Shut-off Valves Need State Approval

Question: Did you know that you recommended an earthquake gas shut-off valve that has been illegal to sell in California since Jan. 1, 1987? The law states that all earthquake gas shut-off valves must be approved by the Office of the State Architect.

Answer: You are correct. My Nov. 15, 1987, column referred to the valves from Burke Engineering. About the same time I received the above letter, I received one from the very same Office of the State Architect. C. Cullimore, senior architect, sent along a list of valve suppliers and Burke Engineering of El Monte wasn't on the list.

A call to Burke's customer service manager, Rick Waite, revealed that his firm can supply valves certified by the State Architect, although the particular valve mentioned in the Nov. 15 column is not state certified.

A firm that was on the list was Pentacor Seismos, 899-J W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia. Gordon W. Boen of Pentacor Seismos said that his firm is the exclusive factory distributor of the Koso earthquake gas, liquid and electrical shut-off systems. Suggested prices range from $229 to $2,379 for a humongous four-inch valve. Koso International Inc. is in Santa Fe Springs, Boen said.

The three other manufacturers on the list the state architect sent me are: Quakemaster Inc., 1630 S. Sunkist, Suite N, Anaheim, Calif. 92806; Dove Industries, 7016 Marcella St., Paramount, Calif. 90723, and Quake Defense Inc., 861 Hinckley Road, Burlingame, Calif. 94010.

Carl L. Strand, 1436 Bentley Ave., No. 5, Los Angeles 90025, wrote to state that he supplies more than one make of state-certified earthquake sensitive gas shut-off valves and systems. He has been invited to participate in an earthquake seminar next April in China, a nation that has been particularly hard hit by temblors.

Dale Baldwin will answer remodeling questions of general interest on this page. Send your questions to Home Improvement, Real Estate Department, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Baldwin cannot answer questions individually. Snapshots of successful do-it-yourself projects may be submitted but cannot be returned.

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