Protect Your Plumbing from California Earthquakes

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Protect Your Plumbing from California Earthquakes

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Earthquakes can cause hidden damage to your plumbing
Earthquakes can cause hidden damage to your plumbing

Has your California home been affected by earthquakes? Are you concerned about the potential damage earthquakes can cause to your plumbing?

California's earthquake can cause untold damage to homes and plumbing, however, there are ways to protect your plumbing from any future damage.

In this article, we will explore how earthquakes can affect plumbing systems in California homes, whether you can insure your home against earthquakes, and what steps California homeowners can take to safeguard their plumbing from future earthquakes.

How Can Earthquakes Damage Plumbing Systems in California Homes?

In California, earthquakes present significant threats to residential plumbing systems. They can cause untold damage, including:

  • Slab Leaks: One of the most common effects of California's earthquakes is slab leaks. Ground movement can cause the earth underneath California homes to settle unevenly, which in turn can stress plumbing systems located in or underneath foundations, resulting in slab leaks. If you're concerned about possible leaks under the slab, we have a detailed article covering Warning Signs of a Leak Under Slab.
  • a damaged floor caused by a slab leak
    A damaged floor caused by a slab leak.
  • Pipe Misalignment: The violent shaking during earthquakes can cause pipes to rupture, crack, or become dislodged, leading to water leaks and potential flooding within homes. The stress and movement generated by earthquakes can affect metal pipes such as copper pipe or galvanized steel, causing microcracks, fractures, or weakening of protective coatings on the pipes.
  • Corrosion Acceleration in Outdated Plumbing: Older homes, especially those with outdated plumbing materials like galvanized pipes or polybutylene pipes, are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage. This acceleration weakens the structural integrity of the pipes, making them more prone to leaks and breaks while exacerbating pre-existing weaknesses.


Can I Insure My California Home Against Earthquakes?

Homeowners in California can obtain earthquake insurance to protect their homes and belongings from earthquake-related damages.

Standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover earthquake damage, so it's essential for California homeowners to purchase separate earthquake insurance policies to ensure comprehensive coverage.

The cost of earthquake insurance can vary based on factors such as the location, age, and construction of the home, as well as the chosen coverage limits and deductibles. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) offers earthquake insurance policies to residents throughout the state, providing coverage for structural repairs, personal property replacement, and additional living expenses in the event of earthquake damage. Homeowners can also explore private insurance options from various providers to tailor coverage to their specific needs.

While earthquake insurance premiums can be relatively high, especially in high-risk areas, the financial protection it offers against the potentially catastrophic effects of earthquakes on California homes is invaluable.


What Steps Can California Homeowners Take to Protect Their Plumbing Against Earthquakes?

California homeowners can take proactive measures to safeguard their plumbing systems against earthquake damage. There are two steps that will help protect your California home's plumbing for many years to come:

Reroute Plumbing Through Walls, Ceilings, and Attics

Rerouting plumbing through walls, ceilings, and attics not only enhances the safety and reliability of the plumbing system but also reduces the likelihood of costly repairs and water damage in the event of seismic events.

routing new PEX tubing through walls
Routing new PEX tubing through walls

Here at Repipe Specialists, our full home repipes do just that. We cap off the fresh water lines that are already in or under your slab, leaving them in place. We then route all your new plumbing through walls, ceilings, and attics to ensure greater resilience against seismic activity.

With our One-Stop Repipe™ Process, we can complete a repipe of your entire home in just 1-2 days, handling everything from inspections to wall patching - all backed by a lifetime warranty.

Our repipes also ensure that there are no pipes located in or underneath slab foundations, ensuring that you never have to worry about slab leaks ever again.

Repipe With PEX Tubing

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing stands out as the best repiping material due to its ability to withstand seismic movements without rupturing or breaking, especially when compared to traditional copper and steel pipes.

The flexibility of PEX allows it to absorb and withstand the dynamic movements caused by seismic activity, reducing the risk of pipe fractures and subsequent water damage. Unlike rigid metal pipes, PEX can flex without breaking, making it an ideal choice for earthquake-prone regions like California where ground shifts and building tremors are common.

PEX tubing is corrosion-resistant and less susceptible to damage from ground movement, providing a reliable and long-lasting solution for protecting plumbing systems against earthquake-related damage. For more information, we have an article that details the advantages of repiping with PEX tubing.

If you want to know more about repiping with PEX, feel free to contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our local repipe consultants.


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With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our One-Stop Repipe™ for your home.

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Receive a Free Quote for Your California Home Repipe

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced the plumbing in over 75,000 homes since 1991 using both copper piping and PEX tubing. We continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their overall home repipe experiences. We often exceed their expectations on:

  • Speed: Our repipe crews typically complete a repipe in a day, returning on another day for wall patching.
  • Convenience: Through our One-Stop Repipe™ Process, we handle everything from permits, to wall patching, to inspections.
  • Cleanliness: Our crews are trained to protect your home while working (we cover all surfaces with protective sheeting), and to clean up fully at the end of each day.
  • Peace of Mind: Repipe Specialists is a fully licensed plumber in every state we operate in, and we back all of our repipes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Financing programs: To help take the sting out of unplanned repipe expenses, we offer several financing programs.
  • Price: As a specialist that performs hundreds of repipes a week, we can deliver high-quality repipes at a lower cost vs generalist plumbers. We have an article that covers repipe cost factors in detail. Our quotes typically range from $4,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Schedule a free in-home consult, and one of our local repipe consultants will explain all your repipe options and provide you with a written, fixed-price quote. Repipe your pipes through walls and earthquake-proof your California home today.


About Repipe Specialists

Expert Repiping at an Affordable Cost

Since our founding in 1991, we've been completing residential and multi-family building repipes to the highest standard.

With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our  One Stop Repipe™ process: providing you with a high quality and convenient repipe experience while offering significant savings compared to traditional plumbers - plus, our work is guaranteed for life.

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