Everything You Need to Know About Pipe Clamps

What are pipe clamps?

Pipe clamps, also known as pipe clips or saddle clamps, are basic fittings frequently used in various DIY and installation projects. They belong to a category of channel support systems commonly seen in plumbing, heating, drainage, and electrical work.

These clamps are either circular or semicircular brackets, sometimes featuring a spring clip or ‘bossed’ system. When chosen correctly, they fit tightly around the conduit, cables, or tubing being installed. The clamp is then screwed or bolted (either directly or via a hanger bracket) to the wall or surface along which the pipe runs, whether it’s wood, tile, plaster, or masonry. This setup ensures the tubing is securely held and supported over its entire length, providing a dependable and straightforward mounting solution.

In numerous situations where you need to affix, support, and restrain pipes, tubing, or cables along walls and under ledges, you should find suitable pipe clamps on sale. The key is knowing what you’re looking for.

How do pipe clamps work?

We know the basics, but how do pipe clamps function exactly? Well, that largely depends on the specific job.

Pipe clips and clamps come in a variety of sizes and diameters, made from materials ranging from plastic to copper, stainless steel, brass, and chrome. They offer different bracketing and mounting options (single-screw, two-screw, three-screw, bolt-down, clip-in, etc.). They work simply by encircling lengths of tubing or cable while being affixed to walls or structures, holding the conduit firmly in place wherever needed.

Pipe clips are usually available in either gripping (anchor) or non-gripping (saddle/guide) configurations, depending on how tightly you want the conduit to be fixed. In some applications, allowing for some movement—whether thermal, mechanical, or otherwise—can be beneficial.

Choosing the best pipe clamp for the job generally depends on several key questions, such as:

  • What are you mounting?
  • Where are you mounting it?
  • What diameter and spacing are needed to ensure proper support along the full run?

What are pipe clamps used for?

Pipe clamps are found in various household, industrial, and outdoor settings. They serve as an efficient and tidy way to restrain, secure, and guide tubing or conduit for plumbing, heating, and electrical purposes. In the UK, pipe clips are available in a wide range of materials, finishes, and styles to suit jobs from concealing thin cables to supporting heavy-gauge wastewater systems.

Pipe clamps for plumbing

Plumbing pipe clamps are among the most common types, used to secure and support different pipeline diameters neatly and safely.

The main trick to choosing the right plumbers’ clamps is knowing which diameter, grip type, and material are suitable for the specific water or drainage pipe. We will explore the various options for pipe clips in plumbing applications in more detail.

Pipe clamps for drains

Drain pipe clamps, sometimes called gutter clips or brackets, include fixtures for securing wastewater conduit as part of an interior plumbing and drainage system, as well as UPVC rainwater collection channels affixed to exterior roofing fascia boards. Both types require brackets and clips to support ductwork, albeit of different types and functions.

Just as in central plumbing applications, selecting the right drain pipe clips requires knowing the exact diameter and shape needed to hold the wastewater pipework securely.

Pipe clamps for wood

In carpentry or joinery contexts, pipe clamps serve a different purpose. Here, a pipe clamp usually refers to a wide, freestanding, and fully adjustable vice clamp used for holding multiple boards together for a stronger join during edge gluing.

However, woodworking pipe clamps work on a similar principle: selecting the correct diameter, style, and material of clips to fit around the pipe ensures a secure grip to lock the end-joints in place.

Which pipe clamp materials are best for which jobs?

There are many materials used for pipe clamps, each suited to specific applications. Below are some common materials and their best uses:

Stainless steel pipe clamps

Stainless steel pipe clamps are ideal for settings where they might be exposed to moisture, corrosion, oxidation, or harsh environmental conditions. Their enhanced rigidity and resistance make them a reliable and long-lasting option for heavy-duty use.

Plastic pipe clamps

Plastic pipe clips are suitable for scenarios requiring flexibility, such as lighter-gauge cabling runs that might need removal and replacement. They are also moisture-resistant and hard-wearing, making them popular for outdoor applications. Modern gutter clips are often made of PP/uPVC plastic, which is resistant to electrical conductivity, thermal shock, and UV discoloration.

Copper pipe clamps

Copper pipe clamps are excellent for indoor plumbing systems. Copper is relatively rigid, doesn’t react with water, and remains neutral and non-toxic over many years. These clamps don’t corrode when exposed to residual moisture, maintaining their appearance and functionality for decades.

Brass pipe clamps

Brass pipe clamps are used for both decorative appeal and functional durability in plumbing. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, doesn’t rust or discolor with long-term water exposure and is resistant to pH shifts, salts, and other trace minerals. It also has good thermal ductility and conductivity, contributing to its longevity.

Chrome pipe clamps

Chrome and chrome-plated pipe clips are used in environments similar to stainless steel. They offer resistance to corrosion and weathering, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor uses. Chrome remains a popular choice for pipe clamps in visible areas due to its aesthetic appeal. The longevity and resistance of chrome fixtures depend on the quality and thickness of the plating layers.

Which pipe clip sizes are best for which jobs?

Choosing the correct size or diameter for pipe clamps is crucial, particularly in plumbing applications where specific grades of pipework are needed for different supply lines or drainage outlets. Ensuring the proper size ensures reliable and effective support for the conduit or cables being secured.

Scroll to Top