According to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, “earthquakes occur nearly every day in Washington.” While these earthquakes are usually small and too minor to cause any significant damage, due to its geological location, the state, “has the second highest risk in the U.S.,” of being hit by a larger and more destructive earthquake. With that in mind, it’s always wise to take necessary measures when it comes to earthquake safety and preparedness, but that isn’t just limited to earthquake drills. To protect yourself and your home during an earthquake, you’ll need to make sure that important systems like your home’s plumbing are adequately prepared.
A home’s plumbing system is vital to the health and well-being of a home. When it’s not in excellent working condition or if it’s unavailable due to damage from an earthquake, that can lead to unappealing conditions. Even for those who live in Renton, plumbing systems are vulnerable to the threats posed by earthquakes.
Earthquakes don’t choose where or when to strike and that makes it difficult to predict when an emergency situation might arise, but by taking the time to plan ahead for an earthquake or similar natural event, you’ll be less likely to be caught unawares. When it comes to ensuring your plumbing system is prepared, there are a few things that you can take care of before disaster strikes.
Secure your water heater
In the event of a severe earthquake, anything that is not tied down will be flung across the room and this includes tall, large, and heavy appliances like refrigerators and water heaters. When not secured properly, water heaters are at risk of toppling over and potentially crushing anything that’s caught beneath them. They could also cause a water or gas leak if the connectors between the pipes aren’t flexible or if they become damaged or ruptured during the seismic event. A water leak could lead to moderate damage, but the damage from a gas leak could be ten times worse. Depending on the circumstances, a gas leak could lead to a fire that could destroy the home entirely.
Inspect your water and sewer lines
To prepare for an earthquake, people practice earthquake safety by participating in earthquake drills. Every year in October, International ShakeOut Day is a day, “when millions of people worldwide will participate in earthquake drills at work, school, or home!” While there aren’t really earthquake drills that you can run on your plumbing, you can still prepare by having your plumbing inspected regularly. Water and sewer lines lie underground and if an earthquake is powerful enough, the rapid shaking of the ground or the shifting of the dirt surrounding these plumbing lines could cause the pipes to break, especially if they’re old or already in need of repairs.
A broken sewer pipe or water line would lead to costly repairs or cleanup, especially if sewage or water started to leak from the plumbing, but with a plumbing inspection, you can get ahead of these potential plumbing problems. An inspection from a professional plumber will let you know which areas of your plumbing might require repairs or which might need replacement and they can inform you about any problem areas that might need maintenance down the line.
Make sure you’re plumbing is ready before the next earthquake strikes! For more plumbing maintenance advice, reach out to Trusted Plumbing & Heating in Renton, WA.