People often seem to get confused regarding earthquake straps for water heaters. Some say Water heater Double strapping and Bracing are required; others say one is enough. Some suggest plumber's tape is sufficient, while others argue it's inadequate.
Some people advise wrapping the strap around the tank; others recommend it's unnecessary. Some even propose that electric heaters need no strapping at all. So whom to trust?
Since 1982, the California plumbing code has mandated the seismic safety strap for every hot water heater. The primary reason for imposing this requirement is to prevent water damage, fire, or explosion if a water heater topples during an earthquake.
In the 1990s, the Water heater Double strapping and Bracing requirements were upgraded. As per the new codes, strapping shall be at points within the lower one-third and upper one-third of the heater. To date, this is the mandatory plumbing code compliance.
Legal Criteria for adequate Water heater strapping and bracing installation
1-Whether gas or electric, all hot water heaters must be appropriately strapped.
2-Two straps are necessary. One in the lower one-third and one in the upper one-third of the fixture.
3-Straps should be wrapped all around the water heater body. Many of the strapping and bracing kits available fail to meet this requirement, so it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional Water heater strapping and bracing installation service.
4- Straps should be to the wall studs using 3 inches long and quarter-inch diameter lag bolts.
Who can install Water heater strapping and bracing?
While there is a common misconception that you can install your Water heater Double strapping and Bracing, it is recommended to always rely on professionals. It is because professionals are experienced and understand even the most minor detail of state plumbing code and compliance, ensuring your water heater doesn’t move even an inch during an earthquake.
While you might successfully install your water heater strapping at home, an improperly secured water heater can break the gas line and promote a gas leak, resulting in fire and other hazardous health risks.
In addition, the heavy weight of the heater can damage the water line and cause flooding. Not to mention the injuries it can cause if you are nearby when the heater tumbles on the floor. Hence, Installing a Water heater, Double strapping, and Bracing are well worth the investment not just to meet state compliance but also for your and your loved ones’ safety. So call the experts today!