Seismic activity is a fact of life in many parts of the world. While most earthquakes are relatively minor, the potential for major damage always exists. This is especially true when it comes to your home's plumbing. Earthquakes can cause problems for your pipes, from cracked connections to full-blown ruptures. That's why it's important to know how to safeguard your plumbing against earthquakes.
How Earthquakes Damage Plumbing
Earthquakes can damage plumbing in a number of ways. The most common is through ground movement. This can cause pipes to shift and rub against each other, resulting in cracks and breaks. Additionally, seismic activity can also disrupt water service, causing pressure changes that can lead to leaks and ruptured pipes. In extreme cases, buildings can collapse entirely, crushing any plumbing that happens to be in the way.
How to Protect Plumbing During an Earthquake
The best way to protect your plumbing during an earthquake is to ensure that it is properly installed and maintained. Plumbing systems should be anchored to the structure of your home to prevent them from shifting during a quake. All connections should be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear, and any leaking pipes should be repaired immediately. You should also have a plumber come out and perform a seismic safety inspection every few years, just to be on the safe side.
While there is no way to completely safeguard your home against the destructive force of an earthquake, there are steps you can take to protect your plumbing. By securing appliances and installing seismically safe shut-off valves, you can help minimize the amount of damage caused by an earthquake. And by ensuring your insurance policy covers earthquake damage, you can ensure that you have the financial resources necessary to repair any damage that occurs.