in all of the examples above. Connections may also be explicitly
defined using various other methods. Flanged connections are represented as shown below –
where the pipes have perpendicular lines at their ends that run parallel to the sides of the
valve symbol with a small space between them. This illustrates that the valve can be
removed without cutting the pipe. Semi-permanent threaded connections are shown with
small hollow circles at the connection point. Permanent welded connections are represented
with small squares instead. If the connection is socket weld, the square is hollow or un-
filled.

No alt text provided for this image

Standardization

The International Society of Automation (ISA: www.isa.org) has defined a standard for
P&IDs. The standard is ANSI/ISA-5.1-2009 and is available on the ISA website.

Despite the fact that there is a strict set of standards defined for these symbols, you will find
various ways of representing certain valves. You will also find that there are blatant
discrepancies between some valve types across various libraries, industries, and companies.
This issue is not that problematic since all components are also described by text, a part
number (unique model), a tag number (specific component in the system), and are defined in
detail in a key or legend that goes along with the drawing. As long as you remain consistent
throughout your drawings, the P&ID diagram will be acceptable and understandable by all
who work with it.

Pipes, Tubes, & Hoses (process lines):

The process lines are the lines where the process media actually flows through. They are
represented by different types of lines. On a complete P&ID each line will be labeled wit h a
line number. For Example: 150-67P00-2299-115101-N. This label will either run parallel
with the line, or with a callout line pointing to the line being defined if it does not fit on the
line itself. The label will include information about the size, class, insulation, and more.
Different companies use different structures for these numbers, but they all contain the same
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pneumatic, or data signals.
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No alt text provided for this image

There are 2 methods to illustrate when pipes cross on drawings but are NOT physically
connected. Either use a small “hump” to show one going “over” the other, or break one of
the lines very near the other to show it going under it. This is NOT a physical representation
of the actual pipes. In fact, they may not even cross in the actual system. It is merely a
method to keep the lines separate when they must cross in the drawing.

No alt text provided for this image

Communication/Signal Lines:

Process control systems use various types of signals to communicate information between
components, instruments, and the control system computers. Each type of signal has its own
line type to explicitly identify the type of signal that travels along it.

Various Signal Symbols

No alt text provided for this image

Other Common P&ID Symbols for Major Process Components:

Vessels

No alt text provided for this image

Pumps, Fans, & Compressors

No alt text provided for this image

The list goes on and on… There are literally hundreds of symbols that represent all
components used in process control systems. Heat exchangers, coolers, boilers, filters,
etc.etc. We have created a library of P&ID symbols that includes the most common
components used in piping and instrumentation diagrams.

Instrumentation (sensors, transmitters, meters, etc.)

Instrumentation refers to devices that sense, measure, indicate, transmit, and/or record
physical properties within a system. For these types of components, there is a slightly
different approach. The components are represented by what is called a “bubble.” The
bubble is a simple circle, square, or hexagonal shape.
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Square bubbles represent shared display. A shared device either displays information from Try Premium Free
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multiple instruments, controls multiple instruments, or both. Inside the square will be either
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No alt text provided for this image A circle represents that it is the primary choice or
“Basic Process Control System.”

No alt text provided for this image Hexagonal bubbles represent computer systems.

No alt text provided for this image A diamond represents that it is the alternate choice
or “Safety Instrumented System.”

No alt text provided for this image Circular bubbles represent discrete
instruments.This type of bubble is also used to define the function of final control elements
such as valves. This is done with a callout line pointing to the symbol for the control
element. The letters and numbers inside the bubble are described below.

All of these bubble types are further defined by a horizontal line, lines, or lack there of.
These lines define where the instrument is located and whether or not it is accessible to the
operator.

No alt text provided for this image No Line means that the device and/or its display are
physically located in the field and if it has a display it is only readable locally.

No alt text provided for this image A Solid Line means that the display is located on a
main control panel or video display and is normally accessible to the operator.

No alt text provided for this image A Dashed Line means that the display is NOT
normally accessible to the operator.

No alt text provided for this image A Double Solid Line means that the display is
located on a secondary or local control panel that is normally accessible to the operator

No alt text provided for this image A Double Dashed Line means that the display is
located in a secondary control panel and is NOT normally accessible to the operator.

Tag Numbers

Inside of the shape there are letters and numbers used to designate the property being
measured (such as flow rate, pressure, temperature, or level) and the function performed
with that measurement. Typical functions are: display, record, transmit, and control. Below
are a few samples, along with a chart of letters and what they represent for the most
common instrumentation components.

These instruments are identified by up to five letters: (2 minimum)


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1st letter is the property being measured: Try Premium Free
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rate, P = pressure, T = temperature, L = level
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2nd letter is a modifier:

D = differential, F = ratio. simply omit if no modifiers apply

3rd indicates passive/readout function:

A = alarm, R = record, I = indicator, G = gauge

4th – active/output function:

C = controller, T = transmit, S = switch, V = valve

5th is the function modifier:

H = high, L = low, O = open, C = closed. simply omit if no modifiers apply

This is followed by loop number, which is unique to that loop. For instance FIC045 means it
is the Flow Indicating Controller in control loop 045. This is also known as the “tag”
identifier of the field device, which is normally given to the location and function of the
instrument. The same loop may have FT045 – which is the Flow Transmitter in the same
loop. Below are some examples of complete symbols for a few instruments in the same loop.

No alt text provided for this image

More information available at


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piping_and_instrumentation_diagram#Identificatio
n_and_reference_designation

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