One of the most significant risks to property and persons during seismic activity is the gas pipes that run throughout almost every building in the country. If the gas continues to flow freely after an earthquake, leaks can be life-threatening and even lead to explosions that massively increase property damage.
If you want to be certain that your building is safe and fully up to code, then you need to know the regulations and compliance requirements for earthquake shut-off valves in your area.
What Are They?
Earthquake shut-off valves cut gas flow when an earthquake occurs. Some shut-off valves are also designed to stop the gas flow in other dangerous circumstances – like whenever there is a leak in the pipeline.
Different manufacturers use different mechanisms, but an earthquake-activated gas shutoff valve will usually be triggered by the shaking of the ground during seismic activity. The valve will automatically stop the gas at the shut-off point and can then be reset manually once it is safe to do so.
The best earthquake valves for gas shutoff can depend on the area that you live in. The property itself, the kind of seismic activity you are likely to experience, and the rules and regulations in your county will all influence which kind of valve you should install.
The Regulations and Compliance Requirements for Earthquake Shut-Off Valves in California
California has some of the strictest requirements when it comes to earthquake-preparedness of any state in the country, for obvious reasons. The high level of seismic activity across the Golden State puts every structure at significant risk, and shut-off valves have been mandatory in many counties since 1999.
Simply having them installed is not necessarily enough, either. There are very specific legal conditions that the valve itself has to meet, certain types of valves that are permitted in some counties and not others, and some exceptions as well.
Some of the important regulations to be aware of include:
- Valves need to be down from the utility meter on every line that serves a building or structure.
- They need to be put in place by a licensed contractor.
- They need to be rigidly mounted in the correct location.
- They need to be appropriately certified by the correct governing bodies.
- They need to come with a warranty for at least 30 years.
To fully understand all of the regulations and compliance requirements for Earthquake Shut-Off Valves, it is best to speak to a professional that can explain how they apply to your building in particular.
What Is Retrofit Inspection?
If you are at all unsure about what your property needs or what kind of shut-off valve might be best, then you may want to book yourself a retrofit inspection.
These are simple inspections carried out by trained and licensed professionals that will ensure every aspect of a structure complies with earthquake regulations.
Based on the inspection, they may also recommend any retrofitting options that you may need to look into. This could include everything from new valves to water conservation features and foundation bracing.
Retrofit Inspection Los Angeles
If you’re in the LA area and need a retrofit inspection, a Real Estate inspection, a new Shut-Off Valve installation, or a certificate of compliance, then you can trust the professionals at Retrofit Express to handle the job with expertise and experience.