What is earthquake strapping?

Earthquake strapping helps restrain your water heater from falling or damaging pipes during an earthquake. It is required on all water heater installations in the state of California. No one wants the worst to happen, but when there is an earthquake in California, the last thing that you want to have happen is a gas water heater with a pilot light coming out of the wall and landing near flammable liquids that may be in your utility room or your garage. Along with busting the pipes that are attached to the water heater, this is a disaster that is just waiting to happen.

For do-it-yourselfers, the state of California has a website with instructions that tells you how to strap your water heater to the wall, but you had better prepared to work. After you locate the studs in the wall behind the water heater (and also on one side of the water heater) you'll need to do more measuring. The water heater needs to be supported approximately 9" down from the top and approximately 4" above from the controls. However, this may be for a larger water heater. If you have a shorty water heater you may only need one strap.

How do you know? It's best to ask your local plumber. We can assess the situation and make sure your water heater is earthquake safe. For example, did you know that steel plumbers tape is what you need to buy in order secure your water heater? This kind of steel plumbers tape comes with 1/4" diameter holes and 1/8" diameter holes, but you'll need pliers to break it apart. Then you can start drilling holes in your wall to make sure that your water heater is earthquake compliant.

There is a lot more to earthquake strapping for a water heater than you might think. This is because you may have walls that are uneven or other structural concerns that need special attention. That's why it's important to call George Salet Plumbing, where we can make your water heater earthquake compliant as quickly as possible.

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