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What is a Riser Clamp?

Von Shanks
Von Shanks

A riser clamp is a device used to support vertical piping, conduit and tubing at various areas of a structure by transferring the piping's weight to the clamp and on to the building. The riser clamp is designed in two halves. Each half has arms that extend out from each side and a half-circular area in the middle to fit around the piping and create a full circle when the halves are joined. The clamp's sides screw apart and are slid around the pipe before being refastened with bolts that are tightened with a wrench to hold the piping in place by friction.

Riser clamps are available with slotted holes that allow the bolts to be loosened without being fully removed; this allows the clamp to be slid apart and around the pipe. Once the riser clamp is in place, the bolt is tightened into place. These clamps also have a serrated washer nut attached to the bolt so the bolt can be tightened in place without needing a wrench for each side. Some riser clamps don’t have the open slot and have to be fully unbolted to place around the piping. After placed, a bolt is slid through to hole and a nut is tightened onto the back of the bolt.


Different areas of construction and plumbing use the riser clamp. It can be used to hold vertical plumbing pipes in place at each level of a building. Riser clamps can also be used to hold vertical conduit in place, either indoors or out. Standard riser clamps hold vertical piping in place via the friction of the clamp tightened around the pipe; the arms extend out beyond the hole through which the piping is run and hold the piping in place from any gravity pull. Riser clamps can be purchased with curved legs, instead of arms, allowing them to be bolted to a wall or other structure to hold the piping in place and away from the wall.

Riser clamps come in a variety of sizes to fit different sizes of piping, tubing or conduit. Most riser clamps are made of carbon steel, but come in a variety of coatings for different types of building needs. Copper, electro-zinc, red-oxide primer, and epoxy are a few of the coatings available for purchase, depending on the type of conduit or piping being installed. Copper coatings are used on copper piping mainly for identification purposes, while electro-zinc coating helps to provide corrosion protection. Red-oxide and epoxy are recommended for suspending vertical steel pipe risers.

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