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Old 07-15-2009, 06:59 AM   #1
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


We are building a new house in which the builder is using the yellow CSST gas line. I ran all the CAT5e cable and COAX in the house.

Upon inspection the gas company said that by Indiana code- my CAT5e cables must be greater than 2" away from all yellow CSST gas line. He said that this is due to lightning strikes causing electricity to jump from the CAT5 to the gas line causing an explosion.

So I re-ran my CAT5 in the basement where the issue was - so it's fine now.

Then I remembered that I also ran some speaker cable, HDMI cable and CAT5 near the fireplace upstairs. So I went back to the pictures I took before the drywall was installed. Sure enough- next to the fireplace I have CAT5 and speaker wire right ON the yellow gas line! So I will cut out the drywall and separate them. (see picture)

Does anyone have experience with lightning strikes and this issue? IS THERE A WAY TO FURTHER INSULATE THE GAS LINE - SAY WITH A RUBBER SHEET IN BETWEEN THAT CSST AND THE SPEAKER WIRE?



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Old 07-15-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


Surge suppressors on the CAT line will give you more safety.
You'd think this would more of an issue in places which are frequently struck by lightning.

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Old 07-15-2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


I would be more worried about the CSST where it comes out of the metal thing. With the sharp bend it looks like the metal is cutting into the casing of the CSST.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


There is no oxygen inside of the gas line so there will be no explosion. An arc may burn a hole in the line and cause a fire, but it sure won't explode. I doubt it would happen that far inside the house any way. Seems like there are alot more points outside for an arc to jump off to than inside the home at a single speaker wire.
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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Thanks guys! I will be building a built-in cabinet right there eventually- so I will probably cut out the drywall right there are try to move my wires- especially the phone line that goes behind the gas line. I spoke personally with the Vectren gas guy who was supposed to turn on the gas. He scared the daylights out of me about the arcing possibility. I never knew. If I can do anything to avoid the possibility I will.

Do you think a rubber sheet around the gas pipe would help?
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:20 AM   #6
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


I agree with PUDGE, it looks like the bend radius is too short...it doesn't look like it needs to go that high or sharp...I'd re-do that short portion.

The fire potential for CSST is real. A house earlier this summer had a lightening strike. For some reason the gas line became the/a conductor and it developed pin holes nearly the entire length of the house. It did not explode, but it didn't really make a difference since the house was a total loss explosion or not. Oh yeah, it was less than 1 year old. Make sure it's grounded, this house's line was not.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RippySkippy View Post
the gas line became the/a conductor and it developed pin holes nearly the entire length of the house.
But do wires nearby make a difference?
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:08 PM   #8
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


Hello. I'm new here, I found this post while looking for information on this subject.

This past weekend my 20 year old daughter was house sitting for a friend, she called me just after a thunderstorm had gone through and said that she smelled something burning in the basement. I went over to check it out and found the gas line burning behind the drywall in a bulkhead. there were several wires in the bulkhead also. the fire was next to a joist and had been burning for at least 40 minutes by the time I got there. this was located in the middle of the house.

Looking forward to seeing what else is here.

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Old 07-28-2009, 02:05 PM   #9
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She is lucky the gas didn't accumulate. Then, any spark anywhere in the house (a light switch, a thermostat, static elec.) might have set it off.
That would have been on the evening news.

The current in a lightning strike is down to 15,000 amps within 20 ÁS, from a peak of 30,000A. I guess the gas pipe couldn't stand this much current for this many microseconds.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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Yes, she was lucky, what was most disturbing to me was that once the yellow coating on the gas line burnt off between the the metal anchors, there was little or no smell by the time I got there. it was clean gas fire, and the alarms never went off.

I don't have Gas in my home, but I would certainly be inspecting all the lines if I did, to make sure no wires were close by. My question would be what is a "safe distance" the wires in this case were within 3 inches.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:54 PM   #11
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by phulax View Post
My question would be what is a "safe distance" the wires in this case were within 3 inches.

Jim
If the line melted the wire should have also melted.

At 30 kV/cm this 3" through the air would take ~200kV, which is unlikely.

Research on the reasons behind the rules for distances between gaslines & wiring is pretty hard to find on the Internet and I'd expect the rules would be more stringent for FL and the Ozarks.

http://forums.firehouse.com/archive/...p/t-39254.html

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Old 07-28-2009, 04:05 PM   #12
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"Research on the reasons behind the rules for gasline/wiring rules is pretty hard to find on the Internet."

Yes, I'm finding that out.

Also not much in the 2003 IRC Code book.

Some of the wires were burnt, I'm going over this evening to inspect closer and to see what the Gas company had to say.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:10 PM   #13
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:16 PM   #14
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"A Class Action Lawsuit against four CSST manufacturers has identified the installation
of a lightning protection system and/or bonding and grounding connections as the remedies for
the fire risk associated with CSST. In March 2007, the four defendants in the Class Action suit
filed in the Circuit Court of Clark County Arkansas reached a settlement. Under the settlement
guidelines, vouchers for lightning protection systems or bonding were provided to defray the
cost of mitigating the CSST hazard. Unfortunately, the class-action deadline to enter a claim
under the Settlement closed on September 5, 2007, leaving property owners responsible for their
own fix if they have a CSST gas system.
Insurance industry sources report a dramatic increase in the cost of homeowners’ claims
for damage due to lightning strikes–citing costs up at least 20 percent since 2004.
“Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough publicity given to the lightning hazard associated with
CSST,” said Bud VanSickle, executive director of the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) in
Maryville, MO. “Even though the class action deadline has closed, there are still millions of
property owners out there with a serious fire risk that needs to be addressed. "

Supposedly this pipe has a wall thickness equal to the thickness of aluminum foil, ". . .a thickness less than 0.2 mm / 0.008 in"

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-28-2009 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:22 PM   #15
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CSST Gas Line Lightning Strike and Electrical Issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
If the line melted the wire should have also melted.

At 30 kV/cm this 3" through the air would take ~200kV, which is unlikely.

Research on the reasons behind the rules for distances between gaslines & wiring is pretty hard to find on the Internet and I'd expect the rules would be more stringent for FL and the Ozarks.

http://forums.firehouse.com/archive/...p/t-39254.html
IMHO the CSST (material) in and of itself is more prone to Static charges, regardless of the potential for lightning strikes. Wonder what the UL and CSA are saying on this subject. (Certainly, they approved it.)(No matter what) Don't Drink and Drive!!!

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