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Water Heaters and California Earthquakes: How to Secure Your Water Heater from the Unexpected

Water Heaters and California Earthquakes: How to Secure Your Water Heater from the Unexpected

25th Mar 2020

The state of California has much to love - its weather, its diverse population, its thriving food scene, etc. However, one thing that has always been a bane to the existence of our great state is earthquakes,which can strike at any time and cause considerable damage and injury. This article will look at water heater earthquake straps, how to secure them and the dangers that can be caused by an unanchored heater.

California Law

According to California law, gas and electric water heaters must be properly attached to the wall so that they do not move during an earthquake. This law applies to residential and commercial gas water heaters as well. If this happens it could subject homes to fire and/or floods. However, some people have older units or units that are not properly installed and that could cause a problem in the event that an earthquake does occur.

Potential Dangers of Unanchored Heaters

A full water heater weighs around 450 - 500 pounds. If it collapses it could lead to a rupturing of the supply lines that lead to it. This could result in a breakage of the gas lines which can lead to a fire. Moreover, leaking gas from an unsecured water heater could cause a potential explosion if it becomes completely dislodged. Therefore you can understand why California law requires that used and new water heaters be secured with braces/straps.

Water Heater Earthquake Straps

Although weather heaters are quite heavy when full, they cannot withstand earthquakes of significant magnitude by themselves. This is why it is essential to secure them with a strapping kit. Here are the two most important steps to securing or having your unit secured.

  • Purchase a kit: A water heater strapping kit is composed of metal straps and fittings. Once purchased, you should ask your plumber to install it for you to keep you and your family safe.
  • Make sure the straps are tight: It is not enough to have the straps in place. Make sure that your straps or tight once they are installed.

While you can secure your water heater by yourself, we advise the use of a plumbing company to ensure that it is done the right way. Your local plumber will have the right tools, and experience and will know the laws that will put your unit in compliance. Meantime, if you need a new unit such as our 100 gallon gas water heater for commercial use, we sell models from the most reliable manufacturers in the world.