Can Older Earthquake Shut Off Valves Be Compliant in the City of Los Angeles When Selling?

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Yes, but not all. See highlighted section in the city code section below.. Any earthquake shut off valve installed prior to 1998, if installed to code at that time and has remained in good conditions with no alterations, is grandfathered in from that point on by the ordinance listed below. In other words, if you have an older, working earthquake valve installed prior to 1998, located on either side (left or right side) of the gas meter, you do not need to have it replaced with a new earthquake valve just so it can be ‘permitted’ (ie inspected) by the city of LA. Note: If your gas meter is replaced, SoCal Gas will not re-install an older earthquake valve. They will simply take it off and leave it off, as its not to the current plumbing code.

In approx. 2002, the city of Los Angeles began an online permit lookup service which anyone can use to search permit records relating to earthquake shut off valves. Prior to 2002, any possible permit for an earthquake shut off valve was typically combined as part of the overall construction permit and final Certificate of Occupancy (COO), and not separated out. After 2002, separated out permits for earthquake shut off valves should show on the city of Los Angeles online portal which is located here.

The online permit lookup system is very good but sometimes permitted valves do not show on the LA city online system. Sometimes a permit may show but there may be no valve installed. The online system is very convenient and easy to use but it is not perfect.

The earthquake shutoff valves below were installed by the gas company (Sempra) in the early 1990s.

See highlighted section of the city code below which was signed into law in 12/1997 though originally authored after the Northridge Quake in late 1994.

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