For those of our customers who have natural or LP gas to supply an appliance in their home, we want to inform you of a new code relating to its piping. In the past, gas piping has been installed using steel pipe. This is a hard pipe which has to be threaded to make connections. During the past two decades, some manufacturers have been selling flexible gas piping named CSST piping. That’s short for Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing.
CSST is more common in new homes. It is a silver type piping covered with a yellow plastic cover. According to The Associated Press on 12/22/2011, reports of lightning-related fires and gas leaks in at least a dozen states have raised concerns about the use of flexible gas lines, and thus changes have occurred with how it is installed. Installers are now required to bond this CSST piping to the electrical grounding system in the home so that if there is a lightening strike next to your home, the electric surge will follow the bonding wire to the ground. However, in recent studies they are finding that electrical surges will travel back and forth from the bonding wire to the CSST causing pin holes and related gas leaks and potentially explosions. The industry and municipalities are now re-thinking whether or not the tubing is worth the risk.
We don’t want to make anyone paranoid or scared. The risk of an electrical strike to cause this issue would be very rare in New Hampshire. According to the State of NH Department of Safety, in 2008, there were six incidences of tubing failure.
LeBlanc Heating normally uses steel pipes, but in some cases the CSST piping is necessary in a difficult installation. We will use it but bond it according to the manufacturer and local codes. Our recommendation to you is to check if you have flexible gas piping and if so, make sure it is bonded. Your safety has always been our main concern. If you have any questions about this, give us a call at 603-623-0412 and we can discuss an appropriate solution.