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I read some about this subject in the archives but couldn’t find the answers to my questions.  I have a situation where I need to support two 12” and one 14” diameter horizontal runs of water lines about 20 feet above the floor.  I am not able to hang them from the roof structure so I need to design a frame to support them.  I will have anchor frames at each end and an expansion loop in the middle.  Right now I am looking at the typical intermediate frame supporting the pipes about 23 feet on center, not the anchor frames.  I was considering a Tee type frame or a vertical stick frame with outriggers to support the pipe.  I prefer the Tee system because I could more or less balance the loads across the top.  I was told if I could stack the pipes vertically instead of horizontally side by side it would help with the expansion loop.  Using a stick type frame with outriggers puts all the load eccentric to the column on the same side.


I think what will influence my final decision will be the type of connectors of the pipe to the frame.  There is no insulation on the pipes.  As I see it I need some type of slide or roller connection to allow the pipe to expand and not push the frame.  I looked at bare steel friction sliding and decided it was too great to fight with the frame.  I looked up a sliding type pipe connection on the internet to set the pipe on the top cross member of the Tee.  I was thinking that maybe if I hung them from the beam instead of sitting on top I could have a swivel hanger type connection.  If I use one of these though I would think I need a swivel at the pipe bracket and at the beam hanger nut location.  I didn’t see any like this.  As I see it, this would also put a slight rotational moment around the support column.  I saw there are roller type swivel connections.  This would take out the horizontal component of the pure swivel.  Unfortunately there load carrying capacity was lower than I need of about 3,500 pounds.


I’m looking for suggestions in two areas from engineers who have experience in pipe support:

  1. Is it better to have the supports sitting on a cross beam or hung form a cross beam?
  2. What connection material would be recommended to allow the pipe to move longitudinally relative to the support frame?


Thanks for any insight.