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NOTICE: Gas line grounding and bonding is a responsibility of an electrician. Texas did not expect or require a private inspector (non-electricians) to identify gas line bonding until 2015 with the adoption of Form 7-5.

CSST - Corruitem4gated Stainless Steel Gas Piping Fire Hazards

What is especially alarming is that most gas line and lightning fire articles appear to be concentrated in Texas. (see sidebar on right)

The following is a small sampling of many articles.

Fire in the Attic - http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Corrugated-Stainless-Steel-Tubing-306680481.html

Fire Marshal, Family Blame Fatal Fire on Corrugated Tubing - http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Fire-Marshal-Family-Blame-Fatal-Fire-on-Corrugated-Tubing-Industry-Says-its-Safe-242845981.html

Home Gas Pipe Causing House Fires? - http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/part-1home-gas-pipe-causing-house-fires/ndc7c/

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/lightning-strike-fires-reignite-debate-over-gas-pipe-safety-n55006

Experts Say Flexible Gas Line Lightning-Related Fires Continue in Spite of New Safety Measures - http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Experts-Say-Flexible-Gas-Line-Lightning-Related-Fires-Continue-in-Spite-of-New-Safety-Measures-246966451.html

item21Lightning Induced CSST Fires - http://goodsonengineering.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/p379-Goodson-TB1140_web.pdf

https://www.cozen.com/admin/files/SAdocs/CSST-TF_brochure.pdf

Brennen Teel Death - http://www.btfgaslinesafety.org/the-tragedy/

http://www.btfgaslinesafety.org/learn/

http://www.forthepeople.com/class-action-lawyers/csst-lawsuits/

http://www.csstdanger.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CSST-Myths.pdf

www.goodsonengineering.com/wp.../p379-Goodson-TB1140_web.pdf

http://csstsafety.com

http://www.csstsafety.com/CSST-lightning.html

Bonding and grounding of a CSST system might reduce the risk of fire from a lightning strike but does not eliminate it.

CSST Safety Day in Texas - Proclomation by the Governor - http://csstsafety.com/CSST-Safety-Day-Texas.html

The Senate of the United States Warns about CSST - http://csstsafety.com/CSST-senate-res.html

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE FIRE MARSHALS (NASFM) LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE YELLOW CSST SAFETY CAMPAIGN - http://csstsafety.com/CSST-NASFM-statement.html

The National Association of Homebuilders Know About CSST Concerns - http://www.nahb.org/en/research/legal-issues/~/media/053CFAF590D544A4B4DF8E8290393CC7.ashx

Common Hazards

A gas connector is used to get from the gas piping to the appliance – that’s all. If you see two connectors joined together, it’s an improper installation.  This material is not a flexible gas line.  It’s a gas connector.

Gas Connectors should never disappear into a concealed location or pass through a wall, floor, ceiling, or cabinet, it’s an improper installation. The whole line has to be in the same visible space.  Only approved gas pipe (e.g; black iron pipe, galvanized pipe, etc.) can be run through walls, floors, cabinets, etc.

Old gas connectors should be replaced. They should not be reused (per the manufacturer). The current standard for gas appliance connectors is ANSI Z21.24. Don’t reuse gas connectors. According to every manufacturer, gas connectors should never be reused.  When a gas appliance is replaced, the connector should be replaced at the same time.

Only stainless steel is allowed as natural gas contains water which is corrosive to the older brass connectors.

Copper gas lines. If you have a copper gas line in your home you should have it replaced. Natural gas containing hydrogen sulfide (the rotten egg smell) is corrosive to copper. A copper gas line connected with solder is a worst case senario for trouble as the joints have have a low melting point.

In older homes with the non-vented gas heater with open flames in the wall they are commonly piped with a copper gas line. (Copper gas line tubing run outside to lamps or BBQ pits is not disallowed.)

Articles:

Validation of Installation Methods for CSST Gas Piping to Mitigate Lightning Related Damage

http://www.nfpa.org/Assets/files/AboutTheCodes/54/GTI%20CSST%20Final%20Report%20Amended%209-5-13.pdf
 

Jury Rues That CSST is a Defective Product in Landmark case

www.CSST_Product_Liability_Suit.pdf

Other than CSST gas piping there is a history of other installed gas piping that is a hazard which is not widely known.

Many of these connectors may still be in use (in 30 year or older homes), and the CPSC is warning consumers to have their gas line connectors inspected. Because it is very difficult to tell just by looking at it whether a connector has been soldered, the CPSC recommends that ANY uncoated brass connector be replaced immediately by a new stainless steel connector or a new plastic-coated brass connector.

bathwallgasheater

There is no lightning proof building.

This type of old style gas wall heater is commonly piped with a copper gas line. This is also considered a gas space heater.

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DANGERS of LIGHTNING and INDIRECT STRIKES

It does not have to be a direct strike to burn your house down. Lightning up to a 1/3rd of a mile away or more can affect your home. Texas is one of the worlds most active hot spots for lightning thanks to its location on the Gulf Coast.

The Houston area is the lightning center of Texas, according to Texas A&M University. 1

Texas experiences twice as many cloud to ground lightning strikes as the next closest state (Florida).2

Lightning can heat the air as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit and may carry as much as 1,000,000 volts.

Area lightning, power surges and dirty power can significantly affect all electrical systems, parts and components that use electricity. Some parts and components of a structure may  be more conducive to lightning. Contact us today to evaluate your home or building to the newest grounding and bonding standard. [Texas Real Estate Commission Minimum Inspection Standards of Practice 535.229(a)(1)(G)(v) - grounding and bonding]

1 http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/A-M-offers-live-public-map-of-Houston-s-many-4659675.php

2 National Weather Service - http://www.srh.noaa.gov/sjt/?n=lightning

THE TRAGEDY

http://www.btfgaslinesafety.org/the-tragedy/

On August 24, 2012, our son, Bennen Teel, was visiting friends at their home. Their home was built in 2011, and was less than a year old. An evening thunderstorm produced lightning that directly struck the home. At the time of the lightning strike, the power to the home was not interrupted. However, the security alarm system sounded and the keypads to the system were not functioning. The control box was located a few inches below the ceiling in the garage and required a stepladder to reach. Home owner Ross Rushing and Brennen reached the garage, approximately 7 to 9 minutes had passed since the lightning strike.

Unbeknownst to anyone in the house, the electrical charge produced by the direct lightning strike had punctured five holes in the CSST (Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing) causing an arc which ignited the natural gas now leaking from the CSST. When the smoldering attic fire was exposed to oxygen, a back draft occurred causing a massive explosion.

Our son, Brennen, was at the point of explosion and was killed by thermal insult. Ross was in the garage as well, but was not exposed to the direct blast, as a pickup truck parked in the garage shielded him. Despite this, he suffered serious burns to his lower extremities. The house was a total loss and uninhabitable.

Meg and their three children rushed from the bedroom to escape from the fire.  The children were not injured physically but by the horrors of that nightmarrish evening.  Forever.

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