## Using a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure Is a No-Brainer

If you have a pipeline and need to find the OD (outside diameter) it makes sense to use a pipe diameter tape measure. Even a chimp could be trained to use one. (I think). All you do is

1. Wrap the tape around the pipe.
2. Read the marking where the zero mark touches the tape.
3. Even though the tape is wrapped around the circumference, it is marked by a factor of pi, so it gives you the diameter.
4. You’re done.

Now it’s time to enjoy the rest of the day in the shade.

## How to Solve Problems with a Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

A tape measure can solve basically one problem….How long is the item? But a pipe diameter tape measure can solve a short list of problems for you.

• What is the outside diameter (OD) of that pipeline, without having to cut into it. You don’t even have to divide by pi.
• What is the diameter of a tree trunk.
• What is the accurate diameter of a tire.
• What is the diameter of a beach ball, when fully inflated.

Even if the pipe is distorted, and the cross sectional diameter would be different in different directions, you can do it. The pipe diameter tape measure can tell you what the diameter would be, if it weren’t distorted. That’s because the measurement is based on the circumference. The tape automatically divides by pi (3.14159) for you.

## 5 Myths About The Pipe Diameter Tape Measure

The history of the pipe diameter tape measure is probably darker than its future. Once these 5 myths are explained, this little tape measure will experience much success.

1. Nobody needs a pipe diameter tape measure (OD tape).
2. It is too hard to use. Only an expert can use it.
3. It is probably too expensive.
4. A regular tape measure can do the same job.
5. My customers don’t want one with my company logo on it.

1. The “outside diameter tape” is used by plumbers, pipeline workers, electricians, car and boat repairmen.
2. All you do is wrap it around the pipe, and read off the diameter.
3. It compares to the price of many other pocket tapes.
4. Maybe so, but you would have to correct for the fact that you can’t readily see the zero mark. You would have to use the one inch or two inch mark, and subtract that from the total, then divide by pi. A pipe diameter tape measure has the zero conveniently located away from the end of the tape, to make it easy to line up.

Here is the most popular “pipe tape”:

## 3 Mysteries of the Diameter Tape Measure

The diameter tape measure easily figures the diameter of a pipe or pipeline. All you have to do is wrap it around the pipe, and read off the diameter. Here are its mysteries..

1. Why is the “zero” mark not at the beginning of the tape? It is a couple inches away from the beginning of the tape.
2. Why does the end of the tape have a “loop” instead of a “hook”?
3. Why are some calibrated in 100ths of an inch, and some in 64ths of an inch, and some in millimeters?

1. By having the zero mark away from the beginning of the tape, you can easily line up the other part of the tape to the zero mark.
2. Since zero is not at the end of the tape, there is no need to have a hook there. What is helpful, is to have a metal loop to hold onto, when wrapping the tape around the pipe.
3. Different strokes for different folks. Automotive repair people prefer the 64ths of an inch calibration. Oilfield people prefer the 100ths of an inch version. And of course, some people use the metric system of measurement.

## Celebrate Pi Day 2019 With A Diameter Tape Measure

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.

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

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.