Strapping Your Stockton Ca Water Heater

Strap Your Heater To Resist Falling
in Case of an Earthquake

You are required by the State of California to have your home's water heater braced to ensure it will not fall and that gas and water lines will not break during an earthquake when selling your home. Health and Safety Code 19211)..

Strapping your water heater and making sure it is fitted with a flexible gas supply line will greatly reduce the danger of a fire or explosion from a gas leak after an earthquake. The water contained within your water heater can also be a vital source of drinking water in an emergency. Flexible pipes for the gas and water lines are safer in an earthquake than rigid pipes. If your water heater does not have a flexible gas supply line, contact a licensed plumber to install one. These instructions are for a 30-40 gallon water heater within 12" of a stud wall.

The illustration below shows the strapping requirements for water heaters up to 40 gallons within 12 inches of a stud walls. For water heaters over 40 gallon, but less than 100 gallons, use inch EMT conduit and 1-1/2 inch metal strap. Water heaters over 100 gallons and/or water heaters more than 12 inches from a wall require a designed system.

NOTE: Approved manufactured water heater support kits sold at building and plumbing supply stores may be used as an alternate to these requirements.


Locate wall studs on both sides of the water heater. Pre-drill holes for anchor bolts in stud center.
Measure distance around water heater. Cut two 1-1/2"x16 gauge straps to encompass water heater.
Drill holes in the ends of the straps and bend them 45 degrees.
Cut four pieces of " EMT conduit to the proper length as shown in diagram and Discountten ends.
Drill holes in Discounttened ends of conduit. Bend Discounttened ends 45 degrees on one side.
Install strapping. Strapping shall be located at points within the upper and lower (1/3) one third of the vertical dimension of the water heater. At the lower point, a minimum distance of 4 inches shall be maintained above the controls. Wrap the straps around the heater and insert a 5/16" x 1-1/4" bolt with washer into the bent ends.
Install EMT conduit. Insert " x 3" lag bolts through hole in ends of conduit into the wall stud and tighten. Insert 5/16" x 1-1/4" bolt, that is in strapping, through other end of conduit and tighten.

You will be able to see the straps and screws if your water heater is braced. Make sure that the screws are firmly anchored to studs or masonry. The illustration shows one method of bracing a water heater. Ask your local building department for details of local building requirements, your home's type of construction, plans for recommended bracing procedures, or to answer any questions you may have about bracing your water heater.

Water Heater Statement

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