When it comes to plumbing projects, having the right tools and materials is crucial. Among the various items in a plumber’s arsenal, one often overlooked yet invaluable asset is a plumber’s strapping. This versatile solution is an essential component in securing and supporting plumbing pipes, fixtures, and other equipment. In this article, we will explore the world of plumber’s strapping, its uses, benefits, and why it should be a staple in every plumber’s toolkit.
What is a Plumber’s Strapping?
A plumber’s strapping, also known as plumber’s tape or hanger tape, is a flexible metal strip made of galvanized steel or stainless steel. It typically comes in rolls or coils of varying lengths and widths. The strapping is designed to provide stability and support to plumbing installations by securing pipes, valves, conduit, and other plumbing components to walls, ceilings, or other structural surfaces.
Uses and Applications of Plumber’s Strapping
One of the primary uses of plumber’s strapping is to support and secure plumbing pipes. Whether it’s water supply lines, drainage pipes, or gas lines, plumber’s strapping can be used to fasten them to walls, joists, or other support structures. By preventing excessive movement or sagging, strapping helps maintain the integrity of the plumbing system over time.
Plumber’s strapping is also an excellent tool for mounting fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. It provides a secure attachment point, preventing shifting or wobbling that could lead to leaks or other issues. By using strapping to secure fixtures, plumbers can ensure stability and prolong the lifespan of the installation.
Beyond plumbing applications, plumber’s strapping can be used to secure electrical conduit, providing a neat and organized solution for routing electrical wires. It helps protect the wires from potential damage while keeping them securely in place.
How to Use Plumber’s Strapping?
Using a plumber’s strapping is a relatively straightforward process that requires a few basic tools and techniques. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use plumber’s strapping effectively:
Gather the necessary tools and materials:
- Plumber’s strapping: Choose a roll or coil of plumber’s strapping made of galvanized steel or stainless steel.
- Cutting tool: Use snips or metal-cutting tools to cut the strapping to the desired length.
- Fasteners: Depending on the surface you’re attaching the strapping to, you’ll need appropriate hardware such as screws, nails, or pipe clips.
- Measuring tape: Use a measuring tape to determine the required length of the strapping.
Measure and cut the strapping:
- Measure the length of the area where you need to secure the pipe or fixture.
- Using the measuring tape as a guide, mark the desired length on the strapping.
- Use snips or metal-cutting tools to cut the strapping to the appropriate length.
Position the strapping:
- Determine the location where you want to secure the pipe, fixture, or conduit.
- Hold the strapping against the surface, ensuring it aligns with the desired position.
Fasten the strapping:
- Use appropriate fasteners to secure the strapping to the surface. The choice of fasteners will depend on the material of the surface (e.g., wood, drywall, concrete) and the weight of the object you’re attaching.
- For wooden surfaces, use screws or nails to secure the strapping. Pre-drill holes if necessary.
- For other surfaces, such as concrete or metal, consider using anchor bolts, concrete screws, or specialized pipe clips designed for those materials.
- Space the fasteners along the length of the strapping, ensuring a secure attachment. The spacing will depend on the weight and size of the object being supported.
Secure the pipe or fixture:
- Once the strapping is securely attached to the surface, position the pipe, fixture, or conduit within the strapping.
- Use additional fasteners, such as pipe clamps or hangers, to secure the object to the strapping if needed.
- Ensure that the pipe or fixture is properly aligned and level before tightening any additional fasteners.
Repeat for additional support:
- If necessary, repeat the process for additional sections of the pipe or fixture, especially for longer spans or heavier objects.
- Ensure that each section of the strapping is properly aligned and secured.
Materials for Plumber’s Strap
Plumber’s strapping (Fig. 1) is commonly available in different materials, each with its own advantages and specific applications. The most common materials used for plumber’s strapping include:
- Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel strapping is a popular choice due to its strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. It is made from steel coated with a layer of zinc, which provides an added layer of protection against rust and moisture. Galvanized steel strapping is suitable for a wide range of plumbing applications, including securing pipes, fixtures, and electrical conduits.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel strapping is known for its exceptional corrosion resistance, making it an excellent choice for environments with high moisture or chemical exposure. It is highly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh conditions. Stainless steel strapping is commonly used in commercial and industrial plumbing projects or applications where long-term durability is essential.
- Copper: Copper strapping is primarily used for supporting copper pipes. It offers excellent malleability, allowing for easy bending and shaping to fit around pipes and contours. Copper strapping is resistant to corrosion and can handle high temperatures, making it suitable for both hot and cold water plumbing installations.
- Plastic-Coated Steel: Plastic-coated steel strapping combines the strength and rigidity of steel with the protective coating of plastic. The plastic coating helps prevent scratches and damage to the surfaces it comes into contact with, such as pipes or fixtures. It also provides some level of corrosion resistance. Plastic-coated steel strapping is often used in applications where there is a need to protect delicate surfaces or prevent metal-to-metal contact.
Benefits of Plumber’s Strapping
Strength and Durability:
Plumber’s strapping is made from robust materials like galvanized steel or stainless steel, making it highly resistant to corrosion, moisture, and other environmental factors. It offers excellent durability and can withstand the test of time, ensuring long-lasting support for plumbing installations.
The strapping’s flexibility allows it to conform to various shapes and contours, making it suitable for securing pipes in tight spaces or irregular surfaces. Plumbers can easily adjust and bend the strapping to fit their specific installation needs, enhancing versatility and convenience.
Ease of Installation:
Plumber’s strapping is relatively simple to install, requiring only basic tools such as a hammer, drill, or screwdriver. It can be cut to the desired length using snips or metal-cutting tools and fastened using appropriate hardware like screws or nails. This ease of installation saves time and effort during plumbing projects.
Plumber’s strapping is an affordable solution that offers significant benefits. Its cost-effectiveness, combined with its versatility and durability, makes it a valuable addition to any plumber’s toolkit.
Plumber’s strapping is an indispensable tool that provides stability, support, and versatility for a wide range of plumbing projects. Its strength, durability, and ease of installation make it an ideal choice for securing pipes, mounting fixtures, and organizing electrical conduits. By utilizing plumber’s strapping, plumbers can enhance the longevity and reliability of their installations while ensuring customer satisfaction.
Remember to invest in high-quality plumber’s strapping made from galvanized steel or stainless steel to ensure superior performance and longevity. So, whether you’re a professional plumber or a DIY enthusiast tackling plumbing projects, make sure to include plumber’s strapping in your toolkit and enjoy its numerous benefits.