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Thread: Lightning causing spark

  1. #1
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    central nc
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    Lightning causing spark

    I have whole house surge protection, surge protectors on all major stuff like TV and comp ( the $350 strips not the $50 kind) but I have this very pressing issue that is concerning to me. We just moved into this house that has a gas fireplace in the living room that is fed with a 1/2" copper tube to an outside propane tank. The last two storms weve had a few near field lightining strikes that when they strike the end of the tube in the fire place in the living room has a very loud electrical snap and small blue flash from the static Im assumming. I know how lighting spreads through theground and all that but do you think its safe for me to turn the gas on to this thing.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2004
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    It sounds like the gas line are not bonded.

    Wake County requires the CSST line to be bonded. It seems that the gas line was completed by the home owner or their trunk slamming friends.


    Wake County FAQ's note second question here
    If your even thirsty, your two quarts low.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cadpoint View Post
    It sounds like the gas line are not bonded.

    Wake County requires the CSST line to be bonded. It seems that the gas line was completed by the home owner or their trunk slamming friends.


    Wake County FAQ's note second question here
    How do you get that out of what was mentioned in OP?

    He never mentioned that there was any CSST either. He did mention copper gas tubing. This is common with LP.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    How do you get that out of what was mentioned in OP?
    .
    He never mentioned that there was any CSST either. He did mention copper gas tubing. This is common with LP.
    Well to me it meant that the HI inspector didn't catch it or they didn't have one at all. Most regional counties are online and
    that can be checked if a gas fire place was ever inspected at time of it's installation.

    Most of the housing in that area of the OP is not Low End and has had a houing boom for over a decade, They've keep close eyes on this area. Ill wager that the OP bought a near new residence.

    from the link " Any gas piping that is being added or modified must be listed on the application along with the type of gas piping or tubing being used. CSST gas piping MAY ONLY be installed by a certified installer. CSST gas piping must also be bonded by a licensed electrician."

    Now I don't know all the codes of mechnical but around here it's back pipe, (natural gas) and not copper pipe for residental.

    CSST has be a sore point within the state and also a on/off again within certain counties...

    They need to have someone pressure test the line and or QA that infact it's up to Code and bond it if they use CSST.
    If your even thirsty, your two quarts low.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cadpoint View Post
    Well to me it meant that the HI inspector didn't catch it or they didn't have one at all. Most regional counties are online and
    that can be checked if a gas fire place was ever inspected at time of it's installation.

    Most of the housing in that area of the OP is not Low End and has had a houing boom for over a decade, They've keep close eyes on this area. Ill wager that the OP bought a near new residence.

    from the link " Any gas piping that is being added or modified must be listed on the application along with the type of gas piping or tubing being used. CSST gas piping MAY ONLY be installed by a certified installer. CSST gas piping must also be bonded by a licensed electrician."

    Now I don't know all the codes of mechnical but around here it's back pipe, (natural gas) and not copper pipe for residental.

    CSST has be a sore point within the state and also a on/off again within certain counties...

    They need to have someone pressure test the line and or QA that infact it's up to Code and bond it if they use CSST.
    The OP isn't talking about CSST at all. He is talking about soft copper, which is fairly common, especially in older installs. I completely agree with your comments related to CSST though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Mike P. Columbus Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by cadpoint View Post
    Well to me it meant that the HI inspector didn't catch it or they didn't have one at all. Most regional counties are online and
    that can be checked if a gas fire place was ever inspected at time of it's installation.

    .
    The CSST is already bonded. 250.104(B) Are you refering to the 'additional bonding' required by the manufacturer?

    Does CSST meet/fall under 110.3(B) "equipment" since it is plumbing tubing?

    Can the electrical inspector make you 'additionally bond this?
    Inspector Mike
    ESI

  7. #7
    T.M.Haja Sahib Guest
    It is recommended to provide direct bonding of CSST gas tubing, rather than bonding it through EGC to avoid damage to its thin wall construction by any arcing due to lightning or any other high voltage contact.

    But this is not the issue here, IMHO.

    The issue here is side flash of lightning through the copper gas tubing. To avoid it, the gas tubing to be bonded to EGC, as cadpoint also suggested.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.M.Haja Sahib View Post
    It is recommended to provide direct bonding of CSST gas tubing, rather than bonding it through EGC to avoid damage to its thin wall construction by any arcing due to lightning or any other high voltage contact.

    But this is not the issue here, IMHO.

    The issue here is side flash of lightning through the copper gas tubing. To avoid it, the gas tubing to be bonded to EGC, as cadpoint also suggested.
    VERY good point!
    Most folks do not think about how dangerous side flash is and what it really is.
    We as electricians need to think of it in terms of an arc flash blast.
    Welders need to think of it in terms of a welding arc.
    It is the arc that gets EXTREMELY HOT.
    Burning and melting stuff like thin stainless tubing carrying NG, far more dangerous than that same tubing just carrying current in a more controlled fashion!
    Sideflash inside of structures can be greatly reduced by proper bonding.

  9. #9
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    I don't think this is what the op is talking about at all. He hears a crackle. Csst would not crackle it would puncture and shoot out flames as it did recently in nearby Carrboro, NC

    I am not sure why this is happening but If the copper line is not connected or bonded to some other equipment it may be worth doing so.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyha View Post
    I have whole house surge protection, surge protectors on all major stuff like TV and comp ( the $350 strips not the $50 kind) but I have this very pressing issue that is concerning to me. We just moved into this house that has a gas fireplace in the living room that is fed with a 1/2" copper tube to an outside propane tank. The last two storms weve had a few near field lightining strikes that when they strike the end of the tube in the fire place in the living room has a very loud electrical snap and small blue flash from the static Im assumming. I know how lighting spreads through theground and all that but do you think its safe for me to turn the gas on to this thing.
    If you have an electric igniter with a coil it is possible that a nearby strike induces energy that results in an overflash. You're correct that lightning travels through the ground, but it is also worth to note that the forementioned induced current will also occur in any material that can be considered conductive, in this case the copper pipe, and even if it is grounded on one end some of the energy may flow toward the ungrounded end and flash over.

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