They’re just straps, how hard can it be?
Earthquake strapping of water heaters is required in Sacramento County; it may be required in your county if you are in California. Most building departments have required a building permit for the installation or replacement of water heaters. For those of us who have strapped many water heaters, the idea that a building permit is required seems extreme. Having seen some poor installations, maybe a building permit is necessary to get the proper strapping done.
This photo is NOT the correct installation of earthquake strapping of a water heater!
Here is what needs to be done:
Originally Posted by 2010 California Plumbing Code, 508.2
508.2 Protection from Seismic Damage. Water heaters shall be anchored or strapped to resist horizontal displacement due to earthquake motion. Strapping shall be at points within the upper (1/3) and lower one-third (1/3) of its vertical dimensions. At the lower point, a minimum distance of four (4) inches (102 mm) shall be maintained above the controls with the strapping.
Section 19211(a) Notwithstanding Section 19100, all new and replacement water heaters, and all existing residential water heaters shall be braced, anchored, or strapped to resist falling or horizontal displacement due to earthquake motion.
Simply put, strap the water heater in such a way that it will not fall over in the event of an earthquake. How do you do that? That can be found in thousands of places on the internet; or even on the strapping kit itself. With the proper common tools, the job can be done by the homeowner or maintenance staff. Of course you can always hire a professional to do it for you.
Here is a video by The Golden Gate Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors (GGASHI) that demonstrates the key points of the installation.
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