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Protection from the storm: Gas Piping with TracPipe® CounterStrike®

Protection from the storm: Gas Piping with TracPipe® CounterStrike®

Lightning Safety and Gas Piping Systems: A Crucial Connection

Understanding Lightning's Threat to Residential Structures

We live in an era where lightning safety has become a paramount concern, especially for residential structures. The unpredictability and power of lightning strikes, capable of exceeding 100,000 volts and 25,000 amperes, pose a substantial risk to homes and buildings. Geographical variations across the United States show a stark contrast in lightning frequency, with areas like Central Florida experiencing high density, while the west coast sees minimal occurrences. This natural phenomenon not only threatens the structural integrity of buildings but also jeopardizes the safety of electrical and gas piping systems within.

The High Cost of Lightning Strike Damages

The financial implications of lightning strikes are staggering. In 2009, the insurance industry witnessed about 185,000 claims for lightning damage, totaling almost $800 million. These figures highlight the urgent need for effective lightning safety measures in homes and buildings to mitigate potential damages.

TracPipe® CounterStrike®: A Groundbreaking Innovation in Gas Piping

The Advent of Flexible Gas Piping

Omega Flex, Inc., a leader in flexible metallic piping products, has revolutionized the gas piping industry with TracPipe® CounterStrike®. Initially developed in the early 1980s, this Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) was designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes. It represents a significant leap from rigid gas piping, offering flexibility, ease of installation, and enhanced safety features.

Enhanced Protection Against Lightning-Induced Arcing

The core of TracPipe® CounterStrike®'s innovation lies in its patented conductive jacket. This design is the result of extensive research and development, aimed at mitigating the risks posed by indirect lightning strikes. Traditional gas piping systems, particularly those unbonded, are susceptible to lightning energy, leading to severe mechanical systems damage and potential fire hazards.

The Role of Grounding and Bonding in Gas Piping Safety

To enhance safety, the National Electric Code (NEC NFPA 70) and the National Fuel Gas Code (NFGC NFPA 54) stipulate the requirements for grounding and bonding of gas piping systems. This process is essential for reducing the risk of electrical faults and lightning damage. TracPipe® CounterStrike® aligns with these codes, ensuring a safe and compliant installation in homes and commercial buildings.

Nearby lightning strikes during an electrical storm can cause damage to electrical and mechanical systems in buildings. Bonding of these systems to a common grounding electrode allows the energy to move at the same rate as the electrical system in unison with the energy wave. When all mechanical and electrical systems of the building are properly bonded, the risk of damage is greatly reduced.

Grounding: The process of making an electrical connection to the general mass of the earth. This is most often accomplished with ground rods, ground mats or some other grounding system. Low resistance grounding is critical to the operation of lightning protection techniques.

Bonding: The process of making an electrical connection between the grounding electrode and any equipment, appliance, or metal conductor: pipes, plumbing, flues, etc. Equipment bonding serves to protect people and equipment in the event of an electrical fault.

Equipotential Bonding: The process of making an electrical connection between the grounding electrode and any metal conductor: pipes, plumbing, flues, etc., which may be exposed to a lightning strike and can be a conductive path for lightning energy towards or away from the grounding electrode


TracPipe® CounterStrike®: Beyond Safety Standards

Meeting and Exceeding Industry Codes

TracPipe® CounterStrike® not only meets but exceeds the requirements of major model codes, including the National Fuel Gas Code and International Fuel Gas Code. Its approval and listings span across various standards, ensuring its reliability and effectiveness in providing fuel gas protection.

Operational Benefits and Installation Flexibility

One of the standout features of TracPipe® CounterStrike® is its operational convenience. It offers the same ease of installation as conventional CSST, using AutoFlare® fittings, but with added safety benefits. Available in a range of sizes, it caters to diverse needs in new home construction, renovations, and commercial applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does TracPipe® CounterStrike® enhance lightning safety in homes? A: TracPipe® CounterStrike® features a conductive jacket that dissipates the energy from a lightning strike, reducing the risk of arcing damage to gas piping systems.

Q: Is TracPipe® CounterStrike® compliant with the National Electrical Code? A: Yes, TracPipe® CounterStrike® adheres to the grounding and bonding requirements outlined in the National Electrical Code, ensuring optimal safety in electrical distribution systems.

Q: What makes TracPipe® CounterStrike® different from conventional gas piping? A: TracPipe® CounterStrike® offers enhanced resistance to lightning strikes and mechanical damage, along with easy installation and flexibility, setting it apart from traditional rigid gas piping systems.

In conclusion, TracPipe® CounterStrike® emerges as a pioneering solution in the realm of gas piping technology. Its advanced features, compliance with safety standards, and commitment to protecting homes from lightning strikes make it an indispensable choice for modern construction needs.

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