How to Measure a Plumbing Pipe

There are a lot of plumbing projects that you might be thinking about starting at one point or another as a homeowner or even renter. No matter what type of project you’re getting started on, knowing how to measure the plumbing pipe is an essential first step. Knowing how to measure the pipe size is crucial because there are so many different types and sizes of pipes. Additionally, if you need to gather supplies or anything from the store, knowing what you’ll need for your project ahead of time can help you get what you need the first time, making the project smoother overall. 

We’re going to look at not only how to measure the pipe size, but what tools you may need to measure pipe size accurately. We’ll also cover common pipe materials, and what projects may call for different plumbing pipe types. In the end, we’ll point you to a trusted local resource for helping you get your plumbing projects done easily and professionally.

Before We Begin

First, it’s going to benefit us to discuss some different types of plumbing pipes and where they’re used. Plumbing can refer to either water or gas, with different materials being designed for different purposes. The most common pipe materials are PVC, copper, and galvanized steel. 

Copper is commonly used for potable water supply, with PVC being used for some drain applications, like under the sink and in some laundry applications. Galvanized steel is commonly used for larger drain lines or vent lines in the home. Some applications will require certain diameter piping, which will also determine what type of material can be used in a particular situation.

How To Measure Pipe Size – What You’ll Need

To know how to measure pipe size correctly, you’re going to need a few tools on hand. In most situations, you’ll only need one or the other, but for some projects that involve extensive pipe configurations, you may need both to get accurate measurements. 

To get accurate measurements of both the diameter and length of a pipe, you should have the following tools available:

  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler or calipers

How To Measure Pipe Size – The Process

Having the tools to measure a pipe and knowing how to measure pipe size are two different things, so now that you have the appropriate equipment ready, let’s go over the process of actually measuring a pipe. 

  1. First, you’ll need to identify the type of pipe that you’re dealing with. Sizing and measurement methods change considerably from one type to another, so making sure you know what you need to measure can save you time having to remeasure it later.
  2. Now, you’ll need to measure the diameter of the pipe, which is the distance across the pipe’s opening. This can also be thought of as the pipe’s width. To get the most accurate measurement, use your tape or ruler to measure from the outside of one edge to the outside of the opposite.
  3. To measure the length, measure from one end of the pipe to the other. For more complicated pipe runs, simply measure the distance between each change in direction, and add them all together for total linear footage.

Emory Can Take The Hassle Out Of Your Next Plumbing Project

If it sounds like a bit more than you might have planned on, to simply get the right pipe size, then trust the professionals to take care of it for you. Emory Plumbing has been servicing homes and businesses in the San Diego area for years and would be happy to work with you on your next project. Reach out today for more information.