What's This?

Home Inspector with The House Whisperer

This flexible natural gas connector line is installed through the sheetmetal side panel of a heating furnace... A standard practice in the past.

Passing through the center of a sheetmetal cutout isn't so much of a concern, but when the flexible connector is tight up against the edge of the sheetmetal... This is cause for action.

"What's the problem with this?" you may ask.Flex Gas Line

When you turn on your central heating forced air furnace, a large blower motor turns on to move the warm air throughout your house. As the the blower motor bearings wear... mechanical vibrations occur.

The sheetmetal edge is thin and 'sharp'. To make a flexible gas pipe, the wall of the pipe is also thin.
If the flexible gas connector is tight against the edge of the sheetmetal opening as shown in the photo... There's a good chance that the vibrating sheetmetal edge can cut through the thin wall of the flexible gas connector line.

Or in the event of an earthquake, there is the possibility that the flexible gas connector line can be sliced.

When a heating furnace operates, the gas burners produce a flame... If the flexible gas connector is cut through by the edge of the sheetmetal, uncontrolled natural gas will spew out and most likely there'll be an explosion with the excess gas being introduced to the flame.

When installing a furnace today, a rigid pipe passes through the furnace sheetmetal wall and then is connected to the flexible gas connector. This configuration is now a requirement and considered a safe installation.

Comments (1)

Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Denver Broker / Real Estate Advocate

Thanks, Glenn for the posting of this.  To most, it seems to be just something that is not a big deal.  Another reason why property inspectors get hired for my buyers.  Leaves me out of the inspection arena!!  I let those professionals deal with my clients!!  Thank you!

Jan 16, 2012 06:13 AM