If you reside in a seismic activity-prone region, you must securely belt-up your water heater to the wall using the best water heater earthquake straps for 2020.
What is a water heater strap?
It is a belt that stops your hot water tank from falling or ripping open water and gas lines if volcanic activity exists.
Most of the straps come in pairs of two for belting-up the top and bottom of the tank.
Seismic earth movement can result in substantial destruction to your property, and having your water heat unsecured worsens the situation. This article expounds on all the things you need to know about water heater fasteners. It also gives you five of our favorites.
Best Water Heater Earthquake Straps – Reviews for 2021
Best Overall: Firefighter FR-80 Soft Belt Style Water Heater Earthquake Strap
This Soft Belt proves to be the most effective water heater straps because of its strength. It comes in a gray color with a silver buckle for adjusting the length.
It is from a line of professional products by firefighters; thus, of high quality. The belt is made from seat belt materials, and it is about 48 inches and can support a maximum of 80 gallons. Read on and discover why it is topping the list.
These water heater seismic straps come in a pack of four (2 pairs), including their accessories 4-self-drilling stud lug screws, and 4 belt clips. Each belt is about 48 inches and weighs 1.32 pounds. The water heater straps are easy and fast to install. You can attribute the belt’s strength and durability to the material used to make it— seat belt cloth and galvanized steel.
Firefighter FR-80 Soft Belt sturdiness assures you that your water heater will stay rooted in place in there happens to be volcanic activity. It also complies with all the uniform plumbing codes, including those of California and Los Angeles.
Another unique thing about this water heater belt is that it offers you premium services. Having been designed and manufactured by firefighters, you have quality long-term service as it does not get wet.
The belt’s ability to resist rust and rot is another feature you cannot overlook. The good thing is that this belt is soft and has no sharp edges, eliminating risks of injuries when setting up.
- Easy and fast to set up
- Do not cause injuries because they are soft and have no sharp edges.
- It is heavy duty and can support up to 80 gallons of water tank heaters
- Meet the terms of all the plumbing codes, including the California and Los Angeles Architect Certification
- It is not affected by water and rust
- It is adjustable to fit any water heater below 80 gallons
- The belt has a loose metal bar piece hidden from sight. Although they do not point this out in the manual, it’s in the diagram instruction.
- The belts are not suitable for open space. The fasteners need to have a wooden or steel ledger to push on to for a tight fitness.
This Soft Belt is essential for the safety of your building. The belts are easy and fast to set up, saving you the cost of hiring a professional. They are highly reusable, so you can use them when you change the tanks. You can easily cut the left-over nylon with sheers; therefore, eliminating your worry of possible fraying.
If you must belt your hot water tank, then Firefighter FR-80 Soft Belt is the optimal choice. The material used to make this belt is not affected by water, rust, and rot; hence long-lasting. So you do not need to change it regularly. Buying this hot water tank strap reduces the risks of property destruction in the event of volcanic activity.
Runner up: John Guest QS-50-D Water Heater Strap
This is one of the best water heater earthquake straps for 2020 from Holdrite Corporation. It is designed and manufactured in the United States. The belt is silver and comes in a pack of 4 (2 pairs). The kit also comes with all the accessories, and they include 2 j-clips, 2 carriage bolts (3/8- inch), 2 caps, and 2 hex nuts (3/8-inch).
They are heavy-duty straps made of galvanized aluminum, making them ideal for fastening your hot water tank. These water heater safety straps come as a kit with all the required nuts, bolts, and diagrammatic directions, making it easy for people who want to do a DIY installation. The belt’s sturdy nature makes it possible for the water heater tank to stay safely in place in case of earth tremors.
You can rest assured that it is of trusted quality because the straps are certified and comply with UPC and IPC requirements. The belt is adjustable and can support a maximum of 80 gallons.
- They comply with the UPC and IPC codes
- Soft material, thus no wounds during installation
- It is made of galvanized steel, making them sturdy enough to hold a maximum of 80 gallons
- They have quick caps to conceal exposed hardware
- Adjustable from the front to fit any tank
- Come with diagrammatic instructions to show precisely how to do a DIY set up
- Lifetime warranty
- The straps do not go around the tanks
You can trust these water heater earthquake straps because they are from Holdrite, a company with a standing reputation for being a leader in the manufacture of water heater accessories and equipment support systems.
This is a worthy investment because it guarantees the safety of your hot water tank and property. The strap can withstand even the most potent seismic movement. Therefore $27.16 is a worthy investment.
Alternative: Tie Down Engineering 59155 Certified Galvanized Strapping
Tie Down Engineering 59155 is ranked among the best water heater fastenings because of its sturdiness. The belt is made of galvanized steel and is packed in a 37 feet long roll. It proves to be a favorite amongst users because of its versatility.
These water heater belts are perfect for holding down your hot water tank due to its strength. The belt is of high quality as it is made of first grade (G60) galvanized steel. The belt is marked and certified according to water heater straps code HUD codes 3280 and 3285.
Tie Down Engineering is bendable, making it easy to wrap around the tank, then fastening it to the studs. The straps can hold down a hot water tank of up to 4750 pounds.
- It is versatile. Meaning you can apply it to various jobs, such as tying down a storage shed.
- It is durable as it is made of G60 galvanized steel
- It is certified under HUD codes 3280 and 3285
- It is sharp and can cause injuries
- When unrolling, be careful as it can be violent since it is wound-up tightly. You can start opening the roll by loosening the tie wrap before cutting it.
- It does not come with other accessories, such as bolts
- It is costly since you have to buy other accessories such as ledges and bolts separately.
- If it is not well coated, it can wear out quickly because of rust, and rot
Although the strap does not come with holes for fastening, it is pretty easy to drill the holes using a regular steel bit.
This water heater fastening is best for you because of its versatility. Even if it remains, you will find something else you can do with it, so nothing goes to waste. It is an excellent choice for strapping your hot water tank. You can buy it together with a Tie Down Engineering 59153 N Slotted Bolts and Nuts for fastening it to the studs.
Alternative: Holdrite QB-50-F QuickStrap Water Heater Strap
Most people would choose to have their hot water tanks belt-up using the most refined hot water earthquake straps for their household’s safety during a seismic movement. The belt is made of heavy-duty galvanized steel and Soft Belt, and it gives you just that. Read on to see more on why it’s a must-have in your home.
Holdrite QB-50-F is a soft belt that is gray. They are supreme for supporting hot water tanks of up to 80 gallons. Every pack has four straps (2 pairs)—one pair at the top part below the controls.
The other is fastened at the bottom above the controls. The good thing about this kit is that it comes with all the hardware vital for setting up, and they include 4 lag bolts and 2 belt clips.
You are assured of their quality because they are certified and comply with the UPC and IPC requirements.
- They are from a trusted source
- It is safe to use as it does not cause any injuries
- Easy and quick to fit following the diagrammatic instructions
- Adjustable, making it ideal to use with any hot water tank
- It conforms with water heater strap codes
- It is certified and meets UPC and IPC requirements
- It has all the hardware required for setting up
- Sturdy enough to support a maximum of 80 gallons
- Lifetime warranty
- If your tank holds more than 80 gallons, the belt cannot go around the tank.
- The metal part (buckle) is a bit sharp, and if you are not careful, it can scratch your body
This belt safeguards your hot water tank’s as it has a QuickLock system, which securely locks your tank from the front.
This belt retails at $18.43, which is a pretty fair price considering its benefits. You will love these hot water heater straps because they hold down the hot water tank, safeguarding your property in case of seismic earth movement. The QuickLock system sweetens the deal.
Alternative: Everflow GWHSE55 Seismic Water Heater Restraining Strap
Are you are looking for the best water heater earthquake straps for 2020, then Everflow GWHSE55 is the answer. It locks up your hot water tank, preventing any destruction to your house. Read on to see why it’s among the best five water heater earthquake straps.
This water heater belt is chrome in color and comes in a pack of four (2 pairs) galvanized steel fastenings. It provides your boiling water tank with ultimate protection because of its durability. The kit comes with all the hardware required for setting up, including braces, screws, nuts, and washers.
Everflow GWHSE55 is adjustable and can fit any tank up to 55 gallons. You can use these straps in your home because they comply with the Residential Building Code and Uniform Plumbing Code.
- Easy to set up
- The kit has all the hardware required for installation
- Adjustable to fit any hot water tank of up to 50 gallons
- Complies with residential code and uniform plumbing code
- Securely safeguards hot water tank during a seismic activity
- The belts do not go around the hot water tank
- It is pricier
These water heater straps come with a picture manual, making it easy to do a DIY install perfect for a novice.
The fantastic thing about these water heater seismic belts is that they provide your hot water tank with the ultimate protection because of their sturdy nature. Hence, eliminating any risk of damage to your property due to leaks or broken gas line. Although it’s a bit on the higher side in terms of cost, it is well worth every penny.
If you consider buying the Best Water Heater Strap for 2020, look out for the following:
When you are in the market for the best water heater earthquake straps for 2020, go with the ones within your budget. However, don’t go for the cheapest one, as it might need changing after a while because of wear.
Please look for the most durable hot water strap to ensure that it will securely hold your water heater in place in the event of earth tremors or other natural disasters. The best straps are made of seat belt material and galvanized steel and are long-lasting. The advantage is that they can be reused.
Size of the water heater
The size of the hot water tank determines the length of your straps. Suppose the tank holds up to 80 gallons, then you can opt for Holdrite QS-50-D. If you have tankless water heaters, then you do not require water heater straps. However, a tankless water heater is not ideal for large families as it moves about 2 to 5 gallons of hot water every minute.
Wear and tear
Please look for a water heater strap that is resistant to water, rust, and rot. This ensures that it can last longer, so you do not need regular replacement.
Make sure it is certified and complies with all the water heater seismic straps codes.
Is it worth the cost?
You should assess the loss you will incur if your hot water tank dislodges during a seismic earth movement. For instance, if it falls and breaks your water heater lines, then your house will start leaking. It will also damage your gas line, and if there happen to be sparks, then your entire home will be on fire.
Imagine that your whole block has not fitted water heater straps to their tanks, and there happens to be a seismic activity. The damaged water line will reduce the water pressure, hindering the firefighting department’s work; thus, no fire will be put out in time.
Consequently, you will also incur the cost of replacing the water heater. Considering all the losses, yes, the water heater safety straps are worth every penny and more.
Water Heater Straps FAQ
Why do water heaters need to be double strapped?
Water heater double strapping is insisted on because, in seismic activity, it is inevitable to move about, which can lead to wrecked water lines, which could lead to damaged floors and walls.
It may also lead to a broken gas line, which may cause a fire if there are any sparks. Again, the broken water lines may reduce water pressure in the neighboring areas, hindering the firefighting department’s work. So make sure that you double strap your water heater to avoid any impending losses in the event of an underground eruption.
Deaths and injuries are not all caused by tremors, but also because of the falling objects. So make sure to securely clasp all the large items to prevent injuries and property destruction.
During a disaster, your water heater will be your sole source of fresh water, so double strapping safeguards your hot water tank. 50 or 80 gallons of water will go a long way if appropriately used when you are getting back on your feet after an earthquake.
What states require strapped water heaters?
Some states located in volcanic activity-prone areas include California, Oregon, and Washington in the United States.
According to the Uniform Plumbing Code, all water heaters, new or old, must be belt-up. The water heater seismic straps should be secured to a horizontal pole or wall to avoid displacement in a seismic earth movement.
The water heater’s overall standard is that every home must strap their water heater irrespective of whether it’s gas or electric. Dual strapping is compulsory, and both belts should cover the whole unit.
How do you strap down a water tank?
You can secure the services of professionals, but if you want to DIY the water heater straps, below is a step-by-step process:
You should secure the top and bottom parts of the water heater instead of focusing only on the tank’s middle.
- For the upper strap, mark the water heater at about 9 inches below the top. And for the lower belt, draw at approximately 4 inches above the top of the controls.
- Use a stud spotter to pinpoint the nearest wall stud, but not directly behind the water heater.
- Check whether the distance between the two support stud and the water heater is at least 7 inches; if not, use alternative support detailing such as a steel or wooden ledge angle at the bracing attachment to the wall.
- Transfer the marks on the water heater horizontally to the two studs identified on the wall.
- Then drill pilot holes into the two support studs at each screw location.
- Wrap the metal strapping one and half times around the hot water tank. Start by placing the water heater strap at the back of the tank, bring it to the front, and then take it back to the wall.
- Secure the heavy-duty metal strapping to the wall or steel ledger using several ¼ inch and 3-inch lag screws with large washers.
- If you are attaching it to the wall, secure it directly to the wall using expansion bolts instead of screws.
Do not use plumber’s tape, especially with large water heater tanks, as it is known to come loose under extreme shaking.
What is the best material for a water tank strap?
It will help if you look for a material that is safe to use, such as Soft Belt, which is strong and does not cause any injuries.
Galvanized steel straps are also suitable because they are durable, providing ultimate protection for your water tank. The best water heater strap should also be easy to use for fast installation.
Settling on the best water heater earthquake strap for 2020 safeguards your tank and property.
Now you have a list of what to look for and the five excellent models of water heater straps. So go ahead and choose one for your water heater.