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Bonding CSST:

icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
Someone asked me about bonding CSST. They had been told that it was illegal to bond to any gas line or CSST. I found this.

<a href="http://www.csstsafety.com/Images/CSST-Direct-Bonding-Tech-Bulletin.pdf">http://www.csstsafety.com/Images/CSST-Direct-Bonding-Tech-Bulletin.pdf</a>


<a href="http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/gas-pipe-grounding-legal">http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/gas-pipe-grounding-legal</a>


  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,721
    edited July 2014
    Confusion ?

    Ice , we have known this forever , it's been in the code longer than that .  "All above ground portions of gas piping SHALL be bonded continuous " , Always been there never should have been questioned , challenged by anyone , this was in fact written before the appearance of CSST systems . I am not defending CSST , I like using Iron Pipe . I am pointing a finger at anyone who thought or thinks they are more intelligent than the dead men when it comes to things as dangerous as the storage and distribution of explosive material INSIDE the built environment .  There have now been many cases where CSST was found to be faulty / defective but to date they have not had to pay significant fines , cease manufacture or stop selling the product . There is one reason for this , they are not liable and if properly installed CSST is a viable product .  Most lightning strikes occur right at the meter , just attach the clamp there and bond it so any energizing that could travel through the system goes to ground before that damage can be done . Do this even on Iron pipe systems guys .   To eliminate any confusion , Bonding carries energy away from the system , Using the system as a pathway to Ground would be bad . There is no confusion . Anyone who is confused about this should probably stick to stuff they are qualified for
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Spence
    Spence Member Posts: 316
    Bonding CSST

    Nice job, Rich! For those of us who have worked with lightening strike incidents, even the cable TV line can be a superhighway for destruction.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850

    One thing that always irks me is when I find a bonded line that does not go to ground but to the gas or water line. In these days of plastic water and gas piping there are still people that stick to the old ways. No Bueno! 
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    Like I said, someone asked me. I just posted the things I found.

    For my experience with the issue in Massachusetts, it is up to a licensed electrician to ensure that the gas pipe bonding meets code. Even though Mass. electricians must do CEU's, and were up on bonding and grounding (there's a difference) when CSST came along, they acted like a small child given a new food to eat. They just couldn't comprehend a way to clamp the bonding wire to the CSST. Because no manufacturers made such a specific device. Massachusetts forbid the use of CSST for a period, because of lightning strikes and bonding. When the Omega-flex "Counterstrike" came out it finally was again approved but they left it up to local wiring inspectors to approve or not approve it. The wiring inspector in the town I worked in refused to approve it because of this bonding issue. He claimed that there was no specific clamp made to clamp on CSST. All the local electricians said the same thing. I blew up at one once and showed him how a standard electrical pipe clamp bonding clamp is clamped on the fitting and not the CSST tube. No matter. My wholesaler switched to the Counterstrike line. Through pressure, the WI finally relented. I don't know what or how the electricians bond the CSST tube systems. I'm a plumber. NOT an electrician.

    Back in 1993 when I moved into my new house and it was hit twice in 6 weeks, I studied up on lightning. Someone gave me a bunch of stuff on it from somewhere that sold suppression equipment. They explained why "air terminals" are pointed, how positive charges and negative charged ions are everywhere (like big magnets) and that there are three types of lightning. Could to cloud, cloud to ground, and ground to cloud. Now, I only read about Cloud to cloud and cloud to ground. What happened to ground to cloud? Lightning is DC current. Like an arc welder. If you've ever been in a lightning storm, and the hair on your body starts to stand up, there's going to be a strike near-by. It least 4 times in my life, I have experienced that. With DC, the current flows from positive to negative. When my hair stood up, was the positive Ion charge going to go up near me or the negative one? When my Kohler K-181 8 HP thumper motor in my Gravely fires, the magnets on the flywheel create a charge which the coil increases and stores for a split second. As soon as the points close, the charge goes to ground through the spark plug and the charge jumps the gap and fires the cylinder. We know which way it goes. Does the charge come out of the ground first, blow up the meter and dissipate through the building bonding system or anything that has conductivity, collect itself and go back as a bolt?

    I have personally seen where 4" PVC well casings with submersible pumps inside were struck and a hole was made in the plastic. If you take a piece of plate glass and shoot a BB at it, the side you hit will have a dot on the glass. But the inside will have a cone shaped piece missing out of the glass. When you strike a piece of concrete with a hammer, the force is cone shaped away from the local force. The well casings will have a small hole on the OUTSIDE, A bigger hole on the inside. And no burning on the casing. If the soil is fine enough, it will sift through the hole and ruin the pump. I tried to pull a pump after the building was hit and damaged. I had to get a back hoe to try to pull the pump. We ended up pulling the casing because sand and gravel had jammed it. That's how I found the hole. No one believed me until I showed them the evidence. Once I did, guys started to find LOTS of casings with holes in them. The electricity in the ground was after the wires in the casing to the pump and the panel. That particular one had a lightning arrestor/surge suppressor which blew the top off a PS104 pressure switch and blew the guts of the suppressor all over the cellar. Another part came in through the phone line and blew copper wire all over the panel. The charge continued through the house and went through a floor lamp, into the ceiling and blew the wooden shingles OUTWARDS as it left. The idea of air terminals and grounds in suppression systems is to give the charge the least amount of resistance to get to where it wants to go. I think that bonding should be the same. Its easy to blame the CSST if you use bad or flawed science. Texas is notorious for doing that. They snuffed an innocent man and almost snuffed another based on bad Faux fire burn pattern science. To me, its just as likely that the current came out of the CSST and jumped to the metal close by as the other way around. If that is so, then the whole issue of CSST is bogus. Perhaps the majority of strikes are cloud to ground. But when you get a ground to cloud strike, the damage is much worse. The suppression system gives the least resistance. If you are depending on the neutral/bonding system to be the suppression system, there may be problems.

    They must have hellacious lightning storms on Colorado. What do they do there in Colorado on mountain homes?

    The posted photo on the left with the curtain lightning. Is that a multiple charge coming out of the ground and gathering into just a few bolts before going in to the cloud or the other way around? Possibly. They used a digital camera that took 10,000 frames per second and had the ability to keep the camera running and stop it when they saw a flash. It saved the last 30,000 frames before the camera stopped to account for human reaction time. Only then were they able to catch the "Sprites".

    There's no such thing as too much bonding.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    I guess you don't realize how much time and energy it takes to drive a 10' ground rod into the ground.

    I think that plumbers and heaters need to have as much understanding of electricity as the average electrician. We deal with it every day and don't always realize it. Your life can depend on it.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Carried away:

     (( To eliminate any confusion , Bonding carries energy away from the system , Using the system as a pathway to Ground would be bad . There is no confusion. ))

    But, is it possible that the bonding, can carry the energy to the system? That's what my question is. Like the other photo on the right. Taken with an imaging camera. Is a charge in the ground being gathered through the root system and going out condensed and hotter? Or is it the way it seems, the other way around.

    From what I understand, if a quality lightning suppression company were to install a system in that house, a bonding jumper would have been installed in that location because of the danger of arc jumping from one material to the other. That's why they bond garage door tracks and metal downspouts.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850

    Are you being snarky? You just agreed with me.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    PVC well casings

    Wonderful things for cost and no corrosion worries.  BUT - the wires to the pump are inside it and include a ground conductor.  This forms a direct metallic connection to the pump body and the water table.  This often becomes the lowest impedance ground in the area.  Boom!
  • Spence
    Spence Member Posts: 316

    Let us not forget the root goal of bonding, which is not really grounding, but to make everything in the circuit electrically neutral. If so, even a strange electrical potential will go to ground rather than seeking a path of less resistance.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Bonding and grounding

    are frequently confused and conflated -- even by electricians and licensed engineers.  Grounding is mostly about lightning.

    One of Mike Holt's more popular products is a $200+ series of DVDs and books on the subject.  http://ecmweb.com/bonding-amp-grounding/grounding-vs-bonding-part-1-12 does a pretty good job from a code perspective if you have the time to read.
  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 977
    bonding CSST and gas lines

    All metallic gas piping must be bonded. All CSST must be bonded per the listed instructions. You just can't bond underground metal piping and you can't use gas piping as a conductor. That means using a UL467 listed clamp with a #6 solid copper wire back to the buss bar on the main distribution panel in most cases. The clamp goes on the brass nut on the end proximal to the meter. Some AHJs will allow you to bond it to another well bonded steel pipe. The bonding ties it to an electrical grounding conductor or ground rod. I can drive one in in about two minutes with my electro-pneumatic hammer and a ground rod attachment. The bonding puts the CSST at equipotential with the EGC so lightning would probably go to the EGC instead of blowing out the tubing causing a gas leak. I call out every unbonded CSST I encounter and usually get the job to bond it properly. I usually have to install a ground rod a second stage regulators and meters since it is rarely done before hand. When bonding galvanized or painted steel, you must rough up the surface to make solid contact. HTH