By Thomas Witt
You may have noticed in some homes a newer kind of piping for gas supplies.
Yellow jacketed flexible gas pipe known as CSST ( Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing ) has been replacing black steel pipe which has been used for many decades.
While CSST has been around since 1988 it is only more recently that it has been adopted widely by the gas fitting trade.
As is too often the case with the introduction of new building materials, the hazards of CSST piping were discovered after it was already installed in many thousands of homes.
This is a bit technical but I’ll try to make it as clear as possible.
If an electrical surge comes into the home from a lightning strike nearby or from the utility company it may energize the CSST gas piping. In that case the excess electricity in the CSST piping will try to seek ground and may burst through the wall of the tubing. In that case you have a gas fire in the home.
This has happened in houses across America unfortunately.
One way to help prevent this situation is to “bond” the CSST tubing to the homes electrical grounding system. This should help carry away the excess electricity safely.
Bonding the CSST is very easy and inexpensive but of the homes I’ve seen CSST installed in I’ve only seen one properly bonded installation.
Earlier this year I inspected a large house with a lot of CSST piping installed. I called it out for lack of bonding. I think the owner thought I was a little nuts as he told me the piping was installed by BGEHome and inspected by Baltimore County Code inspectors. Turned out that there was no bonding in place as I surmised. Many electricians and municipal code inspectors are not aware of the need for CSST bonding so it often gets missed.
Thomas Witt – Avocet Inspections LLC
Instructor at GBBR