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Defects in Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST)

Jordan L. Chaikin

Defects in Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) May Pose an Unreasonable Risk of Fire from Lightning Strikes

Our firm is investigating lawsuits on behalf of consumers who purchased CSST piping, which is primarily used for the transmission of gas into residential, commercial and industrial structures. CSST piping is made of stainless steel and usually features a yellow plastic covering (sometimes the covering is black). CSST gas lines were developed as an alternative to the thicker, more durable black iron pipe that was used to transport gas within residential and commercial structures for more than a century. The key CSST manufacturers are Titeflex Corporation, Ward Manufacturing, Inc., OmegaFlex, Inc. and Parker Hannifin Corp.. The major issue surrounding CSST gas piping is that, in the event of a lightning strike, the piping is not thick enough to prevent damage, which may lead, to an unreasonable potential for fire damage due to CSST pipe failure.

The attorneys at Parker Waichman believe that the manufacturers of this product have failed to warn its consumers about the potential dangers associated with CSST pipeline and are currently investigating lawsuits to have these products replaced at no cost to homeowners.

Defects in Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) Defects in Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing Parker | Waichman YouTube Videos

Manufacturers Deny Claims that CSST Pipelines Pose a Fire Hazard

This action alleges that the four key CSST manufacturers improperly designed and manufactured their flex gas pipes under their various brands and failed to properly test the pipes' resistance to lightning strikes. CSST is an ultrathin, flexible piping; the product's thin walls are susceptible to perforation by an electrical arc generated by a lightning strike, which has led to fires, as well as damage to, and destruction of, residential structures. The bottom line is that CSST tubing poses a substantial and unreasonable risk of death or personal injury, and none of the companies have formally warned the public of the risks associated with this product.

Meanwhile, it is well documented that CSST gas lines can fail catastrophically in the presence of lightning. The dangers resulting from CSST and lightning strikes have resulted in the Frisco, Texas Fire Department and the Arlington, Texas Fire Department seeking to ban CSST. Also, as of August 2011, 141 fires involving lightning and CSST have been reported throughout the United States. See SEFTIM, Final Report for Validation of Installation Methods for CSST Gas Piping to Mitigate Lightning Related Damage, The Fire Protection Research Foundation (April 2011).

A 2005 expert reported prepared by Mark Goodson, a specialist in electrical and mechanical failure analysis, concluded that, "CSST fails when the CSST is contacted by electrical current associated with lightning. Due to its uniform design, all CSST fails in the same manner when insulted by lightning: electricity contacts the CSST, the CSST acts as a conduit for the electrical current, the electricity perforates the pipe and permits gas to escape. During this process, there is ignition of the escaping gas. This problem uniformly affects all CSST brands, in that the praoducts have the same inherent design, thickness (or lack thereof) and physical properties." Mark Goodson and Mark Hergenrether, "The Causal Link Between Lightning Strikes, CSST, And Fire," Fire and Arson Investigator (October 2005).

Parker | Waichman Logo What Should I Do if I Have CSST Installed in my Home?

If you own a home or building that has been installed with CSST tubing for gas transmission, you may have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with one of our experienced product liability lawyers


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