Celebrate Pi Day 2019 With A Diameter Tape Measure

pi symbol
pi symbol

Pi Day is March 14. This year you can help celebrate by answering the question at the bottom.

Pi is the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, no matter what size the circle is. This is useful knowledge when you work with water pipes or oil or gas pipelines, and you need to replace part of it. You can measure the circumference and divide by pi. But there’s an easier way to do that.

Diameter Tape (pi Tape)
Diameter Tape (pi Tape)

Let a Lufkin Diameter tape measure do it for you. You just wrap it around the pipe, and read the diameter. Mathematicians call pi an irrational number, since it goes on for an infinite number of decimal places, but using a diameter tape is a very rational and easy way to find the diameter of a pipe. To see a little video on How to measure the diameter of a pipe, just click here.

 

Trivia: What famous scientist was born on Pi Day?

 

 

 

3 Easy Steps to Use a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

How To Use A Diameter Tape
How To Use A Diameter Tape

This time, we won’t get into the geometry theory of pi that we had in high school. The magic of a pipe diameter tape measure is its simplicity of use. Here are the 3 steps to find the diameter of a pipeline:

  1. Clean the pipe surface. Soil and any other contamination, of course, will make the pipe seem bigger than it really is.
  2. Wrap the diameter tape around it, with the diameter scale visible to you.
  3. Simply read off the tape. This will be the diameter, even though the tape is wrapped around the circumference. That’s all!

Some things to watch for…..Some OD tapes (diameter tapes) are marked in 100ths of an inch. Some are marked in 64ths of an inch. On the 64ths of an inch tape, 32/64 would be 1/2″. 16/64 would be 1/4″. 24/64 would be 3/8″. For convenience, you can use a magic marker to mark some of these common, but confusing measurements.

For a 2 1/2 minute video with more detail, click How To Use A Diameter Tape.

 

Give A Diameter Tape Measure For Christmas

Give Diameter Tapes for Christmas
Give Diameter Tapes for Christmas

A diameter tape measure can save you a lot of time and frustration when you want to find the OD (outside diameter) of a pipe, post, or tree. This special tape has the inch scale (or metric scale) stretched out by a factor of pi (3.14159). So, if you wrap it around the pipeline, you will not see the “circumference”. You will see its diameter. You don’t need to divide your answer by 3.14159.

This Weird Diameter Tape Measure Can Make Your Life Easier

You may be part of a special group of people. We can call this group, FDTU, for “future diameter tape users”. To be in that group, you would have these three qualifications:

  1. You never heard of a Diameter tape measure.
  2. After you get one, and learn how to use it, you will use one every week for the rest of your life.
  3. You won’t believe how you ever got along without one.

To help you on this fun journey as a FDTU, let’s find out…

  • What is a diameter tape.

    It is a measuring tape that, when you wrap it around the circumference of a round object (pipeline or tree), it reads the “diameter”. If you would use a regular tape measure, you would have to divide by pi (3.14159) to get the diameter.

  • How to use a diameter tape.

    How To Measure the Diameter of a PipeYou simply wrap it around a pipe or shaft, or tree, and have the diameter scale face outward, so you can read it. Make sure you don’t use the other side, because it would give you the circumference. 

  • What you will use it on from now on, to make your life easier.

    If you need to replace a car heater hose, but you want to have the new hose on-hand before you remove the old hose, use your diameter tape to measure the diameter (and length) of the old hose. You can do the same routine when replacing plumbing.

My friend owns a marina. He never heard of a diameter tape. I gave him a diameter tape and told him what it was for. He was in the FDTU group, and now he uses this valuable diameter tape measure every day.

Are you in the FDTU Group? Now you know how a simple tape can make your life easier.

 

Let a Diameter Tape Measure Do the Work For You

Do you need to know the outside diameter of a pipe, pipeline, or hose?

Here are your options:

  1. Wrap a flexible measuring tape around it and divide by pi (3.14159).
  2. Use a caliper and transfer its results to a ruler.
  3. Use a micrometer of the correct size range, and read the scale.
  4. Let a Diameter tape measure do all the work for you.

I prefer using method number 4. It is quick and accurate. Click here for the easy instructions:

Diameter Tapes
Diameter Tapes

 

Here’s the Secret About a Pipe Measuring Tape

Pipe Measuring Secret
Pipe Measuring Secret

If you have to find the length of a pipe, that’s easy. But what about the outside diameter of a pipe?  What if you can’t just measure the diameter at the end? What if the pipe doesn’t have its ends exposed. It is part of a piping system, or a pipeline. How can you fine the OD, or outside diameter?

The secret is finding the right pipe measuring tape. What is it called?

  • Diameter Tape
  • Pipe Tape
  • Pipe Diameter Tape
  • Pi Tape
  • OD Tape
  • Outside Diameter Tape
  • Circumference Tape (a misnomer, but they are sometimes called this)

To use one, all you do is wrap it around the pipe, and read off the diameter. You don’t need to divide by pi (3.14159).

Lufkin Y906PD pipe diameter tape measure, not Barlow W906PD Lufkin Diameter Tape

What Can A Pipe Diameter Measuring Tape Do For Me?

Want To Know The Diameter of Your Arm?
Want To Know The Diameter of Your Arm?

Most people don’t use a pipe diameter measuring tape. The reason is not that they don’t need one. The reason is that they don’t know how powerful it is. They don’t know what it can do for them. Just ask the people who use one every day:

  • pipe installers
  • plumbers
  • pipeline inspectors
  • pipeline installers and repairmen
  • HVAC installers
  • car mechanics
  • boat mechanics
  • oil and gas rig workers
  • sport ball makers

They will tell you this: If you want to know the outside diameter of a pipe or any round object, just wrap the diameter tape around its circumference, and read the diameter on the tape. Simple. You don’t have to divide by pi. The best part of this: Even if the pipe is not perfectly round, the od diameter tape will give you the average outside diameter as if it were perfectly round.

Can I help, too?
Can I help, too?

 

 

 

6 Common Misconceptions About The Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

W906PDC Diameter Tape
W906PDC Diameter Tape

The Pipe diameter tape measure is often misunderstood, and often unheard of. That’s because most people don’t need one. But if you understand what it can do, you would probably use one.

  1. It’s too hard to use. False. All you do it wrap it around the pipe and read the diameter right off the tape.
  2. It’s too bulky to carry in my pocket. False. Many are no bigger than 1 1/2 inches square, and 1/4 ” thick.
  3. I can’t find any at the hardware store. False. Try an online store. They are out there.
  4. It’s not accurate. False. The simple pocket Lufkin diameter tape is accurate to the 100th of an inch of diameter.
  5. It’s no better than using a regular tape and dividing by pi. False. Due to the calibration and the location of the zero mark, it is made specifically to measure pipe diameters.
  6. It is not useful for the everyday person. False. You can measure the diameter of a tree, a hose in your car or boat, your furnace pipe, or plumbing in your home. Want to find out the diameter of that water pipe in your basement, so you can replace it? And you don’t want to cut it to measure it? Use a Pipe diameter tape measure.
Diameter Tape w606pmc
Diameter Tape w606pmc

How to Measure the Diameter of a Pipe

How to Measure the Diameter of a Pipe
How to Measure the Diameter of a Pipe

If you need to know the outside diameter of a pipeline, and don’t have an exposed end, this is how you do it. Please click here for a short 2 minute video on this easy task. Let the Lufkin diameter tape do the work for you. There’s no need to use a bulky caliper or micrometer. There is also no need to divide the circumference by pi. A simple pocket-sized diameter tape is all you need. Here is How to measure the diameter of a pipe.

pi symbol
pi symbol

 

 

 

 

3 Signs You Should Invest in Pocket Diameter Tape Measures

Diameter tape measures are used by plumbers, oil and gas drilling companies, and tree people. When should you buy some diameter tape measures? Here are 3 clues:

  1. The shop’s diameter tapes are too large to put in your pocket when you need to go into the field and measure some pipelines.
  2. You don’t want to use a regular measuring tape and divide by pi.
  3. You want to be always prepared in case you need to find the diameter of a pipeline when you are away from the shop.
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Measuring Tape
Lufkin Pipe Diameter Measuring Tape