Tubing and Piping Support

 

Image Courtesy of Eaton SNAP ‘N SHIELD

Piping support is covered in Section 305 of the IMC (International Mechanical Code). Once again, the IMC isn't binding, but it is what most local codes are based on.

Piping / Tubing MaterialMaximum Horizontal Distance Between SupportMaximum Vertical Distance Between Support
Copper Tubing 1 1/4″ & Smaller 6′ 10′
Copper Tubing 1 1/2″ & Larger 10′ 10′
PVC Pipe 4′ 10′
CPVC 1″ & Smaller 3′ 10′
CPVC 1 1/4″ & Larger 4′ 10′
Pex Tubing 32″ 10′

 

You will notice pretty quickly that 10′ is the vertical support distance in all of these common conditions. When supporting horizontally, it's also important to use supports that won't compress insulation on insulated suction lines and drain lines.

Nowadays, there are really nice saddles for insulated lines like the B-line Snap ‘n Shield supports shown above. We recently re-insulated a large grocery store with overhead copper and replaced the existing supports with these to eliminate condensation.

—Bryan

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