A Comprehensive Guide to Pipe Hangers: 8 Types and Uses

July 17, 2023·7 min
Carrie PowersCarrie Powers

Utilizing the right pipe hanger is essential for ensuring the stability and integrity of piping systems. Pipe hangers provide support and help prevent damage, and several important elements need to be considered when selecting the most suitable option. The factors that impact pipe system performance include the environment in which it is installed and the particular requirements of the system.

This article will outline the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a pipe hanger for your project.

What is a Pipe Hanger?

Pipe hangers are hardware used in construction and plumbing to steady and support pipes. They help align, reduce vibration, and prevent sagging by suspending pipes from walls or ceilings. Pipe hangers are versatile and can support different pipe materials, including PVC, copper, and steel. They come in different designs and sizes to fit various pipe sizes, applications, and load capacities.

1. Clevis Hangers

A Clevis hanger is used to support horizontal pipe runs in a variety of different applications. It’s designed to enable the efficient suspension of piping in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, among other utilities.

The Clevis hanger is comprised of a clevis and a U-bolt. The clevis wraps around the pipe, while the U-bolt fits over it. The two parts are secured with nuts for hanging the pipe at an adjustable height and angle, which is one of the benefits of using a clevis hanger.

2. Riser Clamps

Riser clamps are specifically designed to support vertical piping. They clamp onto the pipe and allow the pipe’s weight to be carried across a larger area. They are often used in building and industrial applications where vertical pipes need to be secured and supported, especially when running through multiple floor and ceiling levels.

A riser clamp works by transferring the load of the pipe to the building structure. It encircles the pipe and is tightened to hold the pipe securely. The lower part of the clamp, which is flat, rests on the upper surface of the structural member (like a floor or a beam). The upper part of the clamp grips the pipe to prevent it from moving downward.

3. Sliding Saddles

A Sliding saddle is a type of pipe support designed to manage both the weight of the pipe, and any movement from thermal expansion and contraction. It consists of two main parts: the saddle and a base that it can slide on. The saddle is shaped to fit the contour of the pipe, and distribute its weight over a larger area to reduce the pressure on any single point.

The sliding base underneath the saddle is typically constructed of two plates of material, often metal, with low friction between them. One plate is fixed, and the other is connected to the saddle, and can slide on the fixed plate.

4. J-Hangers

J-Hangers are ideal for light loads and can be easily attached to structural members with a rod or fastener. The J-shaped design provides superior support for piping systems. J-hangers are often used for light-duty applications, particularly with smaller diameter pipes such as those used in residential or light commercial plumbing.

One end of the J-hanger is typically attached to a structure such as a wall or ceiling using screws or other fasteners, while the curved portion of the J provides support for the pipe. The design allows the pipe to be easily inserted and removed from the hanger, which makes it a flexible choice for installations where adjustments may be needed.

5. Band Hangers

Band hangers are brackets that support insulated or non-insulated pipes from overhead and allow for vertical adjustment. They are frequently utilized in fire safety sprinkler systems to suspend and join piping. Band hangers are used in commercial buildings and large multi-family complexes due to their lightweight design and lower costs.

6. Spring Hangers

Spring hangers are used for supporting piping systems that undergo significant vertical movement due to thermal expansion contraction, vibrations, or other dynamic forces.

Spring hangers consist of a spring mechanism that allows the pipe to move while still providing support. The spring mechanism can either be variable spring hangers or constant spring hangers, depending on the application:

Variable Spring Hangers

Variable spring hangers work on the principle that the support load remains relatively constant while the pipe moves. As the pipe moves due to thermal expansion or contraction, the spring compresses or expands to accommodate the movement to maintain the support.

Constant Spring Hangers

Constant spring hangers maintain a nearly constant supporting force over the entire travel range of the support. This is usually accomplished by a mechanical system within the support that compensates for the changing spring force as the hanger moves.

Constant spring hangers are typically used in situations where a variation in the force supporting the pipe could cause problems, such as damage to the pipe or connected equipment.

7. Split Ring Hangers

Split ring hangers are a type of pipe hanger used to suspend or mount pipes, especially in scenarios where the pipe cannot be turned or moved significantly.

They are commonly used in both light industrial and commercial applications. As their name suggests, split ring hangers are designed as a ring that is split into two parts.

This allows them to be installed or removed without having to lift or move the pipe, which makes them a convenient choice for certain installations. The hanger encircles the pipe to provide support over a large surface area, which can help to distribute the weight of the pipe and reduce stress points.

Typically, one end of the hanger is bolted or screwed into a wall, ceiling, or other structural member, while the other end can be adjusted to securely grip the pipe.

8. Roller Hangers

Roller hangers and supports are a specialized type of pipe support used to accommodate the movement of the pipes due to thermal expansion, contraction, and other dynamics. They consist of a hanger attached to a structure like a ceiling or wall, and a roller that the pipe rests on.

The roller allows the pipe to move back and forth with less friction than if it was resting directly on a stationary hanger. This can help reduce stress on the pipe, particularly in high-temperature applications where thermal expansion and contraction can be significant.

Choosing the Right Pipe Hanger

Selecting the right type of pipe hanger involves considering the specific needs of your piping system, including load, movement, and temperature conditions. Buckaroos, Inc. offers a comprehensive range of high-quality pipe hangers to meet diverse system requirements, for effective, long-lasting pipe support.

Here are some key considerations:

Pipe Material

Some materials may require specific types of support or may not be compatible with certain types of hangers. For example, copper piping may need specific types of hangers to prevent galvanic corrosion when in contact with different metals.

Pipe Size and Weight

The diameter and weight of the pipe, including the weight of the contents it carries, are key factors. Larger, heavier pipes require stronger, more robust hangers.

Thermal Expansion and Contraction

If the pipe carries fluids at high temperatures, it may expand and contract significantly. In such cases, adjustable or flexible hangers like spring hangers or roller hangers, which can accommodate this movement, might be needed.


In some applications, such as machinery or equipment that generates vibrations, specialized hangers designed to dampen or resist vibration may be necessary.

Corrosion Resistance

In environments where corrosion is a concern, such as in chemical plants or outdoor installations, hangers made from corrosion-resistant materials or with protective coatings may be necessary.

Load Distribution

Ensuring that the weight of the pipe is evenly distributed can help prevent damage to the pipe. Certain hanger designs, like band hangers, are particularly good at evenly distributing the load.

Pipe Support Products from Buckaroos

Buckaroos® Sliding Saddles are special saddles designed for use in dynamic piping systems. They provide controlled linear movement at hanger locations. Sliding Saddles can be used instead of roller hangers, which can be expensive and prone to rust. A combination of Sliding Saddles, Clevis hangers, and rigid insulation is cost-effective and more efficient. You can easily identify each Sliding Saddle by its Sliding Saddle sticker label.

The CleviShield™ from Buckaroos offers protection to the vapor barrier that encapsulates the pipe and a durable means of supporting overhead piping, ranging in size from 2” O.D. to 12” O.D. The product is composed of a galvanized shield that rests in a centered position inside a galvanized clevis hanger. The two components are welded together at point of contact. Depending on the application, the CleviShield™ is available in galvanized carbon steel or stainless steel.

The High Density Fiberglass Blocks come in different sizes and are used to provide support for insulated pipes that pass through load-bearing clevis hanger support locations. They help maintain uniform insulation thickness and prevent any damage that could occur from compression.

The Buckaroos® Support is a wooden dowel precision-cut and attached to a PVC disc. The supports are designed to provide extra strength to pipe insulation where it passes through load-bearing clevis hanger supports on insulated pipe systems. By adding rigidity, the insulation is better protected from being compressed excessively or getting damaged, which helps maintain its consistency and thickness.

Buckaroos Clean Saddles™ are used to support medium and light compressive strength pipe insulations in Clevis hanger piping systems. The saddles work with various pipe insulation materials such as rubber tubing, phenolic foam, polyisocyanurate, cellular glass, and fiberglass. They are particularly useful for ammonia refrigeration, chilled water, refrigeration, plumbing, and heating piping systems.

Get the Best Pipe Support Solutions with Buckaroos

Ready to explore our comprehensive range of pipe hangers and find the perfect solution for your project? Visit Buckaroos Inc. today! We have a team of experts who can help you choose from our wide selection of piping systems to optimize your system’s performance. Don’t settle for less – choose Buckaroos for unparalleled quality and reliability.

Contact us today for more information!

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Carrie Powers

Carrie channels her passion for innovative solutions in the construction industry for Buckaroos. With a deep understanding of Buckaroos' leading insulated pipe support systems and insulation protection shields, Carrie ensures that building owners, engineers, and installers are well-equipped with the best tools and products. Her dedication to digital transformation and customer engagement helps Buckaroos maintain its reputation as a trusted resource for professional insulators across North America and Canada.