Supporting Pipe – Rules and Spacing

Using Pipe Hangers and Supports

Pipe hanger - clevis typeAll piping in a plumbing system must be supported using various pipe hangers, clamps, brackets or other supports that are capable of keeping the pipe; and it contents, from unwanted movement. Without proper support for pipes, some or all of the following adverse effects may cause problems with your plumbing systems:

  • Pipe sag - ABS and PVC pipe are especially susceptible to sagging from heat and even under it's own weight if improperly supported. Sagging can cause blockages and improper venting within the system.
  • Mechanical failure - Improperly supported pipe causes extra strain on joints that can lead to breakages.
  • Thrust - A properly supported pipe will limit the effects of thrust, this will extend the piping's longevity and limit noise from vibration.
  • Expansion - Every type of pipe will expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, using the right hangers and supports to accommodate these changes will protect the piping from damage.

Rules for pipe supports

Pipe hanger used on copper or brass pipe should be made of the same material or protected from the effects of galvanic corrosion by using an insulating material. (EX- A steel hanger will eventually corrode through a copper pipe.)

Piping, fixtures, tanks and equipment are to be supported independent of each other. (EX- You can't hang a pipe from another pipe.)

When supporting plastic pipes, care must be taken not to compress or damage the pipe.

Expansion type inserts or built in hanger supports are to be use when supporting pipe from concrete.

Pipe hanger spacing

Vertical pipe is supported at it's base and at alternating floors to a maximum spacing of 7.5 meters

Horizontal pipe and tubing is supported at intervals along its length depending on the material and pipe size. Some of the most common plumbing pipes require the following maximum spacing between hangers and supports:(may be different for your local code)

ABS / PVC pipe spacer 1.2 Meters (4 feet)
PEX spacer 0.8 Meters (31 inches)
PEX (aluminum barrier) spacer 1 meter (39 inches)
Copper/brass pipe over 1"
(hard temper)
spacer 3 Meters (9.5 feet)
Copper/brass 1" and under
(hard temper)
spacer 2.5 Meters (8 feet)
Copper tube (soft temper) spacer 2.5 Meters (8 feet)
CPVC spacer 1 meter (39 inches)
Cast iron spacer 3 Meters (9.5 feet) and at each joint
Steel / Galvanized pipe spacer 2.5 Meters (8 feet)