Best Water Heater Straps for Earthquakes (2021 Review)

Last Updated On October 19, 2021
best water heater earthquake straps

Earthquakes don’t only send plates flying off your shelves, if one rattles your water heater too much it can cause damage. Make sure you do something to hold it in place. 

Water heater straps keep water heaters secure, even during an earthquake. While necessary in areas prone to earthquakes, they also come in handy in other areas, too. 

In this PlumbingNav review, we will cover:

  • What are water heater straps?
  • What are the different types of water heater straps?
  • How to strap down a water heater
  • What do you look for in the best water heater straps?
  • Top five best water heater strap reviewed

ImageProduct
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Firefighter FR80 Soft Belt Style Water Heater Earthquake Strap
  • Easy to install and adjustable
  • Cost-effective
  • Soft seatbelt material
  • Easy to install and adjustable
  • Cost-effective
  • Soft seatbelt material
View on Amazon
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Holdrite QS-50 Aluminum Water Heater Straps
  • Made in USA
  • Meets all codes
  • Self-drilling bolts
  • Made in USA
  • Meets all codes
  • Self-drilling bolts
View on Amazon
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Everflow GWHSE55 Water Heater Restraining Strap
  • Protects against corrosion
  • Complies with all building codes
  • Long lasting and durable
  • Protects against corrosion
  • Complies with all building codes
  • Long lasting and durable
View on Amazon
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Thrifco Plumbing 4906029 Quick Strap Water Heater Restraints
  • Adheres to UPC codes
  • Long 115” straps
  • Holds up to 80 lb. water heater
  • Adheres to UPC codes
  • Long 115” straps
  • Holds up to 80 lb. water heater
View on Amazon
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Holdrite QB-50-F QuickStrap Water Heater Strap
  • Supports 80-gallon water heater
  • Adjustable
  • Easy to install
  • Supports 80-gallon water heater
  • Adjustable
  • Easy to install
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 21, 2021

Firefighter FR80 Soft Belt Style Water Heater Earthquake Strap

Secure your 80 lb. water heater (and smaller) with these soft seatbelt material water heater earthquake straps. The package comes with two 48” straps, two 30” straps, and mounting equipment, including self-drilling bolts.

Our Top 5 Water Heater Straps for Earthquake Requirements

  1. Firefighter FR80 Soft Belt Style Water Heater Earthquake Strap (Top Overall Pick)
  2. Holdrite QS-50 Aluminum Water Heater Straps (Best Budget)
  3. Everflow GWHSE55 Water Heater Restraining Strap, Galvanized Steel (Best High End)
  4. Thrifco Plumbing 4906029 Quick Strap Water Heater Restraints
  5. Holdrite QB-50-F QuickStrap Water Heater Strap, Soft Belt

What's In This Guide?

      What Are Water Heater Straps?

      Water heater straps secure the water heater to the wall, which protects against damage and fire that can occur as a result of the water heater shaking or falling over. 

      The Uniform Plumbing Code in certain areas of the United States have regulations, including:

      • California
      • Alaska
      • Oregon
      • Washington
      • Wyoming 
      • Montana
      • Nevada 
      • Idaho
      • Hawaii

      The code requires two metal water heater straps 22-gauge or higher and ⅝” or thicker. However, requirements vary from location to location. 

      What Are The Different Types Of Water Heater Straps?

      One of the major things that sets different water heater straps apart is the material used to make them. 

      Metal Water Heater Straps

      Metal water heater straps are usually made out of aluminum or steel. Metal provides a sturdy option, but it can lead to cuts during installation. 

      Soft Water Heater Straps 

      Soft water heater straps are easier to work with and cost less than steel water heater straps. They also provide an adequate level of security. However, they don’t last as long and are more susceptible to damage. 

      How To Strap A Water Heater

      You can easily strap your water heater yourself by following these simple steps. 

      Step One: Gather the Materials

      First, you need to gather your materials. Things you need include:

      • Drill
      • Straps
      • Screws
      • Washers

      Once you have your materials, you can get to work on securing the water heater with straps. 

      Step Two: Drill Pilot Holes

      Pilot holes refer to the holes in your wall where the straps will go with one strap going on the top of the water heater and the second strap going on the bottom of the water heater. You will drill an appropriately sized hole into the wall based on the size of the screws. 

      You want to drill the holes into a stud, which you will usually find every 16” throughout the wall. You can use a stud finder to verify the location of the studs

      Step Three: Screw Mount into Place

      Now, you will secure the mounts into place. Place the washers and screws through the holes in the strap and into the wall. Tighten the screws until they are secure. 

      Step Four: Fit Straps

      At this time, you need to secure straps to ensure that you have a tight grip to complete the process of strapping your water heater.

      did you know why earthquake staps are required for water heaters

      What Do You Look For In The Best Water Heater Straps for Earthquakes?

      When shopping for water heater straps, you need to consider the size of your water heater and the strength of the straps. 

      Water Heater Size

      The size of your water heater stand needs to properly and evenly support your water heater. If the water heater protrudes from the water heater stand on one side, it can lead to your water heater wobbling or falling down. 

      Strap Strength 

      Naturally, you need a strong enough strap to support your water heater. Unfortunately, plumber’s tape doesn’t provide enough strength for anything over a 40-gallon water heater. However, steel and seatbelt material both provide the required strength.

      The Best Water Heater Straps Reviewed

      If you need water heater straps, see our review of the 5 best water heater straps to get reliable straps that ensure your water heater stays secure. 

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Firefighter FR80 Soft Belt Style Water Heater Earthquake Strap

      Firefighter FR80 Soft Belt Style Water Heater Earthquake Strap

      Overall Top Pick

      Secure your 80 lb. water heater (and smaller) with these soft seatbelt material water heater earthquake straps. The package comes with two 48” straps, two 30” straps, and mounting equipment, including self-drilling bolts.

      Pros

      • Easy to install and adjustable
      • Cost-effective
      • Soft seatbelt material

      Cons

      • Less durable
      • Not as strong as metal straps
      • Inconsistent strap sizes

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Holdrite QS-50 Aluminum Water Heater Straps

      Holdrite QS-50 Aluminum Water Heater Straps

      Best Budget

      These Holdrite aluminum water heater straps secure water heaters up to 80 lbs while adhering to all UPC codes. The package comes with four 38” straps and mounting equipment, including self-drilling screws. 

      Pros

      • Made in USA
      • Meets all codes
      • Self-drilling bolts

      Cons

      • Not suitable for masonry
      • Straps only 1.5” wide
      • Made out of aluminum not galvanized steel

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Everflow GWHSE55 Water Heater Restraining Strap, Galvanized Steel

      Everflow GWHSE55 Water Heater Restraining Strap, Galvanized Steel

      Best High End

      Made from galvanized stainless steel, these water heater straps work on up to 55-gallon water heaters. The package comes with two 90” adjustable straps.

      Pros

      • Protects against corrosion
      • Complies with all building codes
      • Long lasting and durable

      Cons

      • Two straps instead of four
      • More expensive than most other options
      • All accessories not included

      Our #4 Rated Pick: Thrifco Plumbing 4906029 Quick Strap Water Heater Restraints

      Thrifco Plumbing 4906029 Quick Strap Water Heater Restraints

      Secure up to an 80-gallon water heater with this highly durable and corrosion-resistant stainless steel water heater restraint. This product comes with two 115” straps and mounting equipment. This product meets all code requirements in place with the UPC.

      Pros

      • Adheres to UPC codes
      • Long 115” straps
      • Holds up to 80 lb. water heater

      Cons

      • Two straps instead of four
      • Not suitable for sheetrock
      • Not as easy to install as soft water heater straps

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Holdrite QB-50-F QuickStrap Water Heater Strap, Soft Belt

      Holdrite QB-50-F QuickStrap Water Heater Strap, Soft Belt

      Use two pairs of Holdrite soft water heater straps with steel buckles to prevent your water heater from rocking or toppling over. Two straps are 48” long while the other two straps are 28.5” long, supporting up to an 80-gallon water heater.

      Pros

      • Supports 80-gallon water heater
      • Adjustable
      • Easy to install

      Cons

      • Soft material not as strong as steel
      • Sharp mounting materials
      • Clips not included

      Final Thoughts On Water Heater Straps For Earthquakes

      Whether required by law or not, water heater straps can prevent damage to your water heater and your home by keeping it from toppling over during earthquakes, tornadoes, high winds, and other unexpected events. 

      Most water heater straps come in metal or cloth, both of which get the job done adequately. Find the product that fits your water heater and your budget within our review of the top 5 water heater straps. 

      FAQs for Water Heater Straps 

      Do hot water heaters need to be strapped?

      Yes. Water heaters require straps in many states, but straps come in handy in any region.

      How many straps are required on a water heater?

      In most cases, building codes require two straps: one on the top and one on the bottom. 

      How to install water heater straps?

      You will strap the water heater straps by mounting the brackets to the wall using screws. Then you instal the water heater straps around the water heater and screw them into the mount. 

      What states require water heater straps?

      • California
      • Alaska
      • Oregon
      • Washington
      • Wyoming 
      • Montana
      • Nevada 
      • Idaho
      • Hawaii

      What is the water heater seismic strapping code for California?

      In California, water heaters require at least two straps of at least 22-gauge steel with a thickness of ⅝”. 

      How much does it cost to get a water heater strapped?

      You will need to pay for the cost of the water heater straps, which will cost anywhere from $15 – $50, plus the plumber’s hourly rate.

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      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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