Best Ways to Double Strap Your Water Heater in Southern California

Do all hot water heaters need to be strapped? Yes! All water heaters must be strapped in at least two locations; the upper one-third of the unit and the lower one-third. The lower strap must be a minimum of 4″ above the water heater control unit. Note that the required clearances from a wall to the heater are stated on the units nameplate and instructions and should be followed.

Do electric water heaters need to be strapped? Yes, per the State of California code. They must be strapped in a similar fashion to prevent tip over during an earthquake.

Should a 75 or greater gallon hot water heater tank have three straps? It is recommended but not required, especially if the tank is not located directly on the ground.

Offical code here – California Plumbing Code Section 507.2 requires ‘that all water heaters tanks shall be supported and strapped to prevent movement during an earthquake. Two metal straps, not less than 22 gauge, nor less than 5/8-inch wide shall be used, per code‘.

The explainer below shows the two ways to correctly strap a water heater tank in the state of California. Tankless hot water heaters do not need to be strapped.

  • Sample #1 – Use straps with an adjustor or clamp on the straps and tighten to make the tank secure.
  • Sample #2 – Straps with has no adjustments, a wrap-around method is recommended.

Can ‘plumbers tape‘ be used to strap a hot water heater? Only if it is a 40 gallon hot water heater or less, and the straps are attached as in Sample #2 below. Straps must be secure as described below.

More information below:

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