Pipe straps, also called pipe clamps, have several functions. Their main purpose is to secure pipes to a surface and stop them from falling. Straps also help prevent vibration from high water pressure, which is why pipes sometimes become noisy. These sounds will become worse over time, especially when existing straps loosen from the constant barrage of pressure. With that in mind, it's important to keep pipe straps secure and periodically check them to avoid noisy pipes.
Step 1 - Inspection
The first step in installing pipe straps is to find out where the pipes are making noise. You can do this by turning on the water and listening for loud bangs and noises. Once you locate the problem areas, measure out the length of pipe to determine how many straps you will need. It's recommended to install pipe supports every four to six feet, depending on the size of the pipe. You may need to put the supports closer if the water pressure it too high for the recommended spacing.
Step 2 - Find the Right Size
Before you go out and buy pipe straps, you need to measure the pipe diameter to make sure they will fit. Most clamps will fit a range of sizes and are specifically made for certain types of material. The color of the clamp should correspond to the color of the pipe. You also need to consider the type of pipe strap and whether it will work for your system. Some types of clamps, such as saddle clamps, can be screwed directly into place while others clamp around the diameter of the pipe and are suspended from above.
Step 3 - Install
After you've selected the right type of pipe strap, it's time for the install. The installation will vary depending on the type of clamp you select. For saddle clamps, you will need a secure surface in which to screw them in. Studs are ideal for this purpose, though you may need to install additional support materials for proper spacing. You should also use quality screws when installing clamps and ensure they are snug against the surface. Any movement in the pipes can create noise and loosen the clamps over time.
Step 4 - Check Existing Clamps
After you've successfully installed the new straps, it's a good idea to inspect the entire run of pipe for loose fittings. In older homes, you may encounter straps with nails. The nails should be replaced with screws because they are less likely to dislodge under pressure. If you encounter a loose clamp, simply move it over a few inches and screw it into another part of the backing. If the pipe system does not feature straps, it's good practice to install them throughout the home to prevent future problems.
Step 5 - Final Check
Once everything is installed, you should make sure the straps are doing their job. Turn on the water and listen again for any noises. You may need to install additional straps where necessary or consider a larger diameter pipe if the pressure is too high. Pipe straps are fortunately inexpensive, so adding them to your home’s plumbing system will not break the bank.
You can find pipe straps locally or online. When purchasing pipe supports online, make sure you double-check the fit and weight limits of the clamps. Not all pipe straps are created equal, and selecting the right kind for your home will ensure you put an end to those noisy pipes once and for all.