On top of all the emotional stress and exterior damage, an earthquake can inflict on you and your home, this disaster can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. To protect yourself from a piping breakdown weeks after the event, analyze your home extensively for damage.
Contact Gotelli Plumbing for help with this post-earthquake survey and safety check. Our team can identify and resolve any of the following issues that may appear after a quake.
Seismic Valve Reset
Due to the frequency of tremors in California, your plumbing system is likely equipped with a seismic valve. To prevent a deadly line breakage and gas leak, this safety feature can sense intense vibrations, which prompts the valve to cut the flow of gas into your home.
After an earthquake, you’ll need to reactivate this feature. You can conduct a seismic valve reset independently by finding the valve outside of your home (it should be near your gas utility meter), taking a screwdriver, and placing it into the reset slot.
If you aren’t comfortable, however, professional gas line plumbers can help you with this process. Additionally, if your home does not have this feature, schedule a seismic gas shutoff valve installation as soon as possible.
Gas Line Breakage
In case your seismic valve doesn’t work, it’s essential to check your home for a gas leak after an earthquake. You can detect and respond to gas line breakage in the following ways:
- Rely on smell to identify an issue. You will likely notice the pervasive scent of rotten eggs, which was added to natural gas by system manufacturers to help with leak detection.
- You can also sometimes hear a leak, which will sound like a continuous hiss.
- If you observe either of these, evacuate your home right away. At a safe distance, reach out to your local gas company to inform them of the leak.
- After the gas company successfully shuts off your system, find gas line plumbers to lead the repair process.
Sewer Line Breakage
Like gas lines, intense vibrations can rupture sewer lines. Cracked pipes threaten the functioning of your tubs, sinks and countless other appliances.
Follow these steps to address potential sewer line issues:
- Check for wet spots in your yard. A piping leak may become so severe that water pools outside of your home.
- Pay attention to nasty smells in or around your home as well, as these may come from a septic tank leak.
- Low water pressure from indoor faucets can also be a sign of a sewer line leak.
- Occasionally, the leak will be audible, and you may hear the quiet sound of running water.
- If you observe any of these signs, schedule a piping repair appointment with a nearby plumbing company.
Interior Leaking and Mildew
While a sewer line leak often occurs outdoors, pipes inside your home may have also suffered. You can check for interior leaking in the following ways:
- Make note of any damp spots on your carpet or warped sections on wooden floors.
- Also pay attention to any wet areas on your walls, as pipes within them may have burst.
- Intense fluctuations in water pressure typically indicate piping damage, as do any noticeable burbling sounds inside your walls or floor.
Get Help from Gotelli Gas Line Plumbers
We know we get tremors and minor earthquakes all the time in Marin Country, but at its worst, earthquakes can cause a lot of damage. That’s why it’s essential to stay vigilant in your post-earthquake search for plumbing damage, thus preventing further suffering down the road.
Gotelli Plumbing is eager to assist you in the event of an earthquake. Our team can conduct a seismic gas shutoff valve installation or reset. Additionally, we offer leak detection and sewer line repair services.
Schedule a service appointment today to start restoring your home.