Important Fuel Gas Changes in New Florida Building Code

As the year 2020 reaches its end, so do many items in the Florida Building Code. The 2020 Florida Building Code 7th Edition goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

Any project submitted to a jurisdiction on this date (Jan. 1, 2021) will have to conform to the new 2020 code. In our second installment of a blog series aimed at examining these code changes, we’ll take a look at noteworthy changes in fuel gas code.

These changes are important as we look to address project scope and identify additional costs for our business and potentially, our customers.

Here are some key changes to take note of:

• The 2020 Code added two articles relating to the use of CSST (corrugated stainless-steel tubing) for gas piping.
• CSST comes in two forms: a non-arc-resistant jacket (yellow) and an arc-resistant jacket (black). The arc resistance relates to the absorption of arcing energy from a lightning strike or other power surge. These surges could cause pinhole leaks in the gas piping resulting in explosions.
• The-non-arc-resistant type requires a systematic grounding bonding system described in the code. The arc-resistant type does not require the extra grounding bonding. Our drawing specification notes require that the gas piping material to be schedule 40 steel.

So why does this even matter? A substitution may arise where a contractor wishes to use CSST. If this happens, only accept the arc-resistant CSST. The following link provides a very good explanation of the differences between the two.

• Schedule 10 pipe is now acceptable for steel pipe. Schedule 10 pipe has a thinner wall and is less expensive than schedule 40. This may be a value engineering item to consider.
• Factory-built chimneys passing through insulated assemblies (such as an attic space) now require an insulation shield. This will be added cost to a project.

We put together an easy-to-understand guide of other changes to the fuel gas section of the Florida Building Code. Click here to download the PDF.

If you’d like to see the changes on the state website, you can do so by clicking here.

In future installments of this series, we’ll take a look at changes to Florida building code in mechanical, and energy conservation.