Pipe Expansion Joints – How to Choose and Install Them

Pipe expansion joint installations are critical components of any piping or ducting system that requires movement to occur. The expansion joint acts as a buffer, preventing stress and damage to the pipe caused by continuous movement and vibration. Choosing the proper expansion joint design and installing it properly will ensure the safety of your entire piping or ducting system, as well as its reliability over time. Here are some useful tips on how to choose and install pipe expansion joints properly.

Advantages of using pipe expansion joints

Pipe expansion joints are a type of expansion joint which allows flexible movement in piping systems. There are numerous advantages to installing pipe expansion joints, including: less risk of leaks or pipe bursts, providing extended lifespan for piping systems. These three benefits make pipe expansion joints an essential component for any industrial application.

Types of pipe joints

There are three types of pipe joints available: mechanical, glue and elastomeric. Mechanical pipe joints are designed for applications that require high-pressure gas or water distribution lines. They're highly customisable and also compatible with pipes of different materials.

Glue pipe joints secure piping through a multi-point steel-to-steel connection process. These joints are ideal for applications where frequent maintenance is necessary. Elastomeric pipe joints provide flexibility when routing your piping around obstructions while providing a dependable seal against leaks.

What is the right kind of expansion joint?

While there are multiple different kinds of expansion joints, they all can be categorised into two main types: engineered or standard. Engineered joints are designed specifically for a particular application, using materials which best suit that application. Standard joint designs tend to have more flexibility in terms of what kind of pipe or duct it can support, but also tend to be less expensive and less complex. This makes them great for simpler applications, as well as for budgeting purposes.

Choosing the right pipe joint for your system

There are three main factors that determine which expansion joint is best for your application: service temperature, vibration frequency, and physical constraints. Before you choose a pipe joint, make sure you’ve taken these into account; otherwise, it’ll be just a matter of time before you need another replacement.

Installing pipe expansion joints

Most modern piping systems require a system of expansion joints. Installing pipe expansion joints can be a difficult task. First, you must select which type of joint to use, there are several types available depending on your particular needs. Then you must determine where in your piping system to install them, most often they are installed at either end of any change in direction or elevation.

Maintaining expansion joints

Proper maintenance is a critical part of getting the most out of your pipe expansion joints. Because they’re an important part of your process, you should ensure they continue operating effectively. Here are some steps to make sure they last as long as possible.

Perform regular inspections of all expansion joints on your pipes. Look for signs of wear or damage like cracks, gouges, loosening fasteners, or shifting in position. If you spot any issues with an expansion joint, you can do some minor repairs yourself using simple tools and supplies. If your repair attempts fail, contact a professional for assistance.