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How to calculate the volume of a pipe

Updated September 03, 2018

Finding the volume of a pipe can be useful for any number of reasons such as calculating how much water a pipe can hold before bursting. There are multiple ways to find that volume, depending on what resources you have available to you.

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  1. Calculate the radius. In order to find the radius, measure the diameter of the pipe and divide by two. The diameter is the distance from the inside of one edge of the pipe, across the centre and to the inside edge of the other side.

  2. Measure the height of the pipe with the ruler.

  3. Use the following formula: Volume (V) = Pi * Radius (r) Squared * Height. Insert the values you found in steps one and two for radius and height. If the calculator does not have a pi button, use 3.14.

  4. For an alternate method, fill the pipe with water.

  5. Pour the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl. The volume of the water equals the volume of the pipe.

  6. Tip

    Don't forget the units! If the measurements are in centimetre, it will be cubic centimetres. If it is in inches, it will be cubic inches.


    When measuring the diameter, make sure to measure from the inside of the pipe, otherwise your volume will come out larger than expected.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • Water
  • Measuring device


About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."

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