How to prevent damage by pipe expansion

Pipes expand and/or shrink due to temperature differences. This could have serious consequences for the complete installation and cause damage to the entire building.

Coefficient for Expansion is a Top Priority

Each material (steel, copper, PE, PVC, etc.) has its own specific coefficient for expansion. These coefficients determine how the various materials react to differences in temperature. Steel has an expansion coefficient of 0.012 mm/C° and PE an expansion coefficient of 0.200 mm/C°. In other words: a 30 foot steel pipe set with a temperature difference of 120 F° expands 0.25 inches. A PE pipe of 30 feet expands .5 inches The expansion or shrinkage is not dependent on the diameter of the tube, but on the length and the material of the tube.

Noisy Pipes and Structural Damage

The expansion of the piping can be a nuisance in the form of sound (material stresses, the ticking of the old central heating pipes) and even damage to the building. This can often lead to pipes breaking which leads to water damage. Therefore, it is wise to take this into account before and during installation.


Good Support Plan and Open Expansion

A good assessment of the installation (where to support the pipes and how many feet) helps to create a good support plan. The very best solution is to allow the natural characteristics to work “freely” as much as possible.

By placing a anchor point in the right place, you can guide the pipe to the expansion joint to ensure no damage or stress can occur on installations. This way you can also minimize the released forces. Fixed and sliding points are engineered to make the piping system have controlled expansion.

To learn more about preventing damage and noise pollution by/from expanding pipes, simply call us at 800-610-5056. We have the knowledge and experience to help you calculate what the ideal installation method is for your project.

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