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How-to Guide

Cable Protector Buying Guide: Understanding How to Measure Outer Diameter of Cables

 Posted on: September 23rh, 2021

Cable Protector Buying Guide: Understanding How to Measure Outer Diameter of Cables
Measuring the diameter of a pipe with a caliper

When looking to cover up your cables, hoses, pipes or wires, one question that frequently arises is what cable protection ramp will fit your cables. The simple answer? The outside diameter of your cable should be less than the inside channel width of the cable ramp for a comfortable fit.

Hoses, PVC-pipes and other tubes are labeled based on inside diameter (ID). While that’s a nice measurement to have when you’re using the hose or pipe, it doesn’t take the thickness of the tube wall into account. It’s this outside diameter (OD) that you will need to measure to make sure the cable ramps you select has a channel that is larger than the whole diameter of the hose. There are two simple ways to determine OD:

Using calipers to measure inside and outside diameter of pipe
Use a flexible tape measure to find the outside circumference of the pipe, then divide that number by pi

Calipers: Use calipers to measure the measure the outside diameter (with very large pipes, a tape measure might suffice, however calipers will be the most precise option)

Tape measure: Use a flexible tape measure to find the outside circumference of the pipe, then divide that number by pi (3.1415 etc., round as needed) to find the outside diameter

Finding the Cable Ramp with the Right Channel Size

Discount Ramps simplifies the process of finding a cable ramp with channel sizes for cables with outside diameters up to 5”, with options for light-duty, medium-duty or heavy-duty use.

Light-duty applications include foot traffic, office or commercial locations. Medium-duty options usually max out at about 19,000 lbs. per axle weight capacity, and can handle most moderate vehicle traffic up to loaded pickup trucks and smaller construction equipment. Heavy-duty applications include construction sites, large events with continuous traffic, and work zones with a flow of heavy trucks and larger equipment traffic.

For our full line of cable ramp products from brand names such as Elasco, Checkers, Guardian, Ultratech and more, please view our entire cable ramps offering.

Cable ramp picks in each channel size

Under 1” Outside Diameter

LightGuardian Floor Cable Cover for .75” OD cables
MediumGuardian Cable Protector for .75” OD Cables
HeavyCheckers Guard Dog Cable Protector for .75” OD Cables

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for under 1" OD.


1” to 1.49” Outside Diameter

LightElasco Dropover Cable Cover with 4” W Channel for 1” OD Cables
MediumCheckers Guard Dog Drop-Over Cable Protector for 1.33” OD Cables
HeavyElasco UltraGuard Low-Profile Five-Channel Cable Protector for 1.375” OD Cables

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for 1" to 1.49" OD.


1.5” to 1.99” Outside Diameter

MediumGuardian Cable Protector for 1.5” OD Cables
MediumUltratech Sidewinder Cable Protector for 1.5” OD Cables

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for 1.5" to 1.99" OD.


2” to 2.99” Outside Diameter

HeavyElasco Dropover Cable Cover for 2” OD Cables

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for 2" to 2.99" OD.


3” to 3.99” Outside Diameter

MediumGuardian Cable Protector for 3.25” OD Cables

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for 3" to 3.99" OD.


4” to 4.99” Outside Diameter

HeavyElasco XtremeGuard Heavy-Duty 4.5

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for 4" to 4.99" OD.


5” Outside Diameter and Above

MediumCheckers Yellow Jacket Cable Protector for 5”+ OD Cables
HeavyElasco XtremeGuard Single Channel Cable Protector System for 6” OD Cables

Here is the full offering of cable ramps for 5"+ OD.