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Can You Run a Gas Line Through an Attic?

Few people want to run a gas line through the slab in their house. Many instead choose the up and over route. They run a gas line up through the attic and then out of the house. While many such installations have been completed, there are safety concerns with having a gas line in an attic. It can be done safely; here is how.

Lightning Concerns

The main concern for gas lines that are run in the attic is lightning strikes. If lightning strikes the gas line directly or near it, then it can create enough heat and energy to make a hole in the line. This can ignite the gas and cause an explosion. Or the gas can simply contribute to a developing fire in the attic.

In the past, CSST, a type of corrugated stainless steel tubing used for some gas lines, has been involved in explosions and home fires in the past. According to NBC, in one case in Lubbock, Texas, fire marshals believe a fire was started when the lighting hit the electrical system and arched into the gas line. Unfortunately, this fire did cause a death.

Building Codes

Building codes in several states require that the CSST lines in your attic be grounded in order to prevent lightning strikes. Grounding makes an object an unappealing target for lighting and reduces potential damage from a strike. To bond your CSST, it will need a bonding device and conductor. The technique for proper bonding CSST was developed in 2007. Not all building codes have required this bonding even since its development. Homes that were built before 2007 are unlikely to have this improvement, and even homes built past 2007 may not. A professional plumber can ensure that your CSST has been properly grounded so that it will be less of a concern during a lightning strike.

Material Selection

There is a new version of CSST that is more resistant to potential damage from lightning strikes. This material is a safer choice to use to run a gas line through your attic. You can get your old yellow CSST replaced with this new black CSST in order to improve your home’s safety and get you some peace of mind.

That said, not all yellow gas lines in your house are old CSST. There are flexible appliance connectors made of a similar-looking yellow flexible material. You’ll find these lines running from the appliance to the gas supply, not as part of the gas supply itself. They are less likely to cause issues when exposed to lightning and less likely to be exposed in the first place.

Other Options

If the idea of having any gas line in the attic makes you uncomfortable, we understand. You have other options to route the gas line through your home without heading into the attic. We can help you find an alternate route and install the gas line safely. Or, we can help you find an electrical appliance that doesn’t have these extra safety concerns.