CSST and Lightning
Thanks to increased investment and research within the industry, we have been allowed to find new materials and this is the case with the gas tubing called ‘corrugated stainless steel tubing’ or CSST. With a small diameter, it is easy to install and relatively flexible which is why it is now being used more often than traditional heavy-walled pipes. However, there is one major downside in that it is more susceptible to fire damage. When lightning gets into the CSST, it will burn holes into the tubing which can lead to fires and gas leakages. Of course, where gas is involved there is also a risk of explosions in the more severe cases.
As the manufacturers of CSST, Ward, OmegaFlex, Parker Hanniflin, ad Titeflex could be in serious trouble very soon after a class-action lawsuit was opened against them. In the claim, it suggests that the material simply isn’t thick enough to resist damage from a lightning strike. This, coupled with the fact that the manufacturers of CSST have not provided a warning to consumers of the weakness, could result in trouble. On the flip side, the defendants have stated that it is completely safe when installed correctly. As of recently, around one million homes within the US are thought to have this type of tubing connected.
CSST Identification – Commonly, this type of tubing will be used above basements, in attic spaces, along floor joists, and even attached to certain appliances. To identify it, you will see a mark from the manufacturer and they look as follows;
Ward – WARDFLEX
OmegaFlex – COUNTERSTRIKE or TRACPIPE
Parker Hanniflin – PARFLEX
Titeflex – GASTITE