Earthquakes can wreak havoc on cities and cause great damage to human life and infrastructure. To reduce and prevent the damage caused by an earthquake, several safety devices and techniques are used in modern houses and buildings today.
One such important device is an earthquake-activated gas shut-off valve, that shuts off the gas supply if an earthquake occurs. In this guide, we’re going to explore the best practices for installing and maintaining your gas shut-off valve.
What Are Earthquake Valves
Earthquake shut-off valves are special valves that cut off the gas supply in your house or building during an earthquake. They are installed on gas meters in buildings and work automatically if any major seismic event occurs.
These valves are an essential safety device in earthquake-prone areas since damage to gas supply lines during an earthquake can easily cause fires and/or explosions. This can be more damaging than the damage caused by the earthquake itself in some cases.
Below, we’ll go over some important tips and guidelines regarding the installation and maintenance of your earthquake valves.
Determine Your Specific Type of Valve
Before getting started with the maintenance of your earthquake shut-off valve, it is important to determine the type of valve you have. Although the basics of maintenance are mostly the same, there are several different types of gas shut-off valves available, each with its own instruction manual and maintenance guidelines.
Once you have determined the type of valve you have, its maintenance may involve:
- Replacement of worn-out seals
- Lubrication of any moving components
- Checking for any sort of damage to the valve
Ensure The Valve Is Correctly Installed
For the gas shut-off valve to work properly in the event of a major seismic event, it should be correctly installed and secured in your house/building. To ensure proper installation, hire a reliable service that can get it done for you.
If your gas shut-off valve is not properly installed, it may not work as it should if an earthquake occurs. This can be potentially quite dangerous and might prevent the valve from shutting off the gas supply, increasing the chances of a gas leak or explosion.
Regularly Test Your Valve
An important part of maintaining your earthquake gas shut-off valve and ensuring it’s always in perfect working order is to regularly test it. While there is no definite answer for how frequently the testing should take place, experts recommend doing so at least once a year. More frequent testing might be needed if your area is highly vulnerable to earthquakes.
Testing a gas shut-off valve is quite simple. Turn the valve to the “off” mark and then back to the “on” mark. A properly functioning valve should prevent any gas leaks from taking place. However, if you do have a gas leak, it is important to get in touch with your utility provider to get it fixed as soon as possible.
If you’re on the hunt for a reliable company offering retrofitting inspection and installation services, we recommend checking out Retrofit Express. They offer services including:
- Retrofit inspection
- Real estate inspection
- Earthquake-activated gas shutoff valve installation