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Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air

Earthquake Preparedness: Don't Forget Your Home Plumbing


Living in Southern California, and with all of the recent earthquakes in the world, smart homeowners are periodically checking and doing preventive maintenance on their home.

When it comes to residential plumbing, your water heater and your pipes are the most vulnerable in case of an earthquake.

Here are tips for earthquake preparedness for your home plumbing and water heater.

water heater with earthquake strapSecure Your Water Heater

When an earthquake happens, things move around, fall down, and break. You want to be sure your water heater cannot move at all. There is scalding hot water in the tank and it very likely could be connected to a gas line.

So, strap the water heater to the wall studs. Secure the water heater tank in two places. First, take metal tape and heavy bolts and hold it down about one-third of the way from the upper part of the hot water heater. Then, add a second strap about four inches or more above the thermostat controls.

Do you have copper or semi-rigid gas connectors bringing gas to your hot water heater or other gas appliances like a dryer? Upgrade them to approved connectors that are called flexible metal appliance connectors.

These two items are extremely important for a gas hot water heater or other gas appliances.

What To Do in a Plumbing Emergency

When it comes to earthquakes, your pipes can crack and break when the Earth starts moving, creating an emergency plumbing situation. The house can flood inside and outside the home. If the shaking is very small when it starts, turn the water off immediately to the entire house. But always be safe and make sure your family is safe first.

For earthquake preparedness for your home plumbing, know where the shutoff valve is. Look for the first line into the house and label it.

A sewer backflow valve also helps with flooding or a disaster like an earthquake to stop sewer back ups. This can be nasty, cause diseases, and, of course, is unsanitary.

Just using these simple tips will save hundreds and even thousands of dollars from water damage, a dangerous gas emergency or replacing the water heater.

And finally, after you’ve taken these steps to prepare your home in case of an earthquake, make sure you and your family always have an emergency plan ready for action which includes having an emergency preparedness kit and a household evacuation plan that includes your pets. Check out the Red Cross website for more tips on how to be best prepared.

And if you need help securing your water heater or checking your gas line connections, the plumbing experts at Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air are ready to help.

With all the recent earthquakes in the world, a person should start checking and doing preventive maintenance on their home. When it comes to plumbing and your water heater, this is extremely important in case of an emergency. Here are tips for earthquake preparedness for your home plumbing and water heater.

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