Wednesday, November 12, 2014
San Diego Pronto Plumbers: Advice About Automatic Earthquake Shutoff Valves in San Diego, CA
When an earthquake occurs, the shaking to a home can cause damage to both gas pipes and appliances, damage that can result in natural gas leaks, fires, and explosions. Earthquakes can’t be prevented, but fires from broken gas lines certainly can be. The installation of a shutoff valve can put a help to lower the pervasive fire risk, one that is a major factor in one out of four fires following an earthquake. In San Diego, CA, having an automatic earthquake shutoff valve for natural gas lines makes a lot of sense.
Of course, while we at San Diego Pronto Plumbers believe that earthquake and over-surge protection can be a real life-saver, it is also vitally important to reduce the possibility of a gas leak with regular gas line and appliance maintenance, as well as repair when necessary. Electronic gas line leak detection is yet another important safety tool.
Make sure your water heater and all appliances that use natural gas are anchored, and that they utilize flexible pipe connections. Flexible pipes are very important, as much gas line plumbing uses decidedly unflexible black iron piping. An earthquake can all too easily break the joints in these types of pipes, and flood a home with flammable gas. There are several kinds of shut off valves, including valves that are earthquake-activated, excess flow valves, methane detectors, and manual shut-offs, as well as methane detectors. Both earthquake activated valves and excess flow valves should be state certified and installed on the house line that connects your meter to your actual gas.
Is it hard to install these valves? No. When an earthquake hits with a larger than 5.4 magnitude, a seismic actuator releases, and gas is prevented from entering your house. In short: a simple and effective way to reduce danger when an earthquake occurs.