Q:

What are flexible gas lines?

A:

Quick Answer

A flexible gas line is the more common name for corrugated stainless steel tubing, or CSST. It is a specific type of pipeline used for natural gas that provides many benefits compared to the previous standard iron pipes.

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Full Answer

Flexible gas lines were introduced in 1988 with the promise of providing a less expensive, lighter, easier to work with option for the iron pipes that had long been the standard for natural gas installation. The pipe consists of a thin malleable steel tubing covered in PVC coating. The flexible nature of the materials used in the production allow the pipeline to be installed with an ease comparable to wiring electricity. The labor required to install CSST costs less than installing older iron pipes because the iron required measuring, cutting and threading all the pipe work needed before installation could begin.

When it comes to safety CSST has some pros and cons. Gas leaks are a major concern in households, and the flexible tubing allows a more straightforward path to be laid with connectors required only at the beginning and end of the pipe. When iron pipe is used many 90 degree angles and joints are required to get the gas from point A to point B, increasing the chance of gas leaks. On the negative side, there have been reports and policies put in place that recognize an increased danger for CSST to ignite the natural gas on fire, in the case of a lightning strike on the house. This is likely due to the increased conductivity from using steel as opposed to iron.

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