How do you predict the piping system movement? If I fail to get the correct travel and direction, will I end up damaging the snubber?

It depends upon the system conditions, temperature, flow rate, pipe material, and ambient conditions. Yes, you would damage it if you do not have proper loading of the snubber. That’s why we recommend a full stress analysis of the system prior to replacing supports.

Mechanical Snubber Installed In The Field
Mechanical Snubber Installed in the Field