The city of Los Angeles requires retrofit certification for all property sold. If your property doesn’t meet the retrofit requirements, you won’t be able to close escrow until you have a licensed plumber/contractor/ or retrofit company fix those items, and fill out a Retrofit Certificate of Complaince.

The retrofit ordance is a water conservation program designed to conserve water and reduce wastewater flow to the sewage system.

The Retrofit Ordance Requires:

Ultra Low Flow Toilets (1.6 Gallon Flush)

If your home was built before 1994 and has not been sold for twenty years it probably has 3.5 gallon toilets. You can check if your toilet is low flow by taking off the tank lid and look for a label stating “This toilet complies with ASME/ANSI A112.19.2M”.





If there is no label there, sometime there is a manufacterer’s stamp at the base of the toilet will indicate whether it is low flow or not.



The cost to replace an old toilet with a new low flow is $250.

Low Flow Shower heads allow a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. Shower heads only cost ~$25.

Carbon monoxide detectors/smoke detectors

Law requires that all homes have smoke detectors in sleeping areas (defined as a room with a closet) and all areas giving access to those sleeping areas (Hallways). Single family homes may install battery operated smoke detectors.


cost ~$80 each

Multifamily dwellings and condominiums must have hard wired smoke detectors with battery backups.



Cost ~$150-200

Have you ever heard an annoying beep in a house every 10 seconds and wonder what it is? That is a low battery beep on a battery operated smoke detector. All you need to do to make it stop is replace the batteries.


Seismic Gas Shutoff Valves

Los Angeles has active earthquake faults. Seismic Gas Shutoff Valves shut off the flow of natural gas during a major earthquake to prevent fire or explosion. The valve will automatically shut off gas service during an earthquake of 5.4+ magnitude. About one in four fires after an earthquake is related to natural gas leaks. Los Angeles requires automatic gas shutoff devices to be present or installed at the time of sale or during significant renovations.



Automatic gas shutoff valves are installed on buildings’ gas house line (the pipe between the gas meter and the building). About one in four fires after an earthquake is related to natural gas leaks.

Cost $300.

Water Heating Bracing

Waterheaters can tip over during an earthquake and cause fire. The strapping or bracing requirement is designed to prevent this. It is strongly recommended to have flexible connectors to the water heater.



2 straps cost $100

Window Glasing

Big living room windows require window glasing to prevent them from shattering during an earthquake.



About the Author