How to Secure and Strap Your Water Heater When Selling

For 2024, as in previous years, the State of California Health and Safety Code mandates that all water heaters (tank type) be braced and anchored, and that compliance must be completed before the close of escrow (COE) when selling. Tankless water heaters do not need to be strapped.

During past earthquakes, water heaters have moved or tipped over if they were not securely anchored to adjacent walls. This movement has resulted in gas line or water line leaks and electrical wiring damage. Gas line leaks and damaged electrical wiring pose health and fire hazards, and water line leaks can cause significant and costly property damage. Bottom line is they may set your home on fire in case of a sizable earthquake, don’t take the risk.

Do electric water heaters need to be strapped? Yes. The code applies to both gas and electric water heaters in the state of California.

Below are recommended ways to strap and brace your hot water heater tank correctly. Bottom line, for a typical sized water heater, make sure to have at least two heavy duty (not plumbers tape) straps holding the heater securely and bolted into wood studs, and not drywall. This will avoid damager or fire during a good sized earthquake.

Securing (blocking) your water heater – try to minimize the space between the water heater and the adjacent securing wall next to the water heater. If the space is greater than two inches, wood blocking between the water heater and adjacent wall or wood frame must be constructed.

Call us if you have any questions at 310-800-4418.

2 thoughts on “How to Secure and Strap Your Water Heater When Selling”

    1. 51+ gallon tank type water heaters are recommended to be triple strapped for safety, but not technically required. Regardless the tank should be on a secure foundation to avoid tipping over during a quake.

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