How do I check my gas and water supply after an earthquake?

East Coast Plumbing and Gas - How do I check my gas and water supply after an earthquake

If an earthquake happens, you’ll benefit from being prepared by knowing how to make sure your water and gas supply are safe. Read on to find out what you should do to keep your property safe after an earthquake.

Can you smell gas? If you can smell gas, don’t hesitate. Leave the building straight away. If you can do so safely, switch off your gas supply at the mains or at your LPG tanks. Don’t take risks: think safety first.

Why do you need to check your gas supply after an earthquake?

You need to check your gas supply is safe and intact after an earthquake. The shaking movement of an earthquake could loosen sealed connections between appliances in your home and within the pipework of your gas supply whether you receive gas from a mains supply or LPG tanks. It’s important to deal with any risk to the integrity of your gas supply by first shutting off the connection and then calling in a trained professional to check if your supply is safe.

What to look out for when you check your gas supply

Gas is invisible so you will not see a leak if it happens. Signs that your gas may be leaking include the smell of gas, the sound of gas leaking, a change in the position or damage to your gas pipework including where it enters your home, and any damage to the infrastructure of your home surrounding the pipework – including damage to driveways and exterior areas or damage to walls. If you see any signs of damage close to your gas supply, shut off your gas supply immediately and call a professional.

When do you need to call for professional help?

Any sign of damage to your gas supply after an earthquake is a reason to call a professional. Even if your gas supply shows no visible signs of damage, there could be a leak you are unaware of. If you’re unsure, call a professional to get your gas supply checked properly and don’t use it until it’s been checked.

Why do you need to check your water supply after an earthquake?

You need to check your water supply after an earthquake to make sure you still have access to water and that your pipes aren’t leaking. The shaking action of an earthquake could loosen junctions or connections between pipes and cause either fast or slow leaks. Existing cracks could worsen or break completely.

What to look out for when you check your water supply

If you suspect that an earthquake has caused damage to the water pipes in your home or on your property, start by switching off your water supply at the mains. Your mains toby (shut off valve) should be located at the front of your property. If your home is connected to a bore or rainwater tank supply, switch off the pump and close the supply valves to stop water from entering your home.

The most likely place where you will find leaks after a strong shake is where pipes connect to taps, toilets, showers, and other appliances in your home. For more modern homes internal pipes are usually made of flexible Pex, plastic polyethylene, that will cope with a level of ground movement without breaking. If you think that something may have fallen onto or over your pipes, this could impact the flow of water into and across your home.

Also important is to check the flow of water, grey water and sewage out of your home. Old, underground pipes are most at risk of damage after an earthquake. As well as checking for immediate signs of damage, it’s also important to monitor your property in the longer term in case of slow leaks that may take time to become more damaging.

Severe earth movement during an earthquake could damage pipes that carry water into and out of your home.

When do you need to call for professional help?

Call a professional if you see any signs of damage to your pipework internally or externally, if you hear running water that you can’t see, if you notice cracks or hear noises that are unfamiliar, or if – when you turn your water supply back on – there are any signs of interruption of the water flow into or out of your home, including drainage of water through plugholes, toilets or drainage covers.

Look after your Hawke’s Bay gas and water supply with East Coast Plumbing and Gas

We’re your local Master Plumbers with expertise in gas fitting, drains and plumbing.

We recommend regular maintenance of your gas appliances and plumbing system, so you have peace of mind and know it’s in the best condition for whatever Nature throws at us. During any maintenance work we’ll be happy to help you understand exactly what you should do on your property if an earthquake happens. Next time we visit, just ask us. We’ll show you any locations of special concern, how to switch off your supplies, and we’ll make sure you’ve got our number in your phone if an emergency happens.

Contact us today to find out more.

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