Automatic Seismic Gas Shut-off Valve ...All homeowners of earthquake prone areas should know about this.
What is an Automatic Seismic Gas Shut-off Valve?
The functionality of a Seismic/Earthquake shut-off valve will automatically shut off the flow of natural gas to your property when an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 or greater occurs at or near the location of your home.
Even minor earthquake activity could potentially cause damage to gas lines and create the risk of gas-line explosions and fires. Also know that appliances which utilize natural gas could also be damaged during earthquakes and as-you-know this in itself can cause gas leaks.
An automatic and quick shut-off of the flow of natural gas from ruptured pipes is one of the “keys” to preventing a fire or home explosion due to a gas leaks caused by earthquakes.
The automatic gas shutoff valves were developed because in reality no one can accurately predict an earthquake and everyone by now, especially homeowners, should know about the explosive dangers that a continuous natural gas leak can cause.
Did you know that about 1-in-4 fires and/or home explosions after an earthquake are related to natural gas leaks?
There are two types of earthquake shut-off valves:
(1) Seismic natural gas shut-off valve – automatically shuts off your natural gas, when an earthquake of a magnitude of 5.1 or higher occurs at or near your home.
(2) Excess flow valve – automatically shuts off your gas when a significant gas leak or an “over pressure surge” occurs at a pipe or appliance beyond the valve location.
FYI: in the event that an automatic gas shutoff device has closed the natural gas flow or even if the shutoff was done manually, remember that only gas utility personnel or another qualified professional should restore gas service and re-light any appliance pilots in order to adequately ensure that a thorough safety and leak check is performed.
In addition: if you want to have an (1) earthquake natural gas shut-off valve or an (2) excess-flow valve installed for reasons such as (a) peace of mind, (b) for the safety for your family, (c) you are required by your insurance company or (d) the local Department of Building and Safety requires one to be installed – again remember that the installation of gas shut-off valves will require the closure of the natural gas flow. You will need to contact your utility gas company or your licensed professional, such as a plumber, and it is a must that the “shut-off” valve be installed starting at “homeowner side” of the house gas line… refer to image depiction above which shows the “point of installation” on gas pipeline.
Oscar Castillo : Broker Associate (San Diego, CA)
- Residential Brokerage