Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) is a flexible, stainless steel pipe used to supply natural gas in residential, commercial and industrial structures. CSST is often coated with a yellow, or in some cases, a black exterior plastic coating. Besides providing greater durability, CSST is flexible, allowing it to be routed beneath, through and alongside floor joists in your basement, inside interior wall cavities and on top of ceiling joists in attic spaces or connected to fixed appliances such as water heaters. CSST gas piping systems have less joints and therefore less potential for leaks. As of 2012, about seven million homes in the United States had CSST installed.
Like all approved gas piping systems, CSST is safe when properly installed. CSST must be installed by a qualified professional and in accordance with the Manufacturer’s Design and Installation Guide, which includes bonding and grounding of the system. This 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 gas leak or fire from electrical/lightning energy. Lightning is a highly destructive force. Even a nearby lightning strike that does not strike a structure directly can cause systems in the structure to become electrically energized. This power surge can potentially puncture a hole in CSST and cause a fire. Some previously installed CSST systems may not have the proper bonding for optimal safety.
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.