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  1. #1

    Help Understanding CSST Bonding

    I just had a gas fireplace installed. The CSST line was not bonded during the installation. The plumber who ran the black pipe portion of the gas line (he didn't do the CSST) said that bonding CSST is not a local code requirement yet.

    CSST bonding/grounding seems to be a no-brainer, especially when considering the materials involved can't add a significant amount to the overall installation cost. But if it's as "easy" as I think it is, why aren't installers doing it?

    Does the diagram below represent what a properly bonded CSST line should look like? Am I missing something?

    CSST Bonding Diagram

    Do fireplace installers generally do this, or is it up to the plumber or electrician?

    I want to get this done now. I'm guessing most home inspectors will pick up on it if/when I sell the house down the road. That, and I really don't want to be wondering about it every time there's a thunderstorm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Technically a licensed electrician is supposed to do it.

    I have never seen anything depicting it like you have there. As far as I know as long as the main iron gas line is bonded you are safe. The picture you show does not make sense, the CSST will conduct power already so why add a bridge wire to it like that? Usually you only need to bridge something if its a plastic component that wont conduct.

    I could be totally wrong and not understand it though, but I have never seen that done in any house I have been in.

    I will look up some info and maybe be back. If anyone else has any thoughts on this it would be great to get a good discussion going. A lot of pro electricians don't even understand this subject properly.

    From what I know, that danger is if the gas line system is not bonded at all then if a charge gets into the gas line it can ark off the CSST and blow a hole in it (I have seen this happen). As long as the system is electrically continuous you should only need one bonding point.

    ----

    Found a huge back and forth post elsewhere: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load...749173109.html

    Take its for what its worth, people's opinions...

    ----

    Lots of talk about not using the gas pipe as a ground, this is from the TracPipe design guide "The piping system is not to be used as a grounding conductor or electrode for an electrical system." To me that's saying don't connect the electrical ground from an appliance or outlet to the gas pipe and use that as a ground wire. In any modern construction all the electrical wires run already have green or bare ground wires so this should not be an issue except maybe in an old house where someone might be tempted to use the metal pipe as an easy ground.

    http://www.omegaflex.com/trac/techni...Omega_Flex.pdf

    See page 55 (page 57 in the pdf) section 1.

    "or to a black pipe component (pipe or fitting) located in the same electrically continuous gas piping system as the AutoFlare fitting."

    As long as there are no plastic or other non-metal parts in the gas line this means you can bond it from anywhere. Its generally recommended to connect the bond to the gas line close to where it enters the building and also to keep the wire as short as possible.

    Ok I think I'm done now... would like to point out I am not an electrician, and some of my thoughts or opinions could be wrong, and I would like to know if they are wrong...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jtp10181 View Post
    ...I have never seen anything depicting it like you have there.
    ...I have never seen that done in any house I have been in.
    I drew that picture to see if this is what people meant by a "CSST jumper wire." I couldn't clearly understand what these guys were describing in some of these forum discussions.


    the CSST will conduct power already so why add a bridge wire to it like that?
    My (mis)understanding was that CSST couldn't carry a high voltage through its thin walls without arcing and burning through (even if bonded further down the gas line?). I interpreted this as a jumper needing to be attached to both ends of the CSST so any current would essentially flow "around" the CSST to the ground at the service entrance to the house. (Disclaimer: I'm NOT an electrician!)

    If all I have to worry about is making sure that the iron gas pipe is properly bonded where it enters the house, then I'm good to go as this has already been done. I'm only concerned IF some sort of CSST "jumper" wire is required as depicted in my goofy drawing.

    One thing's for sure...this is one controversial topic!!! I will go check out those links you posted. Thanks for the input.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    It's the current, kiloamps for lightning strike, that melts the hole in the CSST, once it arcs over.

    I'd say that thin gas line has to be far away from grounded surfaces to prevent arcing, but shunting it with a heavy, low inductance strap wouldn't hurt, either.

    It seems to me there are class-action lawsuits over this pipe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    There is no mention anywhere in the gastite or tracpipe design guides about a bridge wire, just that the pipe system as a whole needs to be bonded. I think for highest safety they suggest bonding it from one of the CSST fittings directly to the electrical panel. But if these two things are not near each other that is not practical.

    Yes there are lawsuits about it. They may have been resolved already... not sure.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jtp10181 View Post
    There is no mention anywhere...about a bridge wire
    OK...that helps clear things up. That bridge wire idea came from a suggestion on some other site I was reading.


    ...the pipe system as a whole needs to be bonded.
    If that's all I need, then I'm in good shape.


    ...for highest safety they suggest bonding it from one of the CSST fittings directly to the electrical panel. But if these two things are not near each other that is not practical.
    In my case, this would actually be pretty easily done. I'll let my electrician make the call.


    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I really appreciate it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    central america
    Posts
    157
    Everseen lighting strike a outdoor gas grill with a shallow copper supply line... Arcing burnt thru the pipe, burst into flames instantly, happened at my nieghbors a few years ago. No damage but he put plastic back in.. I would go with the bonding if in doubt!... There may also be a question of electo-galvanic reaction between the dis-similar metals, overtime, corroding the metals..Just my own opinon..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    5

    Lightning on CSST

    I have been called out after a lightning strike and found two sections of CSST with a total of nine holes. The home owner was cool headed and heard the gas leaking after the strike and went outside and turned of the main. Lucky as the installer saved a few bucks on pipe sizing an had two pound gas up to the appliances. Two pond gas moves fast even through small holes.

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