The CSST line that feeds our upstairs dryer with gas, the water pipes for the washing machine and some electrical wires run through an inaccessible crawlspace in the basement. When I went to turn the dryer on for the first time I smelled gas coming from the opening. After turning off the valve, I realized the area is not big enough to reach into, and I can't even see where the CSST line ultimately goes. I'm surprised neither myself or the inspector noticed this during inspection a month ago.
The home is located in Philadelphia in case that has implications on building code. The crawlspace shown in attached images (Note: the CSST piping is white because the mold remediation company sprayed some mold-resistant paint on the joists.) The opening is about 1 foot wide and maybe 6-8 inches tall.
I did some research on the gas line code, and from what I can tell this area may fall into the definition of a "concealed area" as defined in Section 404.5 of the IFGC International Fuel Gas Code (https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IFGC2012/chapter-4-gas-piping-installations). That section states:
Portions of a piping system installed in concealed locations shall not have unions, tube fittings...
I can't be sure but I would imagine there is a union in there where the CSST connects to a valve in the floor.
Additionally this Philadelphia Gas Company (PGW) document states in Section 3.3 on P.16 (http://www.aspephila.org/_pdf/PGW%20Piping%202010.PDF):
Minimum clearance of 4 feet should exist in the area where piping is located
All piping should be installed in such a manner that it will be accessible for maintenance
To investigate and possibly have the gas line repaired, I am going to need to demo a portion of this wall to gain access to the gas, plumbing and electrical wires.
So my questions are:
- Is this against code (gas piping, plumbing or electrical)?
- If so, is there any way I can hold the home inspector accountable for missing it during the inspection?