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We're No Dummy (Leg)!


Asking about the purpose of a dummy leg can evoke many responses but none are more fascinating than how essential dummy legs are in the piping industry. In fact, as with most “legs” or support devices, a dummy leg can be a critical component to maintaining the strength and integrity of an entire piping system.

In short, a piping dummy leg is usually a piece of piping welded to the back of a bend or elbow in a piping system and is attached to the nearest primary pipe support. While the dummy support pipe does not conduct the flow of anything it can be vital for keeping an entire section of the system in place without sagging or adding stress to the other piping sections.

Why Would Piping Systems Need Additional Support?

At various points throughout piping systems, different types of additional support must be integrated to enhance structural integrity. In several instances, a dummy leg is used.

The weight of a working pipeline combined with the material that flows through it must have sufficient support to stay in place. Maximum loads are even more significant when insulation materials surrounding the piping systems to maintain high or low temperatures are factored. Support is especially critical if the system suspends overhead.

The total weight of a piping system can be substantial, so design engineers employ complex stress and weight analyses to ensure the long-term integrity of the system.

Designing a Dummy Leg Support

As referenced, a dummy leg support may be a piece of the same or slightly smaller-sized piping welded to a horizontal line to connect a piping bend or elbow to a nearby primary support point. In some instances, the dummy leg may also act as a weight-bearing vertical stand that provides support for a specific section of the piping system; the systems are either suspended from above or supported from below. Designers use CAD programs to draw the plans integrating all variables of angle, diameters of the pipe and dummy leg, maximum loads, and various directional forces.  

Welding the dummy to the elbow bend requires a geometrically precise design to ensure the support is fitted in exactly the right place for maximum support.

Contact APP Pipe Supports to Learn More

Piping designs can be extremely complicated and understanding the proper application of each piece is helpful. APP Manufacturing is a company that specializes in piping support systems. We’ve found that sometimes supply chain or procurement managers need more information to purchase the right accessories and supports for a project.

For help in understanding pipe systems supports, contact the professionals at APP Manufacturing in Houston. With nearly three decades of experience in supplying support accessories for the refining, chemical, marine, and foodservice industries, our engineers have encountered almost every type of challenge in the business.

To learn more about the science of the piping system designs, read the APP Blog section on our website.

If you have questions, phone APP Manufacturing at +1-888-408-9872.