Automatic Gas Shut-Off Valves

If you live in earthquake prone regions and have gas service, you may be interested in investing in a earthquake gas shut-off valve. Although there are many designs, most use the ball method. Its concept is simple and a typical example is shown above. A metal ball on a pedestal opens a valve allowing gas to pass from the service (either a tank or a utility hook-up) to the house. When sufficient shaking occurs, the ball drops from the pedestal, closing the valve - shutting off the flow of gas. [Insert Valve Graphic here]

Most valve manufacturers have designed the valve of durable materials and to close only after a sufficient amount of shaking has occurred. They will not close when a large truck passes by or other incidental motion. The California State Architects Office has set 0.30 g horizontal as a minimum amount of shaking that may cause damage to gas service lines. The California State Architects Office has reviewed several automatic gas shut-off valves and has a comprehensive report available upon request that includes standards, testing results, and manufacturers address. Their phone number is 916-445-2163.

Some Insurance companies have provided deductions if earthquake shut- off valves are install. With the change in earthquake insurance policies since the Northridge earthquake, check with your local insurance representative.

Prices for these products start at about $200. For additional information regarding automatic earthquake shut-off valves, contact your local earthquake supply outlet store.

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