Recently, final action was taken by the Maryland State Commission of Real Estate Appraisers, Appraisal Management Companies, and Home Inspectors on CSST inspection reguirements originally proposed under the Minimum Standards of Practice (COMAR 09.36.07). Resolution passed and MHIL holders are now required to properly inspect any CSST installation on gas-operated applicances found withiin an inspected home. Specifically, they are to check for proper connection and grounding to the home's electrical distribution system.
CSST installations became popular due to the increased cost savings and ease of installation. This type of gas appliance supply piping is often used where traditional "black steel pipe" used to be the commonly installed standard. CSST is available at larger home supply/hardware stores, so improper installation by untrained homeowners is highly likely in cases of "do-it-yourself" replacements of gas-operated appliances within the home.
This new requirement regarding the inspection of CSST grounding installation was motivated by an observed risk of home fires related to CSST ruptures following lightning strikes. Approximately 7,000 homes are involved in lightning related fires each year in the United States, and although this number roughly equates to just under three percent of all home fires reported each year, CSST fires--fueled by lightning following along an atomized natural gas or propane supply line--are highly likely to result in catastrophic damage and/or loss of life.
The links provided will give more information related to the topic. Home inspectors should review the installation exemplars and safety information in these links in order to comply with the newly adopted minimum inspection standards related to CSST installations in the homes they inspect.
Staying abreast of new building practices and the rapidly changing inspection requirements related to the proper installation and maintenance of these systems is part of a home inspector's continuing education requirements. Tokori makes an extra effort to put out this type of information in all of the home inspection courses we teach and makes blog posts to get the word out to the professional community.