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  1. #1
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    Default CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    On today's inspection, I ran into a situation that I have not seen in the past.

    A 100,000 BTU Teledyne-Laars boiler that used CSST as a flexible connector between the gas valve at the steel pipe and the appliance.

    I guess I have two questions.

    1. Is CSST listed and can it be used as a flexible connector?
    2. Would this now be required to be bonded since it isn't really being used as pipe and flex is not required to be specifically bonded?


    The black pipe nearby did have a bonding clamp, so I am not particularly concerned about that one, but thought I would ask anyway. Since it is not really being used as the piping system, and flexible gas connectors are not required to be specifically bonded...

    1st pic: From the supply pipe. Gas valve at lower/left (out of focus)
    2nd pic: Connection to the boiler.
    3rd pic: General shot of the appliance. CSST at the lower/left.

    Just for clarification... I understand that CSST can be connected directly to an appliance. But, would this be considered to be a gas appliance connector (given that it is apparently functioning as one) and is it approved for use as one?

    I don't know, my gut says that this is probably acceptable, but it was unusual.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Gunnar,

    I don't "know" either, however, I wouldn't consider that piece of CSST as being used as a flexible gas connector.

    That gas piping system is allowed to consist of CSST, rigid metal pipe, and fittings between the two. Once it changes from one material to another, I don't recall any prohibition against changing back. I recall seeing rigid piping run from the meter into the wall, up the wall to the second floor truss system, then CSST through to where several fittings were used to negotiate a complex turn up, over, and around some if the structural components, then CSST continued.

    That CSST may just be a 'continuation of the piping system', which happens to end at the boiler.

    Like you, "I understand that CSST can be connected directly to an appliance", with conditions (such as not going through a cabinet, and that does not).

    Just my thinking.

    Jerry Peck
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Oops ... I forgot about the bonding part of the question.

    The way to bond CSST is to connect the CSST to a metal fitting (end of pipe, nipple, etc) that a bonding clamp can be attached to, or that is bonded at the other end of the metal piping system; or use a bonding clamp which is made to clamp onto the CSST nut without deforming the nut, which could cause a leak at that connection (I think I recall having seen a photo of one, but maybe not?).

    The metal piping system (CSST is a metal piping system) is only required to be bonded at one location - the metal gas piping system should be continuous, not discontinuous like a metal water piping system could become (such as with the use of SharkBite fittings, inserting plastic piping fittings or pipe repair sections, etc).

    Jerry Peck
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Hi Jerry,

    Thank you for the response.

    Yes, I have seen CSST run to the attic where the plumber has created a manifold of black pipe to which more CSST is connected and this is clearly a part of the home's piping system. It is just that listings are usually specific and if something isn't in the listing, then it's not allowed, even if not allowing makes no sense. For example, some electrical splices in a circuit breaker panel enclosure.

    The gas piping system was already bonded, so that was not really an issue in this particular case. I was more curious for the future. It was my understanding as well that the gas piping only needed to be bonded once, and the clamp was on the hard pipe near the ceiling (or presumably so). I was more curious if this would now be considered a flexible gas connector rather than part of the piping system for the listed and labeled purpose in the event the black pipe was only bonded as required in 250.104(B). FGCs are not specifically required to be bonded whereas CSST is, and this was only a few feet long. However, this particular one is longer than would be allowed for a FGC, so it would probably be considered distribution piping rather than FGC on that account.

    Sometimes, this stuff just gets so complicated.

    On bonding CSST, I have a diagram from the manufacturer that shows the clamp on the pipe or a clamp on the compression nut.

    Anyway, it looks like it's okay for this particular installation (except for the lack of a sediment trap).

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    It is just that listings are usually specific and if something isn't in the listing, then it's not allowed, even if not allowing makes no sense. For example, some electrical splices in a circuit breaker panel enclosure.
    That is because the electrical code wording addressed it, and the listings did not address it. The NEC stated that the space was not to be used for that purpose unless space was provided for that purpose ... with "that purpose" being the key. The standard to which electrical panels were listed did not specifically include space for that purpose.

    The code wording eventually changed (a wording battle which I suspect I created when I started pointing out that no space was provided "for that purpose" in the listing, which meant that it was not allowed. The code dropped that wording, and wallah, it was no longer an issue as no space "for that purpose" was required.

    Anyway, it looks like it's okay for this particular installation (except for the lack of a sediment trap).
    What is the listing on the pipe clamp in the photo? Probably as a "pipe" clamp, which means it would not be listed for use on that nut ... just sayin' ...

    The pdf document also shows a pipe clamp on a nut, and, as stated above, if a pipe clamp is listed for use on "pipe" ... (I haven't looked at the listing or installation instructions, but a quick check of the manufacturer's installation instructions should tell, even the clamp should indicate the sizes of pipe and the sizes of CSST nuts - which I doubt has anything about CSST on it).

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  6. #6

    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    I had occasion to install some CSST a few years ago and so I dug into this subject. It looks like the clamp that Gunnar posted a photo of is pretty much the same as this one found on Big Orange's website, and pretty much the same as what I installed at the time. FYI, it's the same clamp for CSST or black iron pipe.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/HOME-FLE...05BC/205699930


    What is the listing on the pipe clamp in the photo? Probably as a "pipe" clamp, which means it would not be listed for use on that nut ... just sayin' ...

    The pdf document also shows a pipe clamp on a nut, and, as stated above, if a pipe clamp is listed for use on "pipe" ... (I haven't looked at the listing or installation instructions, but a quick check of the manufacturer's installation instructions should tell, even the clamp should indicate the sizes of pipe and the sizes of CSST nuts - which I doubt has anything about CSST on it).[/QUOTE]

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What is the listing on the pipe clamp in the photo? Probably as a "pipe" clamp, which means it would not be listed for use on that nut ... just sayin' ...

    The pdf document also shows a pipe clamp on a nut, and, as stated above, if a pipe clamp is listed for use on "pipe" ... (I haven't looked at the listing or installation instructions, but a quick check of the manufacturer's installation instructions should tell, even the clamp should indicate the sizes of pipe and the sizes of CSST nuts - which I doubt has anything about CSST on it).
    Just because the bonding clamp is shown on the CSST information as being used on a CSST nut (as an option to the also shown on the pipe) does not affect the proper use of the clamp.

    The clamp is an electrical item, and as I am sure all are aware of by now (it's been discussed many times here) the NEC, in 110.3(B) states that listed and labeled items are to be installed and used in accordance with their listing and labeling ... we all remember that, right?

    Thus, when that clamp shows what sizes of pipe it is listed for use on (not even listed for use on ground rods unless it says so), then accepting it installed on a CSST nut is really no different than finding the clamp loose and not addressing it (if it has not been tested for a use, do you want to be the one to state that its use is okay?).

    If not including it in your report as the clamp may not be being used as it is listed to be used, at the very least state that there was a bonding clamp located at such and such location and that it may not be installed correctly ... then, being as very few (if any) reports have NO electrical issues, simply lump it in with any other electrical items an electrical contractor should correct.

    a) you identified the item to be addressed by the electrical contractor

    b) while the electrical contractor is on site for other items, address that clamp

    c) if the electrical contractor writes it off as 'it is done all the time', that is now on them, not you

    d) and we all know that things which are 'done all the time' do not make them right, in fact, some can be quite deadly ... and there is a reason for bonding it in the first place, correct?

    I don't understand why some inspector write some stuff up, and then take it upon themselves to basically say 'oh that, that's okay, it is done all the time' - let the licensed contractor say that.

    Jerry Peck
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Just because the bonding clamp is shown on the CSST information as being used on a CSST nut (as an option to the also shown on the pipe) does not affect the proper use of the clamp.

    The clamp is an electrical item, and as I am sure all are aware of by now (it's been discussed many times here) the NEC, in 110.3(B) states that listed and labeled items are to be installed and used in accordance with their listing and labeling ... we all remember that, right?
    It was just pointed out to me last night that TracPipe has their own, (presumably approved) bonding clamp for the brass nut. It is shown on p. 55 of their installation guide.

    https://www.tracpipe.com/wp-content/...1_DI_Guide.pdf

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    It was just pointed out to me last night that TracPipe has their own, (presumably approved) bonding clamp for the brass nut. It is shown on p. 55 of their installation guide.
    So now one has to look for the FGP-GC-1, FGP-GC-2, FGP-GC-3 on the clamp if clamped on the hex nut fitting on a TracPipe system?

    What if that fitting is used on a other-than-TracPipe system? Does the listing still apply, or was it only tested with TracPipe hex nuts?

    Oh, the questions on pondering ponderer might ponder when pondering ponderables ...

    Jerry Peck
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    So now one has to look for the FGP-GC-1, FGP-GC-2, FGP-GC-3 on the clamp if clamped on the hex nut fitting on a TracPipe system?
    What if that fitting is used on a other-than-TracPipe system? Does the listing still apply, or was it only tested with TracPipe hex nuts?
    Oh, the questions on pondering ponderer might ponder when pondering ponderables ...
    I believe you are correct. According to the company rep, only on TracPipe, so not on other brands.

    Personally, I don't imagine they are going to be used a lot. Unless the plumbing contractor knows enough to purchase the clamp for the electrical contractor to use, it's unlikely that the electrical contractor is going to shop at a plumbing supplier.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: CSST as Flexible Gas Connector

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Personally, I don't imagine they are going to be used a lot. Unless the plumbing contractor knows enough to purchase the clamp for the electrical contractor to use, it's unlikely that the electrical contractor is going to shop at a plumbing supplier.
    That's what my thinking lead me to also ... unless TracPipe was going to include it with each roll of pipe shipped.

    Nah, give something like that away? Ain't going to happen.

    And the electrical contractor says 'What? I'm supposed to carry those AND my pipe grounding/bonding clamps? All I have to do is put my pipe clamp on the rigid metal pipe, not on that hex nut, which is a ridiculous place to put it anyway ... ain't no way I'm going to touch a hex nut fitting and potentially become responsible for that fitting leaking!

    Jerry Peck
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