Water Heater Strapping Requirements

Hot Water Heater Strap

The plumbing water heater strapping code has required water heater owners to use hot water heater straps on their water heaters since the year 1982. The objective for doing so was to safeguard people against explosions and fires caused by the damage, or water heater accidents that could occur in case the water heater fell over because of an earthquake.

Initially, water heater strapping codes stated that water heaters should stay strapped or anchored down so they can be able to hold out displacements commonly caused by earthquakes. Despite that, there were no actual installation or standards incorporated with this code. The sort of materials and hardware utilized to meet the procedures and codes were completely up to the person performing the installation.

Amidst the late 90’s, water heater strapping requirements were enhanced. The updated requirement version of the code stated that strapping should be done in positions such that the first one is placed on the lower one-third of the unit and the second one is placed along the upper third of the unit. Ever since that time, no more additions or changes have been made to this code, and that is where we stand this day.

The updated code did mention that straps are required, but information regarding specific materials, installation techniques, or other specifications’ has not been included.

On the other hand, the plumbing code (since it pertains to water heater strapping,) has been supplanted by higher criterions brought into being by the Government’s Health and Safety Code. In the year 1989, the State Legislature set up the following Health and Safety standards.

  1. Each water heater strap retailer in the nation needs to be braced.
  2. Manufacturers of water heater straps are obligated to provide clear instructions regarding strapping instructions, with seismic straps included in every sold unit.
  3. The state’s architects’ need to come up with overall installation and strapping instructions which include basic details exhibiting the minimum standards for the proper application of water heater strapping.

These specifications’ were published in the year 1992, and they continue to act as the legal and authorized requirements for suitable strapping for all heaters installed in most nations around the world.

The overall standards include;

  1. Each water heater, whether electric or gas, needs to be strapped.
  2. Dual straps are compulsory, with the first one placed on the lower one-third of the unit and the second one placed along the upper third of the unit. Even more, the bottom strap needs to be four inches above the control unit.
  3. Both straps need to encompass the body of the unit completely. (Kindly note that most of the strap kits retailed commercially do not measure up to this requirement)
  4. Every strap needs to be appropriately fastened on the surrounding walls and from reverse directions.
  5. Every strap should be attached to wall studs using lag bolts that are 3 inches in length and ¼ inches in diameter.

Well, the most convenient solution would be sourcing a commercial hot water heater straps that meet all the requirements above.

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