Pipe clamps hold plumbing pipes firmly against a wall, support beam or other structure. These clamps typically are a single bracket with two holes for fastening the clamp to a solid surface, or a flexible metal strip with holes punched every few centimeters. Either type of clamp requires fasteners to secure the connection to the wall or beam. There are a few types of fasteners to choose from.
About Copper Pipe Clamps
Copper pipes typically require copper pipe clamps, as using the same type of metal will reduce the chances of corrosion from low electric currents created when different metals are fastened together. Copper also makes for a slightly flexible clamp, which allows the pipes to expand and contract in different weather conditions. Copper pipe clamps are available in molded C-clamps, or in flexible strips of copper with fastening holds punched along the strip. Either type of clamp is acceptable for copper plumbing.
Using Nails as Fasteners
One of the simplest fasteners in terms of installation is to use nails. Insert two nails on either side of the pipe clamp and hammer into place to secure the clamp to the wall or other surface. Nails work best with wood, but can be used with drywall and outdoor siding. It's important to use zinc nails to avoid corrosion of the nail head over time. Installing nail fasteners requires caution so you do not strike the copper pipe with the hammer. Copper pipes bend easily, and a missed strike with a hammer may damage the pipe beyond repair.
Screws and Bolts
Screws and bolts are another option for fastening pipe clamps. Screws require the use of a drill, but will hold tighter than nails. Screws work well in wood, but can also be installed into concrete or other hard surfaces. Some pipe clamps require the use of bolts. Typically, the bolts will come with the clamps. If you are missing bolts, take the clamp to the hardware store to compare the thread. Like nails, it's important to use zinc-coated screws and bolts to reduce the likelihood that they will corrode over time.
You may also use plastic clamps and fasteners with copper pipe. Plastic will not mar the copper surface, and will hold just as tightly as copper clamps will. It's also possible to use plastic zip ties to connect the pipe with another surface. This is particularly useful when it's not practical to use a copper pipe clamp with nails or screws, such as when attaching more than one pipe together. Plastic zip ties come in a wide variety of sizes for almost any application.
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