During the summer, Florida experiences frequent thunderstorms with heavy lightning, which can greatly damage a home when a direct strike occurs. However, lightning also can harm a home indirectly, when excessive electrical currents from a nearby strike damage structural systems within a house.
Corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), which has been used to transport natural gas and propane in millions of homes since 1990, has been proven to be safe against indirect lightning strikes when installed correctly. An improper installation, including not bonding the gas system, could result in leaks in the flexible gas piping product from electricity that arcs from the electrical system to the gas line.
"In an effort to provide homeowners with the safest materials the industry has to offer, South Florida Gas has adopted a policy in which only TracPipe® CounterStrike® flexible gas piping  will be used for new commercial and residential construction jobs and remodels,” said Gerald Stothers, marketing manager for South Florida Gas, a leader in propane gas products and services in southwest Florida for more than 20 years.
TracPipe CounterStrike is a unique CSST piping product that significantly decreases the potential for lightning-induced damage to fuel gas piping systems. The product was designed with a patented energy-dissipating jacket over the CSST piping to protect the stainless steel pressure liner as well as other fuel gas system components.
South Florida Gas installed TracPipe CounterStrike flexible gas piping in a new residential construction project for premier home builder Aubuchon Homes. Since 1992, the company has been building about 20 new luxury homes a year and completing high-end renovations in Southwest Florida. New homes built by Aubuchon Homes  exceed Florida’s stringent building codes and can withstand Category 4 hurricanes. Both new and renovated homes feature reinforced trusses and roof systems, as well as impact-resistant windows and doors that can resist winds up to 150 miles per hour.
One residence is 4,405 square feet and includes four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half-bathrooms—requiring a lot of hot water and fuel gas to heat that water. South Florida Gas installed TracPipe CounterStrike because it is lightweight and flexible—it can easily be bent and routed around obstacles and does not need as many connections as traditional black-iron piping. The entire installation took just five hours.
According to Jim Aubuchon, vice president of construction for Aubuchon Homes, “TracPipe CounterStrike flexible gas piping’s thick sheathing allows it to pull through both wood rafters and metal studs with ease. The sheathing does not rip or tear when passing by truss strapping or other construction products.”
“Our homes are built ‘code-plus strong,’” said Aubuchon. “TracPipe CounterStrike flexible gas piping is far superior to other CSST products, and it helps alleviate concerns about lightning-induced damage.”
OmegaFlex® is a registered trademark of Omega Flex, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit www.tracpipe.com .