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If you have ever been on a job that requires you to figure out how the spacing of rooftop pipe support should be, you’re not alone. There are many factors that can come into play. What do you consider first? What about this water pipe that is constantly in motion? There are many questions that can be asked. Today we are going to break down the basics of what to consider when you are calculating the spacing of rooftop pipe supports.
As we touched on in our blog on local codes, there are many variables to consider when it comes to spacing. Some of these are going to be dictated by the codes you abide by in your territory. There is a balance that has to be considered, what you get vs. what you give up. You can save costs by spacing the supports further apart, which also means less weight on the roof. However, now you have less support for your piping, potentially increasing the risk of sagging and breaking. To make an informed decision, these are the factors that you are going to want to consider for all your jobs:
1. Local Codes: The standard maximum for rooftop pipe supports is 10 feet on a commercial building, however, this could change based on your local building code. Always refer to the code and never assume it has “enough” support.
2. Pipe Type: What kind of pipe are you supporting? What are the contents of the pipe? Will the pipe shake, expand, and contract? These questions will help choose the proper support. Consider a rubber roller mounted on a support for a pipe that expands and contracts.
3. Seasonal Weather: Some areas get heavy snowfall adding extra weight to the rooftop for portions of the year. This weight will need to be worked into the calculations.
4. Type of Roof: Assessing what the roof type is will be crucial. If you have a roof that gets soft in the heat, then you will want to make sure your calculations take this into consideration this so you are not putting too much weight on one point causing denting, sinking, and ultimately damage. Another topic to consider is a slip sheet below the product. Check our blog on slip sheets HERE or see our CGW product page.
5. Contents: If the pipe is carrying a hazardous material that can cause increased damage, you will want to err on the side of caution and space your supports closer together to prevent any possible break or leak.
PRO TIP: You may want to consider a roller series if your pipe will expand and contract. See below links for a few of our Roller Series.
6. Pipe Temperature: Hot pipes need more support as they can deflect (sag) when they rise in temperature. If your supports are too far apart, you risk deflection when the pipe gets hot.
As always, start by referring to your local building codes and consider these 6 criteria when you are calculating spacing.