LM> This 200-square feet outbuilding has a toilet, bathroom, kitchen,
LM> fireplace, a large dining table and a water heater. This room isn't for
LM> sleeping. We're located 80 miles from the largest quake epicenter in
LM> California. The largest one I felt is no different than trying to walk
LM> about inside a moving bus. A San Mateo building code (40 miles from
LM> where we are) appears to want two earthquake straps and two 15" of
LM> inlet/outlet pipe insulation which I don't have. They also require a
LM> permit and inspection which I don't have. We're only 80-percent up to
LM> code. Can we live without this?
So far you have. :) The "earthquake straps" are probably to hold the
water heater tank from rolling around causing additional injury when
the thing breaks its connections during an earthquake. Why two
straps? I'm presuming one is around the top third level and the other
at the bottom third level; to hold the tank more securely than one
in the center (could pivot, break loose). They may have tested with
additional straps but didn't find any significant additional security.
If the water heater is located "out in the open" I would probably
strongly consider adding the straps to hold the tank in place, just in
case. OTOH if the tank is in an equipment closet I might consider
those walls as securing the tank.
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