Twenty years ago, on January 1991, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved a standard for corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) for flexible gas piping—now published as ANSI LC 1-2005/CSA 6.26-2005 Standard for Fuel Gas Piping Systems Using Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing.
This standard covers flexible gas piping technology using CSST—a technology originally developed in Japan as an alternative to rigid black iron piping that was linked to fires when the pipe was damaged by earthquakes. That standard was the result of a multi-year development effort by the American Gas Association (AGA) and the Gas Research Institute (GRI) funded through a FERC-approved tax on interstate gas and collected by local gas distribution companies to find alternate gas piping technologies to encourage the installation of more gas piping in the house. Traditional rigid piping systems are difficult to install, costly and somewhat limiting in terms of their ability to reach and service all areas of a building, or installation of new appliances or ability to accommodate any building renovations.
Beginning in 1983, and continuing into 1990, AGA and GRI continued the work to develop alternate gas piping technologies, and CSST was soon recognized as the leading contender for a new piping technology. AGA and GRI continued the work of developing a product standard, and produced the first bench standard for CSST: AGA-1 in 1987. Ultimately, that bench standard went through the ANSI consensus standard process and resulted in ANSI LC-1. Today, that product standard is coordinated by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and a technical committee comprising of utilities, code officials, industry experts and manufacturers.
As a safer alternative to rigid iron pipe, CSST production in North America began in the 1990s. Since then, CSST has been widely used and recognized for its outstanding safety and ease of installation.
CSST safety is demonstrated in six critical performance areas: