Have you heard of earthquake strapping a water heater? In the state of California, all residential and commercial water heaters must be properly strapped down to prevent further damage in the event of an earthquake. When the ground shakes abruptly, the unit could potentially fall over and cause a fire or explosion. Whether you’re a California resident or not, earthquake strapping your water heater is a wise investment for the protection of you and your family.
Why Earthquake Strapping is Important
Besides the fact that it’s required for California residents, earthquake strapping is another step in protecting the residents of your home from a fire or explosion. Water heaters typically contain a pilot lighting device used to ignite the natural gas and heat the water. If a sizable earthwquake were to occur and knock the unit out of place, the pilot light could be exposed to an open gas line, therefore causing a fire or explosion.
Even if you don’t live in an earthquake-prone area, it’s still a wise idea to have your water heater properly strapped down. If the structural beams of your house began to collapse over the unit, having it strapped down could prevent further damage.
Another reason why smart homeowners choose to strap their water heater down is simply because of the extra water it can provide them in the event of a natural disaster. When hurricane Katrina struck, tens of thousands of residents were left stranded in their homes. A typical water heater can provide you with about 40 to 50 gallons of clean drinking water, which is more valuable as gold during a natural disaster.
How To Earthquake Strap Your Water Heater
The legal requirements for earthquake strapping a water heater involve the use of two straps – one at the top and one at the base of the unit. Each strap must then be screwed into the studs of the home’s structure to prevent them from ripping out upon impact.
If you intent on earthquake strapping your water heater, look for a kit to fit your specific model. These kits usually include the straps, bracing bar, and all the necessary screws to go with it. They’re fairly easy to install and typically only require the individual to place the bracing bar behind the water heater, strap the top and bottom across and screw it into both the bar and the studs. If you feel uncomfortable doing this yourself, you can have a professional come out to get the job done for you.
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