Earthquake Shut-off Valve

What is an Earthquake Shut-off Valve?

Since the year 2000, all new buildings in California have had to have valves that turn off water in case of an earthquake. When providing building licenses, local authorities strictly enforce these regulations. Earthquake shut-off valves are a lifesaver, but many Californians either don’t know about them or haven’t had them put in their older homes.

Is your dwelling ready for a large quake? All gas lines in Californian structures should have an emergency shutoff valve in the event of an earthquake. In light of this, it is imperative that every Californian be familiar with how to use a gas shutoff valve in the event of an earthquake. In case an earthquake does shake your gas line, here’s everything you need to know, like how to modernize your home and what to do in the aftermath.

Why Does California Have So Many Earthquakes?

Horror stories abound in the history of California earthquakes. Large, devastating earthquakes are, thankfully, uncommon. About ten thousand earthquakes occur in southern California each year. Almost all of these won’t even register on your sensory system. There are a few hundred that are at least 3.0 magnitude, and between 15 and 20 that are at least 4.0 magnitude.

The location of California on the San Andreas fault makes the state very vulnerable to earthquakes. At this spot, the Pacific Plate is pushing on the North American Plate, making a line between the two. Even though the San Andreas is the biggest and most dangerous fault, it is only one of hundreds that are always moving because of the pressure it puts on the land around it.

Los Angeles and San Francisco will be neighbors in another 15 million years since these plates move around 2 inches every year.

What is an earthquake shut-off valve?

Specialized earthquake shut-off valves are installed on the gas meter of your building. In the event of an emergency, these valves automatically close, cutting off gas from flowing into your line. Common earthquake shut-off valve types include:

When a quake of magnitude 5.1 or greater is detected, these seismic natural gas shut-off valves open and the gas supply is cut off.

Excess-flow Valve: These valves trigger when they sense a gas leak or overpressure surge somewhere in your gas line.

What Is the Function of Earthquake Shut-Off Valves?

They’re actually rather easy to do! The gas metre’s connection point to the gas pipes in your home is where the valve will be mounted. Both types of valves described here respond differently to their respective triggers.

The gas shutoff valve has a seismic response. In order to prevent gas from escaping, a metal ball is placed within your gas pipe just above the main line. This metal ball falls out of its suspension ring and into the gas line during earthquakes of magnitude 5.1 or higher. By eaks.leaks. Trapped gas is flammable and toxic, posing a serious risk. Indoors, where the gas can accumulate unchecked, gas leaks pose a particularly grave threat. Trapped gas is flammable and toxic, posing a serious risk. Not only do earthquakes often cause gas leaks, but they also often make it easy for gas leaks to start fires. After an earthquake has started a fire, any gas in the house might explode if the flames come into contact with the gas.

Following an earthquake, gas leaks are usually the source of the most severe damage. Ninety percent of the city’s destruction from the 1906 Great San Francisco Earthquake was caused by flames. Thirty fires, started by leaking gas lines, razed 490 city blocks.

With the help of seismic valves, you can keep your home safe from gas leaks and fires caused by an earthquake. It’s possible that you won’t have the mental capacity or time to check on your gas line after a nearby earthquake. If you have a safety valve installed, you may worry less about the well-being of your loved ones and devote your attention elsewhere. If your gas lines were unharmed throughout an earthquake, all you have to do is turn the valve back to its original position. It prevents gas from entering your home if the lines were broken and allows you to wait for repairs.

How We Install Earthquake Shut-off Valves

Earthquake valves don’t alter the look of your plumbing and can be easily retrofitted. We’ll start by temporarily cutting off your home’s gas supply. Since we’ll be slicing open the supply pipes to attach the valve, this step is essential. Our next step will be to cut the gas supply to your home at the metre. Some of the pipe in your system may need to be rotated or taken out entirely, depending on how it all works. Making this adjustment will free up space between your supply pipes and metres for the shutoff valve.

After making the necessary changes, we’ll attach the valve to the “end” of your supply box in a safe way. The actual valve compartment can resemble either a cylindrical object or a small box. Most of the time, it will be a different color than the rest of the pipe in order to be easily identified. At last, we’ll connect the valve to the house’s plumbing system. We’ll check the valve’s functionality when we’ve finished installing it. We’ll also demonstrate how to force a reset.

Get Your Earthquake Shut-off Valve Installed Today

Valve shutoffs for earthquakes may be set up in a matter of minutes. Mike Diamond can put you in touch with a qualified technician who can install an earthquake shut-off valve in accordance with rules set by the California Public Utilities Commission.

For your peace of mind, our professionals will inspect more than 22 points in and around your home’s gas line.

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