Emergency Shutdown Procedures for Tank Water Heaters
BEFORE an Emergency Strap the Water Heater
Make sure your water heater is strapped and anchored to the wall securely. Otherwise, an earthquake may cause unnecessary damage and costs.
Requirements may change over time for the type of straps. Always check with your local emergency preparedness center. The “Earthquake Country Alliance” is a good resource to check to make sure you’re adequately prepared.
If the water heater maintains its upright position during an earthquake, the water inside can be an emergency water source AFTER an earthquake.
Another excellent diagram and checklist for adequately securing your water heater can be found here. It’s a list of San Diego County Building Code requirements.
The best way to make sure your water heater is secured, is to call us. We are water heater experts.
Follow these Emergency Shutdown Procedures to Avoid Water Damage
If Emergency is a LEAKING Water Heater …
Old water heaters, especially if not periodically flushed by a trained service technician, can leak. To avoid damage, follow these steps:
- Turn OFF gas or electric. For gas, turn the top dial from the on position to off. For electric, turn off power at circuit breaker panel.
- Turn OFF water supply by turning the handle clockwise until it stops. If that does not stop water, turn off the main water supply
- If necessary to avoid water damage, drain the water heater. BE CAREFUL – WATER IS HOT. Attach a hose to the drain valve on the water heater. Place a large bucket or container below the hose and allow water to drain. The water will likely be rusty and filled with grungy looking minerals. Allow air out of the tank by opening a hot water faucet inside your home.
- Open the relief valve. Again, be careful because it may still be hot. To open this valve, turn it either out or up.
- Call us.
Extend the life of your water heater. Call us to drain and flush it at least once a year.
Find out more here about our water heater service, repair and installation.
You can also extend the life of your water heater by installing a water treatment system. Our hard water in Fallbrook, Bonsall, Oceanside, Vista and Temecula has a high mineral content. Those minerals build up in water heaters causing corrosion. That corrosion and rust shortens the life of water heaters and other water appliances. Find out more about our cost-effective water treatment systems here.
Call us to Service your Gas Line too Before an Emergency
After checking for leaks, we can show you where the main turn off valve is located. Each of your gas appliances also includes a turn off valve for turning off the gas to just that specific appliance. We can show you where each one is located and how to turn it off. Click here for more information on propane gas lines.
We also inspect, repair and install gas lines. Find out more here.
For a listing of our most commonly asked for plumbing services, click here. No job is too large or too small.