Galvanized hanger straps are an indispensable hardware component for many installation, construction, and DIY projects. Made from galvanized steel for durability and resistance to rust and corrosion, these versatile metal straps can support anything from light to heavy weight. With their ease of use, flexibility, and quick installation, galvanized hanger straps offer an easy and inexpensive way to hang pipes, tubes, ductwork, cables, and more from joists, rafters, and other structures.
What are Galvanized Hanger Straps?
Galvanized hanger straps, also known as plumber’s tape or metal strapping, are rolls of thin, bendable metal strip with perforated holes spaced evenly throughout its length. The galvanized coating provides corrosion resistance, allowing the straps to be used both indoors and outdoors without degrading over time.
Hanger straps are available in various widths, usually ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches wide. They are sold in rolls by length, commonly ranging from 25 feet up to 200 feet long. The gauge (thickness) also varies, with popular options being 16 gauge to 24 gauge. The 24 gauge strapping can support around 175 lbs per hanger when properly installed.
Key Features and Benefits
Galvanized hanger straps offer many beneficial features that make them a versatile option for installations:
Adjustable Length – The hanger straps can be cut to any needed length with tin snips or a hacksaw. Sections of any size can be custom cut for each application.
Evenly Spaced Holes – The perforated holes allow for secure fastening at any point along the length of the strap using screws, bolts, nails, etc. This adjustable fastening increases mounting options.
Lightweight and Low Profile – Weighing only a couple pounds per roll, the thin profile of the straps does not add bulky weight during installations. Their size and shape allow them to fit easily into tight spaces.
High Strength – Made from durable galvanized steel, hanger straps are surprisingly strong for their small size. They can securely support pipes, cables, ductwork, and other heavy objects when properly fastened.
Corrosion Resistance – The galvanized zinc coating provides excellent corrosion resistance for indoor and outdoor uses. Straps can withstand humidity, rain, snow and temperature fluctuations when installed correctly.
Cost Effective – As an affordable building supply staple, galvanized hanger straps offer a quick and inexpensive alternative to specialized brackets or fabricated supports.
Common Applications and Uses
With their versatile properties, galvanized hanger straps have many diverse uses in buildings and construction projects:
Hanging and Supporting Pipes
Plumbers widely use hanger straps to suspend pipe runs from floor joists or roof rafters. They allow pipes to be hung quickly, economically, and without damage. Hanger straps are commonly used to support:
- Water supply pipes
- Drain, waste, and vent pipes
- Natural gas and propane pipes
- Hydronic heating pipes
- Compressed air lines
By cutting lengths to size and fastening with pipe clamps, straps can support any type and diameter of pipe. The perforations allow the pipe position to be easily adjusted.
Mounting HVAC Ductwork
HVAC technicians rely on hanger straps for overhead suspension of ductwork. The lightweight straps allow ducts to be securely fastened while adding minimal loading to the building structure. Straps conform nicely to the cylindrical shape of spiral ducts.
Securing Electrical Conduit and Cables
Electricians use hanger straps for anchoring electrical conduits and cables to walls, ceilings, and beams. The thin profile allows wires and cables to nestle closely against the structure. Pushed flush, straps become barely noticeable.
Organizing Garages and Sheds
In garages, sheds, and workshops, homeowners can employ hanger straps in many creative ways. They are perfect for overhead storage and organizing systems, allowing items like bikes, tools, sports equipment, and more to be suspended efficiently.
Fencing and Outdoor Structures
For fencing, decking, and outdoor structures, hanger straps offer strong horizontal or diagonal bracing when bolted between wood posts and beams. The adjustability helps achieve proper framing angles.
Mechanics find many uses for hanger straps when working on vehicles. They can strap up exhaust systems, fuel and brake lines, electrical harnesses, and more. The narrow profile fits conveniently around tight engine compartments.
In these applications and countless others, galvanized hanger strap proves itself as an essential, multi-use component in any toolkit.
Properly installing galvanized hanger straps is simple, but following best practices ensures safe and secure support:
- Use appropriately sized screws, bolts, or nails to anchor the straps securely into the supporting structure. Avoid undersized fasteners.
- When possible, attach straps to wood using at least two fasteners spaced several inches apart for redundancy.
- Position and space hangers at regular intervals under long pipe and duct runs for balanced support. Follow applicable building code requirements.
- Use pipe clamps or clips to fasten round pipes and tubes to the straps. This prevents rolling or sliding.
- Cut sharp edges smooth to avoid hazards. Wear gloves when handling cut metal straps.
- Bend straps gradually to shape using proper tools. Avoid kinking or creasing which weakens the metal.
- Spot paint any cut ends with zinc-based paint to prevent corrosion if straps are for outdoor use.
When purchasing galvanized hanger straps, consider factors like:
- Length – Estimate the total linear footage you’ll need for the project. Straps can be joined together if longer lengths are required.
- Width – Wider straps up to 2” are able to support heavier loads. Choose a size fitting your application.
- Thickness/Gauge – Thicker 16 gauge straps are stronger. Most uses are fine with 24 gauge. Verify if building codes dictate a minimum gauge.
- Building Codes – Consult local building codes for any specific requirements when supporting critical systems like plumbing or electrical.
- Brands – Look for reputable hardware brands like Hillman, Grainger, Simpson Strong-Tie, and others known for quality metal products.
With galvanized hanger straps offering strength, durability, and installation ease at an affordable price point, it’s easy to see why they are a staple building component. Their versatility continues to make them a go-to choice of professionals and DIYers for hanging anything from light wiring to heavy pipe runs. Following proper installation guidelines allows galvanized straps to safely support critical structural systems as well as organize garages and sheds. The next time you’re shopping for building hardware, be sure to add some galvanized hanger straps to your cart.
Q: Are galvanized hanger straps suitable for indoor use?
A: Yes, galvanized straps can be used safely both indoors and outdoors. The zinc galvanized coating is resistant to corrosion and will not degrade or corrode over time indoors. Proper fastening is important for any location.
Q: How should I cut the hanger straps to length?
A: Tin snips or an electric shear are ideal for straight cuts. A hacksaw will also get the job done. Use gloves and smooth any sharp edges. Measure the needed lengths and cut with clean, straight cuts.
Q: Can I reuse galvanized hanger straps when removing previous installations?
A: In most cases, galvanized straps can be reused if they are still in good condition without damage or corrosion. Simply unfasten from the previous application and repurpose as needed in the new project.
Q: What is the best way to install galvanized straps on a concrete ceiling?
A: Concrete screw anchors are an excellent option for securely fastening straps directly to concrete. Just pre-drill holes through the strap per the anchor manufacturer’s instructions and then install the anchors.
Q: Should galvanized hanger straps only be used for temporary supports?
A: No, galvanized straps can form very permanent supports as part of the structural design when installed properly. Building codes provide guidance for professional permanent installations.
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