Article 8. Water Heater Strapping And Installation of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 13. >> Part 3. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 8.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that there exists a
serious threat of fire, explosion, or electrocution to the people of
California from water heaters that overturn or experience damage to
the plumbing or electrical wiring during an earthquake, and that a
large number of structures will suffer damage from water heaters due
to the lack of adequate strapping or bracing.
(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that it is the goal
of the State of California to reduce earthquake hazards in this
(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that the original
state policy goal of having all water heaters strapped or properly
anchored by the year 2000 has not been achieved, thereby exposing the
residents of California to a continuing serious risk of injury or
damage from water heaters overturned or demolished during
(d) The Legislature further finds and declares that occupants of
rental housing in this state are vulnerable to the threat of fire,
explosion, or electrocution from water heaters that overturn or
experience damage during an earthquake, and are not authorized to
strap, brace, or anchor water heaters in their units without the
owner's advance approval, thus exposing them to hazardous conditions
that they cannot mitigate.
(e) It is the intent of the Legislature that compliance with
Section 19211 shall not result in the displacement of existing
(a) Notwithstanding Section 19100, all new and replacement
water heaters, and all existing residential water heaters, shall be
braced, anchored, or strapped to resist falling or horizontal
displacement due to earthquake motion. At a minimum, any water heater
shall be secured in accordance with the California Plumbing Code, or
modifications made thereto by a city, county, or city and county
pursuant to Section 17958.5.
(b) The seller of any real property containing a water heater
shall certify to the prospective purchaser that this section has been
complied with. This certification shall be made in writing, and may
be included in existing transactional documents, including, but not
limited to, the Homeowner's Guide to Earthquake Safety published
pursuant to Section 10149 of the Business and Professions Code, a
real estate sales contract or receipt for deposit, or a transfer
disclosure statement pursuant to Section 1102.6 or 1102.6a of the
(c) An owner of a residential rental property shall not evict any
person on the basis that the eviction is required in order to comply
with this section.
(d) For the purposes of subdivision (a), "water heater" means any
standard water heater with a capacity of not more than 120 gallons
for which a preengineered strapping kit is readily available.
(e) Notwithstanding Section 669 of the Evidence Code, the failure
of any person to comply with this section shall not create a
presumption of a failure by that person to exercise due care.
(f) Any building or portion thereof, including any dwelling unit,
guestroom, suite of rooms, or portions thereof, or the premises on
which it is located is deemed to be a nuisance if it is in violation
of this section. The owner or the owner's agent shall have the right
to correct any violation of subdivision (a) pursuant to Section
All water heaters manufactured for sale in California on or
after July 1, 1991, shall include a statement in the installation
instructions that water heater units must be braced, anchored, or
strapped to resist falling or horizontal displacement due to
earthquake motion. The instructions provided by the manufacturer may
include a reproduction of the generic installation instructions and
standard details as prepared by the Division of the State Architect
in accordance with Section 19215.
Manufacturers shall add language to their instruction label
on the front of the water heater that discloses the danger of falling
or horizontal displacement due to an earthquake. The label shall
contain the following language:
WARNING: THIS WATER HEATER MUST BE BRACED, ANCHORED, OR STRAPPED TO
AVOID FALLING OR MOVING DURING AN EARTHQUAKE. SEE INSTRUCTIONS FOR
CORRECT INSTALLATION PROCEDURES.
Any person who violates Section 19212 or 19213 shall be
deemed to have violated a provision of Chapter 4 (commencing with
Section 17000) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and
The Division of the State Architect shall prepare generic
installation instructions with standard details illustrating the
strapping, bracing, and anchoring of water heaters for typical
installations in single-family homes that comply with the
requirements of the model codes. These details shall be made
available for reproduction to manufacturers and appliance retailers
at a cost to cover the state's cost to prepare the details, and
respond to requests.
At the point of sale, the retailer may provide the consumer
with generic installation instructions with standard details approved
by the Division of the State Architect. If provided, these generic
instructions are intended to be provided to the consumer as a guide,
and are not intended to supersede local codes. The retailer and
manufacturer are deemed not to be liable for the generic instructions
provided to consumers as long as these have been approved by the
Division of the State Architect, as complying with the requirements
of the model code in force on the date of approval.
The Public Utilities Commission shall direct the investor
owned gas and electrical utilities, not later than January 1, 1991,
to develop an educational program for bracing, anchoring, and
strapping water heaters to resist falling or horizontal displacement
due to earthquakes.