When installing new plumbing in your home, you have to take many different factors into account, including proper material for inflow or outflow pipes, angles necessary for proper drainage and the right height for drain traps. You also need to avoid exceeding the maximum hanger spacing for pipes when running new plumbing for longer distances
Hangers are supports for the pipes that make up your home’s plumbing. As the pipes run up the walls and under the floors inside your house, they are kept in place by both vertical and horizontal hangers. The type of hangers used depends on the material of the pipe. Copper pipes need copper-plated hangers. PVC pipes can use plastic or metal hangers. These hangers are screwed into wooden beams within your home’s walls and floor. The type of pipe and the material of the hangers helps determine the maximum space between each hanger.
When running pipes vertically through the walls, the maximum hanger spacing will be either 10 or 15 feet apart. For pipes made of brass, copper or stiff plastics like PVC, you only need to have a hanger every 10 feet. For pipes constructed of galvanized steel, you can extend the spacing to 15 feet. You can always have shorter spaces between the hangers, but do not space them any further apart.
Pipes that run horizontally are more directly affected by gravity, so they need more support. Maximum hanger spacing varies more widely for them. For brass pipes and PVC pipes, the maximum distance between hangers is 4 feet. Copper pipes must be supported every 6 feet. The maximum hanger spacing for galvanized steel is 12 inches. PEX piping must be supported every 32 inches.
Before running any new plumbing lines in your home, contact a licensed plumber or a building inspector in your area and have your plans for the new pipes reviewed. While these maximum hanger distances are good rules of thumb, your local area could have different code requirements. Not following local code can cost you dearly in the future; you may have to open up walls and install more hangers to have your home pass an inspection.
- Residential Construction Academy: Plumbing: Michael A. Joyce and Michael D. Joyce