The Flowtech Guide to Pipe Clamps

Also sometimes called pipe clips or pipe clamp brackets, pipe clamps are designed to support suspended pipes. Circular or semi-circular in shape, pipe clamps fit around tubing and are bolted or screwed to surfaces such as plaster, wood, masonry or tiling. This ensures that both vertical and horizontal pipes are held securely in place. Many clamp types, such as pipe saddle clamps, are flexible enough to allow for pipe movement or expansion. Pipe clamps are often used in plumbing, drainage, heating and electrical work. 

Since pipe clamp brackets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it is crucial that the correct type of clamp is used to anchor them in place. After all, inadequate pipe support can cause damage to a building that could be very costly to repair. 

There are certain factors that should be taken into account before investing in pipe clamp brackets. These include: 

  • Clamp type (finish / durability).
  • Material and size (diameter and  length).
  • Mounting system (ease of installation).  
  • Appearance and flexibility. 

  • Thickness and tensile strength. 
  • Load bearing capability.  

  • Thermal properties.  

  • Shock absorption. 
  • Vibration dampening and noise reduction properties. 

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How Do Hose Clamps Work? 

Pipe clamps are fixed around a pipe and then bolted or screwed to a surface — such as a wall, a ledge or a rail system — to keep the tubing in place.  

Types of Pipe Clamps

Not all pipe clamp brackets work in the same way. Simple pipe clamps feature two holes on both sides of the clamp for fixing bolts or screws. Meanwhile, more advanced pipe clamps include single screw pipe clamps and more complex two-hole clamps with extra features such as captive locking screws and anti-loss washers. There are also three-bolt pipe clamps usually used to hold up lines that transport high-temperature fluids and are ideal for carrying heavy loads.  

There are four main types of pipe clamp brackets: standard pipe clamps, plastic pipe clamps, traditional pipe clamps and heavy-duty pipe clamps.  

Standard pipe clamps 
Standard pipe clamp brackets are best suited to simple installations of plastic or metal pipes. At their most basic, standard clamps are fixed in place with two screws that go on either side of the bracket. They come either lined or unlined and range in sizes. Other standard pipe clamp brackets come in a single screw format that features a quick-locking system. This means that the clamp can be secured to a surface by hand and does not require bolts or screws. 

Plastic pipe clamps 
Usually used to hold plastic or copper pipes, plastic pipe clamps are ideal for lightweight tubes with small diameters. Since they are quick to install, they are also ideal for jobs that require multiple clamps. Some plastic pipe clamps are affixed to the wall and close on themselves once the pipe is manually pushed in. Plastic pipe clamp brackets are often used in corrosive environments and in heating, sanitation and electrical installations.  

Traditional pipe clamps 
Typically used on large-diameter copper and steel tubing, traditional pipe clamp brackets come in a variety of types including pipe saddle clamps, split bands and U bolts. Unlike some standard pipe clamps, they have no internal lining. As such, they are best suited to tubing where noise and temperature insulation are not a factor.  

Heavy-duty pipe clamps 
Designed to support heavy loads, heavy-duty clamp brackets are great for both indoor and outdoor use (for example to affix heating pipes to large structures such as bridges. They also come with or without lining and tend to be easier to fit than traditional clamps. 

Which pipe clamp materials are best for which jobs?

Depending on their function, pipe clamp brackets are made from different materials including stainless steel, plastic, copper, brass and chrome.  

What are stainless steel pipe clamps best for? 

Since they are corrosion and oxidation resistant, stainless steel pipe clamp brackets are ideal for harsh environments. They also tend to be sturdy, which makes them a preferable choice for long-term indoor or outdoor use. On the other hand, stainless steel pipe clamps do not do well when exposed to salt and other trace minerals for prolonged periods of time.  

What are plastic pipe clamps best for? 

Plastic pipe clamp brackets are usually semicircular or U-shaped and flexible enough to bend open to cradle tubing or cables. As such, they are often used in situations that require bendable fixtures to hold lightweight tubing or cables that may need to be replaced from time to time. In addition, since plastic pipe clamps are moisture-resistant, they are often used to support pipes outdoors. For example, many gutter clips are made from plastic. Usually small and unobtrusive, plastic pipe clamp brackets tend to blend in with most household decor styles. 

What are copper pipe clamps best for? 

Both copper pipes and copper pipe clamps are often used in indoor plumbing systems. Made from a rigid type of copper, they do not corrode when in contact with water for extended periods of time and remain non-toxic for many years. Copper pipe clamps also have outstanding thermal properties, which makes them perfect for use in hot and cold water systems. Plus, they have a classic look when used in exposed piping that can be a decorative element for the home. 


What are brass pipe clamps best for? 

Often used for their aesthetic appeal, brass pipe clamp brackets are well suited for use in plumbing systems since they do not corrode or discolour with prolonged exposure to water. In addition, they are resistant to pH shifts, salts and other minerals. Just like copper pipe clamp brackets, brass pipe clamps have outstanding thermal ductility.  

What are chrome pipe clamps best for? 

A great alternative to stainless steel clips, chrome or chrome-plated pipe clamps are corrosion-resistant. This makes them perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. The durability of chrome pipe clamp brackets depends on the thickness of the chrome plating, with thick plating usually making them just as sturdy as stainless steel pipe clamps.  


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There are a number of steps you can take to clamp HDPE or high-density polyethylene pipes. These include: 

  • Heating the pipe: slide the clamps over both ends of the pipe until they are in position. Use a torch to heat up the ends of the pipe for the plastic barb fittings to create a watertight seal.  

  • Driving the barb into the pipe: use a mallet to drive the plastic barb into place. This will cause the ribs on the barb to grip the inside of the heated tubing while the pipe clamps lock them in place.  

  • Tightening the clamps: when the plastic barb is in the correct position, slide the clamps over the ends of the pipe and tighten them. This will pin the hose to the barb. Cut off any excess clamp material. 



Pipe clamp brackets are often referred to by a variety of names. Some of these include pipe saddle clamps, pipe fixings, pipe clips, heavy-duty saddle clumps, U-bolt clamps, oval clamps, flat cushion clamps, P-style clamps and swivel bolt clamps.  


Pipe clamp brackets are circular or semi-circular fittings used to secure tubing to a surface or a rail system in both indoor and outdoor settings. They lock around a pipe and are usually affixed to a surface with bolts or screws. Pipe clamps are typically used for holding up pipes in the plumbing, drainage, heating and electrical industries.