This 200-square feet outbuilding has a toilet, bathroom, kitchen,
fireplace, a large dining table and a water heater. This room isn't for
sleeping. We're located 80 miles from the largest quake epicenter in
California. The largest one I felt is no different than trying to walk
about inside a moving bus. A San Mateo building code (40 miles from
where we are) appears to want two earthquake straps and two 15" of
inlet/outlet pipe insulation which I don't have. They also require a
permit and inspection which I don't have. We're only 80-percent up to
code. Can we live without this?
Sure you can, but do you want to?
Do you think that the earthquake you felt is the biggest there will ever be?
I notice this is posted from an EDU account. Did you learn anything in
school about complying with codes and about the magnitude of earthquakes?
How old is your water heater? You might be able to replace your water
heater at the same time you comply with the codes. This will save $$$ over
doing each individually.
Hope this helps,
PS: Even if you don't add the inlet/outlet pipe insulation until the tank
dies and is replaced what is stopping you from adding the straps?
I would say that living where you do that you would want it anyway. You are
right on top of the San Andreas fault so some strapping would be a very good
idea. I would also think that it would be required by code, but I don't
know. If your water heater fell over it could rupture gas lines (assuming
it's a gas water heater) which could lead to explosion. Either type of
water heater could lead to scalding if anyone happened to be in the room
when an earthquake occured. The strapping and insulation are very cheap
insurance so I would say just do it.
It sounds like the building code doesn't apply to you because you don't
live in San Mateo, so "a violation" is a non-issue. It also sounds like
it would be stupid not to add the straps. When I had a garage built
last year, I had the roof tied down with hurricane straps even thought
the code doesn't require it. It was *very* cheap protection against
damage from a small tornado, etc.
I also believe I read in Mother Earth News a few years ago that the
Uniform Building Codes do not apply to structures under 600 square feet.
That's 120 square feet according to the IBC 2000, which is the one I
have here at home,, and is only applicable to certain structures. The
issue at question would involve the Mechanical and Plumbing codes,
which would still apply. Yes, you can probably live without it, but
codes exist for a purpose. Why not be right?
I think that's what I said. ("It also sounds like it would be stupid
not to add the straps.") At least that's what I was trying to say.
IMHO, people worry too much about the "code" just for the code's sake,
and not enough about doing the job right.
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