What is an Earthquake Shut-off Valve?

An earthquake shutoff valve is a useful precaution for homes that use gas for heat and power. It is a device that can be installed connected to the gas meter. They should be able to prevent gas leaks opened up in the tumult of an earthquake from creating a fire or explosion.

There are thousands of earthquakes in Hawaii each year due to volcanic and tectonic activity. A shutoff valve for your home may be a smart investment.

How Do Earthquake Shutoff Valves Work?

There are two main kinds of earthquake shutoff valves, namely:

  • Seismic Natural Gas Shut-offs, which work by shifting a small metal ball from a suspension ring into the gas line as a stopper when significant tremors are sensed
  • Excess-Flow Valves, which are clamps connected to sensors that detect high fluctuations in gas flow which could be caused by quakes (or leaks)

Many professionals would recommend you install both, because they both impart slightly different protections. Seismic shutoffs are better at responding to earthquakes stronger than a 5 on the Richter scale (at least light to moderate). Excess-flow valves are good at closing off gas lines in larger crises, not dependent on earthquakes.

Actual Installation for either shutoff option is relatively simple but still calls for a professional. Installation cost varies based oj the size of your gas pipe. If you do need some professional assistance, then call us at (808) 691-9309 Oahu, (808) 400-8811 Hawaii Island.


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