Earthquake shut off valves: Why Every Home Should Have One
Imagine for a moment that an earthquake shook the town in the middle of the day. It was strong enough to cause pipes to break and tree branches to fall down. Most of the homeowners are away, at work or at the town doing errands. Gas pipes break. This can lead to explosions that can destroy homes and endanger lives. Homeowners can’t always get home soon enough] to manually turn off their gas valves and prevent disastrous gas leaks and explosions. This is when having earthquake shut off valves become highly advantageous & extremely useful.
The scientific world has not yet developed the technology to reliably predict when an earthquake will hit. Nobody knows when it will happen so nobody knows when to manually turn off gas valves before an earthquake strikes.
To avoid these dangerous situations, install earthquake shut off valves. These will automatically turn valves off in case an earthquake happens. Homeowners can rest, knowing that whenever big ground tremors happen, gas leaks are the least of their worries.
Benefits of installing earthquake shut off valves
The main benefit of having this device is safety in times of seismic activity. If the gas piping breaks during a tremor, this tool will automatically shut the line off. This will lessen the risk of dangerous gas leaks. When gas lines are broken, gases like carbon monoxide can rapidly accumulate inside the house. If the leak happens at night, when all doors and windows are closed, people inside will be in danger. A simple spark can also create fatal explosions. Installing earthquake shut off valves could prevent these kinds of disasters.
How it works
These shut off valves work by completely shutting off the flow of gas into the home once a strong enough ground movement trips the sensor. The house will then be without gas. Supply will resume after the gas line has been professionally checked and the gas leak repair is done. Some of these shut off valves require manual reset while some will automatically restore gas supply after a few days or when the leaks have been properly repaired.
The sensitivity of these valves vary. Some valves trip even with simple vibrations, such as when some major roadwork is ongoing nearby. Some earthquake shut off valves only trip when ground vibrations are especially strong.
These valves also vary in how they are tripped. Some valves are designed to shut off if a big leak is detected. Most valves are unable to shut off if the leak is only small or if the leak is slow. With these, it is still important to check for leaks periodically. Check the line also whenever an earthquake has been reported. The valve may not have been tripped but small leaks might have been created by the earthquake. This can happen if the quake is only a mild one. Even mild ground tremors can compromise gas lines. It is still better to take pre-emptive actions.
Even with these limitations, earthquake shut off valves are still very handy in case a big one hits home. In case of an earthquake, other more important things can be given attention to instead of endangering lives by having to go down a basement to shut off the gas line.