There are several reasons why your water heater needs to be strapped to the wall framing. These are commonly called earthquake straps, and they are a code requirement for specific zones.
- One reason for the straps is to preserve the health and safety of the home’s occupants.
Not only could seismic movement cause the water heater to fall onto someone or something, but it could also rupture the gas line and/or water supply.
- Another not so obvious reason is to give people a supply of potable water in case of a crisis.
What kind of crisis?
Imagine an earthquake strikes and ruptures utilities. Not only could a ruptured gas line cause fires, but a ruptured water line could stop water supplies to people’s homes. The only source of clean drinkable water may just be in your water heater. True, the water will be hot, but at least it is safe.
If water service is stopped to your house during a crisis, at least you could have the water volume in the water heater tank to use…either 40, 50, or 75 gallons to use until service gets restored.