Earthquake Valves

Road damaged by earthquake.

Having an earthquake valve, also called a seismic natural gas shut-off valve, as part of your home’s plumbing system is important these days. At Columbia NW Heating and Air Conditioning, our highly trained professionals understand the gravity of not having one in place in the event of an earthquake. We want to help you prepare your home for safety, so you have one less thing to worry about in an emergency situation as an earthquake valve could save your life and home.

What Is an Earthquake Valve?

An earthquake valve is a valve installed on your gas meter to automatically shut off the low pressure gas supply to a structure, like your home, during a major earthquake. If a pipe breaks during the quake, the earthquake valve shuts off your natural gas flow into your home when its automatic sensor is triggered.Northridge earthquake valve

Two Types of Valves

There are two common types of earthquake valves available for your home:

  1. Seismic Natural Gas Shut-Off Valve. This type of valve triggers when an earthquake occurs with a magnitude of 5.1 and higher.
  2. Excess-Flow Valve. This type of valve triggers when there is a gas leak or overpressure surge in your gas line.

Why Do You Need This Valve?

Naturally it is possible to manually shut off your natural gas during an earthquake, but you more than likely will have other things on your mind. With scientists predicting the Portland area will pick up more earthquakes in the future, you should take steps ahead of time to ensure your and your home’s safety.

Earthquake valve During an earthquake, your gas pipe can break which leads to dangerous and sometimes deadly gas leaks. Inside your home, gas leaks are particularly dangerous. Gas gets trapped and builds up. Since gas is highly flammable, it could easily ignite and cause an explosion.

Earthquakes cause the most damage via gas leaks, and an earthquake valve will protect your home from these earthquake-related gas leaks and any causal fires. After an earthquake, just reset the valve after you have checked to be sure your gas lines have no damage. If there is damage, the valve ensures gas will not enter your home until the lines are repaired.

Where Is This Valved Installed?

Our professionals install earthquake valves where your gas meter connects to your home’s gas pipes. Gas normally flows through this connection into your home. When an earthquake occurs, this valve closes the connection so no gas can flow into your home.

This valve holds a small metal ball suspended by a ring above where the gas passes. When you suffer an earthquake, the quake’s vibrations dislodge this metal ball, causing it to fall into the gas route and to block the gas. Again, gas will no longer enter into your home until all is well and you reset your valve.

Contact Us Today

If you have any questions regarding an earthquake valve or if you would like our Columbia NW experts to install one in your Beaverton, OR, home call us 503.543.3624 or request service online. We want to help you stay safe in all situations.

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Columbia NW proudly provides HVAC service to Beaverton, Columbia City, Cornelius, Forestgrove, Hillsboro, Portland, Scappoose, St. Helens, Tigard, Warren, and the surrounding communities. Visit our service area page for more coverage details, call us at 503.543.3624, or request service online today.