Real Estate Inspections
Stainless Steel Tubing or CSST
Here For Latest TV Expose
CSST Stop Use Order
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
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.
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.
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
The extent of the affected housing is not known.
The Texas Real Estate Commission
requirements do not include identification of gas line
According to CSST manufacturers
there are 6 million residential installations in the
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.
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
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.
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.
are working with the home insurance companies to subrogate
liability to home inspectors and electricians. http://www.pddocs.com/csst/
Fire Dangers May Be In Your House
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
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);
CounterStrike only calls
for bonding as of 2009;
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.
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
This site will be updated as more information comes
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