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 What is an Earthquake Shut Off Valve?

What is an Earthquake Shut Off Valve?

Posted by Admin on 11th May 2021

If you live in a state that is prone to earthquakes such as California, you may have seen a red box on your gas hose that distributes gas to your home or workplace. Gas valves are a surprisingly simple invention that play a large role in keeping you, your family, and others safe during an earthquake.

There are two types of earthquake shut off valves: an excess flow valve (EFV) and a seismic natural gas shut off valve (SGV). The EFV is triggered when they sense a gas leak or a sudden surge of pressure in your gas line. It closes off the pipe, stopping any gas from entering your home. This shut off does not have to occur in tandem with an earthquake but if it does, it will shut off. This valve can easily be turned on again once it is safe to do so.

The other type of valve, an SGV is only triggered with an earthquake that measures more than 5.1 on the Richter scale. Earthquakes of this magnitude are the start of more devastating reactions causing property damage etc. When the valve senses the earthquake, a metal ball drops from its position and blocks gas from going through the pipe. Until you reset the valve, the ball will stay locked in place.

Preventing more catastrophic damage is the goal of these simple attachments. Historically, gas leaks are what causes the majority of damage since it can ignite and cause explosions. In areas with a high population density, a gas explosion could cause the downfall of multiple buildings at the cost of human lives.

Installing an earthquake shut off valve is quick and easy but should be left to a professional to make sure that is done correctly. This valve is a small but incredibly important part of your gas line that will protect your home or business and those in it.

It doesn’t matter if you are using gas or electric, your water heater also needs to be up to date. Our commercial electric water heater options means that you can find what your business needs. We also carry Rheem Ruud universal commercial water heaters as well.