What I'm Seeing Now

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Dangerous Gas Line Installation

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 34 commentsJay Markanich • February 23 2015 03:27AM

Comments

Morning Jay, your statement "apathy or ignorance" sure fits the bill on this one.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 3 years ago

I can't think of any other reason, James.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay,

This is an installation that was often made which prompted the code to be written. Time to correct a dangerous situation..buyers do want to move into their home with peace of mind!  

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) over 3 years ago

I don't know which came first Dorie, but suspect you may be right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Oh yes, no sense playing around with dangerous gas lines.  It must be fixed.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

The agent contacted me and there is no argument here Debbie.  And they say it is something nobody knew about, which I am certain.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Oh my. I changed out my gas logs over the weekend. It always makes me nervous to deal with a gas appliance. No leaks, but I check it more than once before I use it. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 3 years ago

thanks Jay....I learned something new today...have not seen this yet but I am sure I will at some point.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Not good here Mike.  And gas log fireplaces do need to be checked.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I see it often Ginny.  And too bad that I do.  It's very dangerous.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

This does look dangerous JayMan, not something that can be overlooked at this point.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 3 years ago

What evils lurk within the home? Jay will reveal them sooner or later

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 3 years ago

It's rusting too Tom, maybe from disimlar metal contact or just humidity.  But that probably adds another layer.

Richie - this has been lurking for sure.  For a while!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Natural gas and electricity are two things to never install haphazardly! It's a good thing you caught this before disaster struck!

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich Great catch of a potential disaster. People do not realize how easily aluminum will stress and be cut under these circumstances.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) over 3 years ago

And, Nicole, that could strike any time!

S&N - the flexible tubing can easily be cut.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Now you know the UN-caring repair guy is going to wrap that flex pipe with duct tape!

Good catch Mr. Jays!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

This definately looks like something that needs immediate attention.  I am glad you pointed out this dangerous condition .

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 3 years ago

And veeeeola, problem solved!  No doubt Fred.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Thanks Joan.  My clients are glad too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, Just a little sleeving will make you better ;)

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

We sure need long sleeves here Don - it's pretty cold!

Oh, gas lines, um, sleeve or no sleeve, I always prefer to see solid tubing going into appliances.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Very dangerous. I appreciate you posting this so that we're all aware.

Posted by Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA, #ChandlerRealEstateAgent (Liz Harris Realty) over 3 years ago

Thanks Liz.  The idea here on AR is to inform!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Good evening Jay. I have never seen a gas line installed this way. The local codes guys are really up on this.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 3 years ago

I imagine they are up on it here too Michael, that is if they are UP in the attic space...

I see it a lot.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing one more thing to make us all better informed. 

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 3 years ago

Margaret - there are so many things that could be shared!  We try...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay, Thanks again for sharing this valuable information. It is always a pleasure to read your posts. The info you provide is always so useful.

all the best....

Posted by Bill Saunders, Realtor®, www.BillSellsHotSprings.com (Meyers Realty) over 3 years ago

Thanks Bill.  I appreciate it as I try to be informative!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich playing with life of people is not good! This is really bad - just wondering how it passed the town inspection?

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 3 years ago

To inspect it they need to go into the attic Praful!

I have never seen a county inspector with a ladder.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I will dabble in plumbing and electrical repairs all day, but draw the line when it comes to gas appliances.  It's one thing to clean up a small leak, another it a gas leak goes wrong.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

Me too Stephen.  However, I think this was installed by the builder's "reputable" sub contractor.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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