Tips to Install Water Heater Straps

Water heaters need to be properly braced to prevent falling over during earthquakes or home renovations which would result in rupturing gas or water connections. It is important to know how to install water heater straps as well as the right type of strap to use to protect your water heater. Some straps such as plumber’s tape which was used in the past are no longer recommended as water heaters can break through them as was the case in the Loma Pieta and Northridge earthquakes in 1989 and 1994.

The following changes were made to how straps what straps to use and how to use them after these incidents. Straps had to be used to secure the top and bottom parts of the tank instead of strapping in the top or just the middle part. Heavy-gauge metal strapping was recommended in place of plumber’s tape as its metal was found to be too brittle and therefore not effective. When installing straps to the hot water tank it’s important to ensure that there are no more than two inches between it and the wall. A wooden block can be placed behind the tank to fill the space and prevent it from tipping backwards. The strapping should then be wrapped around the tank about 1 � times starting from the back and then secured to the wall or wooden block using lag screws or expansion bolts depending on whether the wall is concrete or not. It is then advisable to replace copper and metal piping with gas and line connectors that are flexible.

Most states mandate that water heaters be secured especially states that have a history of earthquakes. Bracing kits available in hardware stores have made it easier and more convenient thanks to the how to install water straps instruction that come with them. The straps should be checked on a regular basis to ensure they have not come loose.