Residents of Southern California are well acquainted with earthquakes. It is quite likely that you have experienced an earthquake as well. Earthquakes can be disastrous. People are often worried about the damage their house will sustain when the next one strikes. What if the floor cracks? Will the roof come tumbling down? Is there a chance that the walls could break? However, while everyone first thinks about the structural damage to their homes, not much thought is given to plumbing. Even a small earthquake with seemingly little or no consequences can damage the plumbing of your house. It is the area most susceptible to damage and thus has a significant likelihood of being affected by the disaster.
How to minimize the risk of damage?
You can save yourself from a lot of trouble by preparing for earthquakes ahead of time. If you want to make sure that the earthquake causes minimal damage to the plumping system of your house, there are a couple of things that you can do.
Be aware of shut-off valves
The first thing that you need to know is where your water and gas shut-off valves are located. In the event of an earthquake, it is a good idea to shut off the water to your home for two reasons. It can prevent contaminated water from entering the lines in your home, and it can keep gravity from draining water out of your home’s lines if there is a break in a pipe outside.
Similarly, the main gas line should also be shut off in such situations. It may be worth investing in a seismic gas shut-off value [hyperlink to relevant blog], which will turn off the gas automatically in an earthquake.
Stay on top of leaks
is best to fix leaks, especially those in pipes, as soon as they are noticed. Leaks may become bigger as the result of an earthquake, so if they are fixed promptly, than that is one less thing you have to worry about.
How to inspect your home for damage to its plumbing?
Let us assume that an earthquake just hit your area and you are worried that the plumbing might be damaged. How do you find out?
Inspect the inside of your house to see if there are any damp spots on the walls or floor as this could be a sign of leaking or broken pipes. Make sure to carefully check your water heater and the valves at your toilets, under your sinks, and in your laundry room. Also, if there is any fluctuation in water pressure or you hear water dripping, call your plumber immediately.
Outside of the house
Take a walk around your yard and see if you can find any puddles or wet spots that cannot be otherwise explained. Note that it may take some time until you are able to notice these issues. Also, check that your sprinklers are running correctly and that your hose bibs are not leaking.
Trust professionals to get the job done
It is crucial to ensure that the plumbing of your house is properly maintained. If problems are detected at an early stage, they can be dealt with before they cause an even bigger issue. Getting a professional to inspect your plumbing before and after the next earthquake will help make sure that your home suffers the least damage possible.
This is where we come in. At Green’s Plumbing, we are a family-owned and operated company that understands the consequences of ignoring plumbing problems. That is why we offer a Free Annual Inspection where, among other services, we check that all fixtures are working properly, make sure shut-off valves are functional and test water pressure. If you are interested in this service, we are just a call away.