Types of Pipe Supports
For pipes to stay where they are installed, they are usually connected to support systems that keep them in place. Pipes can be supported from below using brace supports, from above using pipe hangers and, for pipes running up and down, with clamps that adhere them to the wall. There are many different types of pipe supports in these categories.
Because most above-ground pipes in residential and commercial buildings are installed overhead, pipe hangers are the most common form of pipe supports. These come in numerous styles; the most common types are strap-style, hook-style, channel-style and clamp-style. Strap-style pipe hangers are made of a thin, flexible piece of metal or other material that wraps around the pipe and is then attached to the ceiling. Hook-style pipe hangers are made into a J-shape, the longer end of which is attached to the ceiling; the pipe rests on the hook. Channel-style pipe hangers are very wide J-hooks and can help conceal the pipe as it supports it.
Pipes that rest against the ground typically rest on risers that help keep them secure to the ground. Pipe anchors are rises that rigidly restrict any vertical movement caused by the pipe's internal flow or external forces. Shock-absorbing pipe supports allow some movement by the pipe but swallow any vibrations or excess movement; they are good for pipes that move a great deal as a result of high-feed or inconsistent flow. Insulated pipe supports minimize energy dissipation and reduce the effects of differing temperatures that occur at the support.
There are a number of different pipe clamps that can be used to attach vertical pipes to walls. Saddle clamps use top and bottom plates that are secured by bolts and are designed to absorb vibration and heat from high-pressure feed. Gang clamps are made of an angled piece of strong metal, the ends of which are bolted to the wall. They are useful for attaching several pipes within close proximity of each other because of their minimal use of space. Strap-style pipe hangers can also be used to attach vertical pipes to the wall in the same way they can be used in overhead areas.
General Pipe Clamps
There are also hundreds of different types of pipe clamps that can be used to adhere pipes to other objects. These pipe clamps typically use some kind of bolt mechanism; they may support the pipe by attaching to themselves or they may be bolted to a wall or elsewhere.