If you’re new to California or simply purchased your first home, you might be unaware of the importance of strapping your water heater in. While you’ll probably understand the importance of a California water heater, keep reading to find out more about strapping one in.
Straps for your water heater look like large metal belts with apparatuses that help connect them to the nearest wall. The idea is that, in the event of an earthquake, these straps will keep your water heater upright. Without them, an earthquake could very easily knock your water heater over, causing all kinds of damage and potentially turning a situation lethal in the form of a gas leak.
For this reason, the Uniform Plumbing Code mandates water heater straps in seismic zones 3 and 4. If you’re unsure of whether this encompasses your home, you can check online. Chances are if you don’t already have straps on your water heater, you’re fine. Additionally, this law is not unique to California. Other states at risk for earthquakes also mandate straps for similar safety reasons.
Whenever someone installs a water heater, they are required to sign a statement attesting to having strapped the appliance in. If they falsify this document, they stand guilty of treason. That’s why, if you don’t currently have straps, it’s likely you don’t need them. However, if you find you in fact do, you should call an installer immediately.