A CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing) pipe doesn’t look like a typical pipe. It’s flexible with a thin wall, yet is strong and reliable. It’s usually yellow, but can occasionally be black. A CSST pipe is used to supply natural gas and propane. While CSST is durable, there has been an issue.
When a house with a CSST pipe is struck by lightning, or lightning strikes nearby, the home can explode. This issue began in the 90’s, however initially; it wasn’t clear as to why. The reason is that lightning gets on the gas line and travels the gas line looking to ground. While it’s traveling, if the CSST pipe passes close to an electrical junction box, the electricity will jump. When the electricity jumps, it creates a pinhole in the pipe, which lets the gas out. The leaking gas combined with the sparks from the lightning are not a good combination and can result in an explosion.
The explosion can be prevented by bonding the gas line to the electrical system. This is done by running a wire from the electrical system ground to the gas line. This will prevent the electricity from jumping.
This is a new code which was passed in 2005, instituted in approximately 2007, and is considered to be a huge safety concern. It’s a code which needs to be taken seriously as a home seller and a home buyer.
Since this is an electrical task, it’s recommended that a licensed electrician inspects and performs any electrical bonding. The cost in the Tulsa area depends on whether the house is one or two stories. A single story house, about 1800-3000 square feet may cost around $185. The price increases on a two-story house because the manifold is in the attic.
For additional questions on CSST pipe bonding, contact Steve at Murray Electric in Tulsa, at 918-835-9605 or www.murrayelectric.com.
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