Properly securing your hot water tank is probably not something you’ve given much thought. I know we didn’t. Thankfully, we didn’t have to learn this lesson the hard way but a friend of ours did. Our friend had just moved several years ago out west. He did some of his own home repair, including replacing his hot water tank. Unfortunately, a small earthquake caused the tank to topple over. Something caused a spark and caused an explosion in his home. No one was injured but he lost everything he owned.
After hearing that, we realized properly securing our domestic hot water tank was not something anyone should take lightly.
Other Good Reasons to Secure Your Hot Water Tank
We’ve already talked about one excellent reason to make sure your hot water tank is secure, but that’s only a problem if your system relies on natural gas. Many don’t. That doesn’t mean you don’t still have to be concerned.
If you think about your hot water tank, you know that it holds a good amount of water. The actual capacity varies depending on the make and model but, on average, most tanks can hold about 50 gallons of water. Considering the average weight of each of those gallons you’re talking about 400 pounds of water and that’s not even including the actual weight of the tank. Can you imagine having something that weighs that much fall on you or one of your children or even a pet? The results would definitely cause serious injury at the least.
Another good reason to secure your tank is that all of that stored water could be extremely useful in a bad situation. If our friend, for example, had a secured tank and had been without water for a few days because of the earthquake, he could have tapped into that tank. Most people don’t think about that.
How to Secure Your Hot Water Tank Properly
Now that you understand why you should secure your tank you should learn how to make sure it is properly secured. You can buy kits and straps for this very purpose at most hardware stores. Make sure to purchase only items that have been certified. Poorly made pieces will end up breaking if the tank moves too much.
I have seen individuals use tie downs (straps you would use to secure items in the back of a pick-up) to secure their tanks, but I would recommend this only as a last resort. Because most of these tie downs are made of nylon they could melt if allowed to come in contact with intense heat or flames. You also would need to make sure they can support the weight of your full hot water tank.
If you’re in doubt, then I would recommend calling out an expert to check the security of your hot water tank. Sure, you’ll have to pay for the visit but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your tank isn’t likely to tip over any time soon.