Have you had any past/recent plumbing work done in your home that involved modification or replacement of the gas line? If you had flexible corrugated tubing installed, you could be at risk of having a lighting strike ignite the tube and cause an explosion. Here’s what flexible gas tubing looks like and more about how it can ignite.
What Is Csst Tubing?
Corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is a flexible tube used to supply natural or propane gas. It’s used a lot in residential gas line installations. It has either a yellow or black plastic coating. The flex tube has become very popular because it can be snaked/fished through walls just like an electrical wire. For example, accessing walls or ceilings to install a new gas line would be avoided/minimized because of the tubes flexibility.
Usually, the plumber chooses flexible gas tubing because he/she just wants to install the gas line quickly! The process of snaking flexible tubing instead off threading black steel pipe is much easier. By the way, flex gas pipe isn’t mandatory by any code for the installation of interior gas lines.
Is it worth it?
Flexible gas tubing saves on labor cost, but it’s not as rigid and durable as black steel pipe. It also needs a code required bond/ground that must be attached to the electrical service panel grounding terminal. If there is no ground, a grounding rod would need installed on the exterior of the home or building.
The required bonding/grounding process can create a higher gas line installation cost. Also, recent cases have revealed that flexible gas tubing is still susceptible to a lightning strike even if it’s bonded properly. Considering both factors steel pipe would be the most economical to install.
Black Steel Pipe Is Better!
Black steel pipe looks better and makes a gas line installation a lot more professional looking, and it doesn’t require electrical grounding. Its origin goes back to Britain when natural gas initially became available for lighting homes and street lights. Shortly after the discovery of propane gas in 1912 steel pipe has also been used to provide propane gas to homes, farms, businesses, and some industries.
What’s the difference?
The big difference between corrugated stainless steel tubing and black steel pipe is the thickness. The flex gas tube is thinner than the solid black steel pipe, and the thinner wall of the tube makes it more vulnerable to lightning strikes which eventually burns a hole through the tube and ignites the gas.
Do you have Flex Gas Pipe?
If you have any doubts about your gas line get it inspected immediately. Don’t wait! If you have flexible gas tubing installed throughout your home without a bond wire, you could be another gas line explosion statistic.
It’s better to be safer now rather than sorrier later. Schedule a gas line inspection with Vince.