Safe Grounding, Bonding, & CSST Installation
Protect Your Home From Potential Gas Leaks & Fire
What is CSST?
Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST)
Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) is a flexible, stainless steel pipe used to supply natural gas and propane in residential, commercial and industrial structures. Coated with a yellow, or in some cases, a black exterior plastic coating, CSST is usually routed beneath, through and alongside floor joists in your basement, inside interior wall cavities and on top of ceiling joists in attic spaces.
Benefits of CSST
CSST features many benefits over the traditional method in its durability and practicality. CSST has a proven resistance to leaks due to far fewer connections made during installation. When a black iron pipe is installed, every time the pipe changes direction, a joint needs to be fitted and checked for leaks. CSST offers flexibility and is able to be snaked through walls and around obstacles with fittings placed only at the ends of the run.
Another benefit of this material is the amount of installation time it saves. By most estimates, CSST can be installed in a third of the time it takes to install black iron pipe. Even though CSST is more expensive than the traditional black iron pipe, its overall cost is less when factoring in labor and installation.
Installation & Safety
Like all gas piping systems, CSST must be properly installed. CSST must be installed by a qualified professional and in accordance with the Manufacturer's Design and Installation (D&I) Guide, which now expressly includes bonding and grounding of the system. The D&I Guide specifically calls for the system to have a minimum 6-gauge bonding wire between the CSST and the building's grounding electrode in order to reduce the chances of a natural gas leak or fire from electrical/lightning energy. Some previously installed CSST systems may not have the proper bonding for optimal safety.
If after inspecting your home or business, you find CSST, it is strongly recommended that you determine if it is properly bonded. A bonding device should be installed on your natural gas system (per CSST Direct Bonding Tech Bulletin) in order to reduce the chances of a natural gas leak or fire.
CSST should not be confused with natural gas appliance flexible connectors. Flexible connectors are used to attach moveable appliances to the gas piping system. CSST is typically routed beneath, through or alongside floor joists in the basement, inside interior wall cavities and on top of ceiling joists in attic spaces.
Bonding and Grounding
If you find CSST after inspecting your home or business, it is strongly recommended that you determine if the CSST system is properly bonded and grounded. A bonding device should be installed on your natural gas system in order to reduce the chances of a natural gas leak or fire. Bonding is provided primarily to prevent a possible electric shock to people who come in contact with the gas piping and other metal objects connected to the grounding system. Nearby lightning strikes can also result in an electrical surge and can potentially puncture a hole in the CSST. Proper bonding and grounding will reduce the risk of damage and fire from a lightning strike.
If you are unsure as to whether your home has CSST or whether it has been properly bonded and grounded, contact a licensed electrician to arrange for a professional inspection.