Typically, these products may be visible in attic spaces, along floor joists, above basements, or connected to exposed appliances, such as water heaters. The piping can be identified by its manufacturer’s mark, each of which are listed below:
- OmegaFlex's CSST is stamped with the marks “TRACPIPE” or “COUNTERSTRIKE.”
- Parker Hannifin's CSST is stamped with the mark “PARFLEX.”
- Titeflex's CSST is stamped with the mark “GASTITE.”
- Ward's CSST is stamped with the mark “WARDFLEX.”
- How can you know if you have CSST in your home? Look for flexible tubing with a yellow or black jacket that covers the ridges. About 99% of the CSST I’ve seen has a yellow jacket. This material is not to be confused with an appliance connector, which might have a yellow coating that follows the contours of the ridges. The photo below shows the two different materials.
Properly bonding and grounding of a Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) system may reduce the risk of damage and fire from a lightning strike. Lightning is a highly destructive force. Even a nearby lightning strike that does not strike a structure directly can cause systems in the structure to become electrically energized. Differences in potential between systems may cause damage to the CSST, including holes. Bonding and grounding reduces the risk of arcing and other related damage. While inspecting gas lines, a home inspector should confirm that the CSST gas system has been properly bonded to the grounding electrode system of the premises.
The gas piping system shall be considered to be direct-bonded when permanently and directly connected to one of the following:
- the electrical service equipment enclosure
- the grounded conductor at the electrical service
- the grounding electrode conductor
- one or more of the grounding electrodes used
For single and multi-family structures, a single bond connection is made downstream of the individual gas meter for each housing unit and upstream of the first CSST connection. The bonding conductor should be no smaller than a 6 AWG copper wire or equivalent, and the bonding jumper should be attached in an approved manner in accordance with NEC Article 250.70. The point of attachment for the bonding jumper must be accessible. Bonding/grounding clamps shall be installed in accordance with its listing per UL 467 and need to make metal-to-metal contact with a steel pipe component or the first CSST fitting. This bonding requirement is in addition to any other bonding requirements that are specified by local codes.
The CSST portion of the gas piping system must not be used as the point of attachment of the bonding clamp at any location along its length under any circumstances. See picture:
Like all gas piping systems, CSST must be properly installed. CSST must be installed by a qualified professional and in accordance with the Manufacturer's Design and Installation (D&I) Guide, which now expressly includes bonding and grounding of the system. The D&I Guide specifically calls for the system to have a minimum 6-gauge bonding wire between the CSST and the building's grounding electrode in order to reduce the chances of a natural gas leak or fire from electrical/lightning energy. Some previously installed CSST systems may not have the proper bonding for optimal safety.
If after inspecting your home or business, you find CSST, it is strongly recommended that you determine if it is properly bonded. A bonding device should be installed on your natural gas system (per CSST Direct Bonding Tech Bulletin) in order to reduce the chances of a natural gas leak or fire. This is where I can help you. As a Certified Professional Home Inspector serving Northwest Georgia, I can inspect your home to verify if it has proper bonding. Sometime this may be located in a crawlspace and a lot of home owners do not want to get in such a confined space.
Stress-Free Home Inspection - Ken Ellison - 706-581-8672.
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