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Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing or CSST

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Lubbock CSST Stop Use Order

History

 

In the mid 1990s a new product was introduced call Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing CSST. It is, even today, is approved to carry natural gas in residential structures.

Typical for new products, code relies on the manufacturer's installation specifications heavily. CSST was no different.

 

 

 

The manufacturer's failed to dictate that the product be bonded to the grounding system which is a protection against lightning strikes. Their installation instructions have now been changed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even bonding does not completely protect CSST against lightning and other intense shorts in the electrical system. The manufacturer's and their association say this in their latest documentation. Documentation.

 

The problem is that CSST is a thin walled material unlike steel or galvanized is very susceptible to electrical arcing which is caused by traumatic electrical surges like lightning. And the lightning does not have to make a direct hit but may be as much as 500 feet or more away to impact a structure's gas lines and electrical system.

When an electrical surge strikes, it takes every possible path thru anything that will accept electricity like gas lines. Then electricity tries to equal out over all possible paths by jumping from conductor to conductor. This jumping is known as arcing. Arcing is the fire seen when the electricity jumps across air space.

When the arcing takes place, it can pierce thin walled corrugated material. When this happens to a gas carrying line, the combination of a pressured gas line and electrical arcing produces a blow torch effect in the gas line.

THE CSST MANUFACTURER'S ISSUE A WARNING ABOUT THEIR PRODUCT


Not until 2013 did the manufacturers's issue warning about their product. And unlike the car companies, the warning was not sent directly to the end users, the homeowners, but rather to the internet at their website. That would be like the car company sending a recall to the dealerships only. CSST-Lightning-Safety-Warning.pdf


STATS/FACTS


The extent of the affected housing is not known.

The Texas Real Estate Commission requirements do not include identification of gas line materials.

According to CSST manufacturers there are 6 million residential installations in the US;
http://www.csstfacts.org/csst-safety-facts/fire-safety.aspx

You should not depend on City Inspections and Approvals….Municipal and jurisdiction inspectors have no liability for problems caused by building materials or their inspections on structures in their jurisdictions. Texas adopted in the International Residential Code in 2001.

Texas adopted building code is the International Residential Code at it says about CSST click here...

The manufacturers have created an online approval certification for installation of CSST. It is achieved in about 2 hours. One such certification was issued to Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse's Certification.
Jury declares CSST a defective product.

CSST manufacturers have banned together in an association to combine resources to combat any liability that they have. www.csstsafety.com

 

The original CSST was a yellow coated stainless steel flexible tubing. Recently the CSST manufacturers have produced a black coated tubing which is supposed to protect better. It is called black jacket. So far no evidence has been presented indicating any better protection of the structure occupant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSST MAKERS ATTEMPTING TO TRANSFER THEIR LIABILITY ONTO OTHERS

 

Sadly, the manufacturers are trying several methods to avoid their liability for this good, but dangerous, gas line material. Amazingly this gas line material is still approved at this writing.

They have gone from state to state to attempt to get laws passed which would put the onus of finding and declaring safe CSST installation onto others or worse on the public. This is what has happend in Oklahoma.

They are trying to secure the approval of State and Federal Fire Marshalls. Thankfully at least one Texas local Fire Marshall has banned CSST from their jurisdiction. City of Lubbock.

In Texas they (and the State Fire Marshall) have been lobbying the Texas Real Estate Commission into placing this into the charge of the Texas Real Estate Inspectors.

They are working with the home insurance companies to subrogate liability to home inspectors and electricians. http://www.pddocs.com/csst/


WARNINGS


Electrical contractors magazine;

DFW TV report;

CSST Association

Hidden Fire Dangers May Be In Your House

WARRANTY

 

Some manufacturers warrant their CSST and fitting for a period of one year after installation. There have been reports of fires caused by lightning strikes near homes with CSST flexible gas piping. The root cause of these fires has been attributed to either a lack of or inadequate bonding of the CSST which has resulted in arcing damage to the tubing.

This problem resulted in a class action law suit involving four CSST manufacturers: Omegaflex (TRACPIPE or COUNTERSTRIKE); Parker-Hannifin Corp. (PARFLEX); Titeflex Corp. (GASTITE); and Wward

Manufacturing, Inc. (WARDFLEX). The parties to the suit have signed a Settlement Agreement that provides class members with a partial to full financial reimbursement for either a lightning protection system or upgraded bonding of their existing CSST system. For further information on the Settlement Agreement, visit www.CSSTsettlement.com; call the Administrator at 1-800-420-2916; or write to the CSST Settlement Administrator at P.O. Box 4349, Portland, OR 97208-4349.
National Home Builders reverse themselves (white paper);
http://www.csstdanger.com/?page_id=231

CounterStrike only calls for bonding as of 2009;
http://www.tracpipe.com/Customer-Content/WWW/CMS/files/FlexGasPipe_DesignGuide_Jan_2014-1.pdf

In summary, this materials is something to be careful of. The product is not completely safe even if bonded. One cannot tell if it is bonded. The manufacturers are trying to move liability off of themselves and onto anyone they can place it on.

Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing is something to be careful of and homeowners should be cautious. The product is not completely safe even if bonded per the manufacturers. It may be virtually impossible to tell if CSST is bonding in a competed home.

This site will be updated as more information comes available.

 


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