Corrugated stainless steel gas tubing (CSST) has been commonly used in residential, commercial and industrial construction for over the last 20 years. CSST is a continuous flexible stainless steel tube covered with a PVC coating. It has advantages over steel piping as no or few fittings are necessary and it can be routed directly to the appliance from the gas manifold or main gas pipe. I have it in my home and I am not alone.
Unfortunately, the walls of this tubing are very thin and have been reported to be vulnerable to perforation by lightning strikes. Accordingly if struck by lighting and perforated, ignited gas can blow from the tubing and quickly create a fire.
As a result, the CSST gas tubing has now been associated with product defect allegations and litigation. At present, hundreds of claims are pending against the manufacturers of CSST with countless more likely to follow.
Please note that the manufacturers of CSST state that if the tubing is properly bonded and/or grounded that it is a safe product. However, the National Fire Protection Association is currently evaluation the effectiveness of bonding CSST and limited testing data has been supplied from the manufacturers.
In the interim, real estate professionals, homeowners and building owners should be aware of the issues regarding this gas tubing. Locally, I have been informed that very few South Jersey home inspectors are reporting on the potential concerns with CSST gas tubing.
For me, I currently routinely note the presence and the concerns of CSST when observed in the course of a home inspection or commercial building inspection in South Jersey. In regard to real estate listings, I would recommend disclosure of any CSST gas tubing by the sales agent and/or owner.
As far as my home, I will add replacement of the CSST gas tubing to my long and ever growing list of home improvement projects.
Glen Fisher email@example.com
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