There is no other way to say this - this is a dangerous gas line installation.
This is unprotected flexible metal tubing generically called Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing, or CSST.
There are lots of things swirling about its use and installation, from bonding and grounding to proper protection.
In this case it enters a furnace in an attic.
And does so dangerously unprotected.
Flexible gas tubing as shown in the photo should never pass through the metal wall of an appliance.
Why? Eventually the vibrating metal edge of the hole may cut through the thin, soft tubing!
What happens if it does?! What happens if it does and there is a gas leak?!
This installation was dangerous from the start and not approved when it was done.
So why was it plumbed this way? Apathy or ignorance. Either way, with natural gas, one shouldn't be playing with improper installation in any fashion.
When I see this on any installation (and UNFORTUNATELY I see is a lot), I include this on my report:
Flexible metal gas tubing passes through metal wall of a gas appliance, and here the gas furnace in the attic. This is prohibited as the vibration of the motor of the appliance can cause the metal wall to cut into the flexible tubing, causing a leak. A solid tube is required. This is from the International Fuel Gas Code: IFGC 411.1 #2 states: Semi-rigid metallic tubing shall not enter a motor-operated appliance through an unprotected knockout opening.
I don't invent standards and rules. But sometimes I need to invoke them on my reports. And I don't say what needs to be done, leaving it instead to a knowledgeable and caring professional to make the repair.
My recommendation: danger is danger. I got to including some codes and standards on my reports because builders would argue with my report on new construction inspections. But this installation has been here since 2001. Nonetheless, it is time to change it. The house is vacant and a new occupant wants to move in! Any such move should be done with peace of mind. And safety...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560