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Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) Symbols

A piping and instrumentation diagram/drawing (P&ID) is defined as a diagram or a set of standard symbols  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 symbols used in these drawings are generally based on International Society of Automation (ISA) Standard S5. 1. The P&ID is the primary schematic drawing used for laying out a process control installation.

During maintenance and/or modifications of the process that P&ID that describes, what that diagram does is important as it demonstrate the actual and physical order of devices, equipment, and systems as well as their connectivity which could include either through mechanical link, data or software, electrical, pneumatic signal, hydraulic signal, electromagnetic and others. The diagram provides the basis for the progress and development of system control scheme during the design and construction phase, thus allowing further safety and operational investigations.

A P&ID should include:

  • Instrumentation and designations
  • Mechanical equipment with names and numbers
  • All valves and their identifications
  • Process piping, sizes and identification
  • Miscellaneous - vents, drains, special fittings, sampling lines, reducers, increasers and swagers
  • Permanent start-up and flush lines
  • Flow directions
  • Interconnections references
  • Control inputs and outputs, interlocks
  • Interfaces for class changes
  • Seismic category
  • Quality level
  • Annunciation inputs
  • Computer control system input
  • Vendor and contractor interfaces
  • Identification of components and subsystems delivered by others
  • Intended physical sequence of the equipment
A P&ID should not include:
  • Instrument root valves
  • control relays
  • manual switches
  • equipment rating or capacity
  • primary instrument tubing and valves
  • pressure temperature and flow data
  • elbow, tees and similar standard fittings
  • extensive explanatory notes


Refer to the drawings below for the various basic symbology of piping and instrumentation diagram commonly used.


P&ID Instruments 1
P&ID Instruments 1
P&ID Instruments 1
P&ID Instruments 1
Valve Operators
P&ID Instruments 1
flow elements




Comments (3)Add Comment
Amazing information on Piping and instrumentation information
written by Ankit Chugh, November 22, 2012
You have indeed written a great article summarizing details very well. Even i have writeen a similar article long time back. I hope you'll like reading and enjoy it -
Lucidchart has a P&ID diagramming software program free for ChemE students
written by Lucidchart, May 31, 2013
written by Karren Barlow, March 20, 2014
Thanks for the info! I have also found a P&ID Tutorial (Piping and Instrumentation Diagram) that is very simple and user friendly!

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