Gas pipelines can become quite dangerous in the event of an earthquake. In fact, natural gas explosions that are a direct result of an earthquake often does more damage than the earthquake itself. The danger is not only to your property – it is also a hazard to your family members, the property of your neighbors and your neighbors themselves. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes such as Brentwood and you use natural gas then you will need to consider installing an earthquake valve that automatically shuts off the flow of gas in the event an earthquake hits. The cost of installing such a thing can be easily absorbed by the expense of greater insurance premiums; loss of human life and property repair in the event insurance does not cover you. It can also absolve you from liability if someone is injured as a direct result of a gas explosion that has occurred due to the lack of earthquake valve installed on your natural gas pipelines.
There are a few types of earthquake valves on the market; typically the options will consist of a pressure sensitive valve that kicks in due to excessive gas flow or a motion sensitive valve that kicks in if there is movement in a pipe that is likely to be caused by an earthquake. Both of these valves are effective methods of shutting down gas flow in the event of an earthquake. The motion sensing valve works by seating a metal ball bearing above the pipe, suspended on a small rubber or metal ring. In the event the pipe is shaken the ball dislodges itself and falls into the pipe, essentially cutting off gas flow. If it happens to block off the gas then you will need to have the piping inspected by a professional Brentwood plumbing contractor to insure there is no breakage prior to having the ball bearing fished out and the gas flow re-initiated. To have the piping inspected and the devices restarted that utilise natural gas it is unlikely to cost you money as most gas suppliers undertake these inspections for free.
The flow sensor is a little more advanced as it sits upon the pipe listening for excessive gas flow. Although it is believed to be a little more problematic than the motion sensitive valve as it might not pick up slow leaks caused by a broken pipe elsewhere in the line – and as with the motion sensitive valve it will require the pipes to be inspected thoroughly prior to re-initiating gas flow. If either of these forms of earthquake valve is triggered then it is likely to be indicative of a problem so it is in your best interest to have the pipes inspected. Sometimes a minor tremor that is hardly felt on the surface can do a great deal of damage to the pipes. Sometimes it may not be due to an earthquake that the valve system is triggered – either way, it is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with such a volatile compound.