Colglo Blog

Tracpipe Answers to your Questions

Posted by Collister & Glover on Oct 11, 2019 3:46:23 PM
Collister & Glover

What is TracPipe?

TracPipe® sold in the UK is designed and engineered specifically to suit the UK methods of construction and to fully comply with BS 7838. TracPipe® can be directly installed in the screed or underground.


TracPipe® is made of flexible Corrugated Stainless-Steel Tube, abbreviated to CSST. To comply with British Standard BS 7838 and BS EN 15266 it has a yellow polyethylene protective cover that is designed to contain flame spread. The cover also has smoke density inhibitors and provides UV resistance.

BS 7838 is a performance standard that requires CSST to pass a batch of mechanical tests, many of which are not included in BS EN 15266. Among those mechanical tests detailed in BS 7838 are the resistance to corrosion from moisture, and TracPipe has that protection built in from its 0.5mm thick polyethylene jacket.

TracPipe® can typically save up to 75% of the time normally required for a steel or copper pipe installation.

Check out our range of TracPipe products

Can you run TracPipe outside?

Yes, it can be used outdoors. It can also be used alongside a structure. If installed along the outside of a structure, between the ground and a height of 6 ft, it should be protected from mechanical damage, ideally inside a conduit or a chase.

The outer jacket of Tracpipe is manufactured to BS 7838 and is thicker than that of a BS EN 15266 product. The outer jacket of a BS 7838 product is manufactured and tested to be resistant to the effects of ozone, ultraviolet light and higher temperature ranges.

Can you bury TracPipe?

As TracPipe® is manufactured and Kitemarked to BS 7838, it may be buried underground or directly in screed without the need for additional corrosion protection.

TracPipe® is suitable for external applications including burial. The integrity of the polyethylene cover should be checked and rectified if necessary. TracPipe® AutoFlare® fittings must not be buried.

( Tracpipe FGP-027 Rev 03/18)


Is TracPipe pipe in pipe?

No. TracPipe® is a stainless steel, semi-rigid (bendable) corrugated gas pipe with a yellow polyethylene cover that is fire and smoke retardant. TracPipe® is an approved gas piping system that is used for natural gas and LPG installations. Examples of use are: between the meter and appliance.

How do you fit TracPipe?

Not everyone is allowed to fit Tracpipe. The Nationally Accredited Certification Scheme, generally referred to as ACS is in place to ensure individuals are assessed against a set of national criteria based on industry standards, best practice and technology. This link has a video and written instructions to follow when fitting TracPipe. Remember only Registered GasSafe Fitters can install TracPipe.

Can Autoflare fittings be reused?

Yes, they can, but each fitting has to have a new set of split rings.


How is Tracpipe used, and what sizes are available?

The product comes in convenient reels of up to 90 metres in length for long continuous pipe runs, in diameters of 12, 15, 22, 28, 32, 40 and 50mm.

TracPipe® kits are available in shorter lengths of 5, 10 and 15 metres and are supplied with TracPipe® self-amalgamating tape.  Kits are available with or without the AutoFlare® fittings and are ideal for smaller installations where domestic heating engineers can run new or replace undersized pipework between the gas meter and an appliance.

How far can Tracpipe be bent?

TracPipe meets all test requirements of BS 7838 including the Bend Test (BS 7838 – Clause 8.2). This stipulates 12 repeat bends through 180 degrees around a cylindrical former. The cylindrical former radius is equivalent to the Minimum Bend radius for that size of TracPipe (see the Table below). The bend radius should be measured at the inside of the bend.


What are 1st, 2nd and 3rd family gases?

TracPipe® is suitable for natural gas, propane or butane, (1st, 2nd and 3rd family gases), at working pressures up to 75mbar. It can be installed on boats, and has been used on many gas lamps across the UK.

1st family gas – Manufactured gases such as coal gas, used in the UK until conversion to natural gas was undertaken between 1967 and 1977.

2nd family gas – Natural gas, which is predominantly used in the UK and supplied from the national gas network.

3rd family gas – Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which includes propane and butane (normally supplied in bulk vessels or cylinders).

What is the Gas Safe Register?

The Gas Safe Register ( replaced CORGI as the official gas registration body in Great Britain and Isle of Man on 1 April 2009 and Northern Ireland and Guernsey on 1 April 2010. All persons employed to work on gas appliances must now be registered on the Gas Safe Register and carry an ID card in order to work lawfully.

The introduction of the Gas Safe Register followed a review of gas safety by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2006 which, after consultation with the gas industry, engineers and the public, led to the decision to change to a new registration scheme.

What is TracPipeCC?

TracPipe®CC™ (complete containment) Corrugated Gas Pipe is different to the already established and recognised TracPipe® in that it has a second polyethylene outer cover over the length of the product.


Omegaflex, the manufacturers looked at the market and identified an issue that installers were encountering often. When fitting gas pipework is placed through unventilated voids, installers can either ventilate it, which is sometimes difficult because of fire requirements and acoustic issues, or they can sleeve it continuously through the void. Secondary containment, such as a polyethylene duct, could be 20, 30 or 40m long through corridors, but it can only be run horizontally because if the pipe is run vertically there is nothing to support the pipe within the duct.

This market requirement led Omegaflex to provide the secondary containment in one product, essentially TracPipe with a primary and secondary outer cover.

The installer can use TracPipeCC as they would normally run TracPipe. They can connect to the gas meter, run it along to the riser and then vertically up the riser, because the protective cover is in contact with the pipe itself. They can run it through the void and then drop down into an apartment, flat or office with just one long pipe.

How does TracpipeCC provide additional protection?

The second outer cover includes ridges on the internal surface which form spaces between the first and second outer covers. In the unlikely event that a gas escape could occur, the design allows for a passage to be formed and any escaping gas from the stainless-steel pipe and first outer cover can move freely along the space formed to a safe and ventilated location at each end of the pipe. To strip back the outer layer without damaging the inner layer there is a pull string positioned between them. The installer pulls on this string to peel back the exact amount of outer protection.

NOTE: TracPipeCC uses the same Autoflare fittings as standard TracPipe and is available in the following sizes: DN22, DN28, DN32, DN15, DN40 and DN50 (available upon request)

What is the gas-tightness test?

Manufacturers need to follow robust quality and testing procedures to ensure the product they supply is gas-tight when it leaves the manufacturing facility. The gas-tightness test involves a pressure test at 2 bar .

How is TracPipe supplied?

CSST is typically supplied on wooden reels (similar to electrical cable) of various lengths up to 90 m, rather than in the shorter straight lengths of rigid pipe. Omegaflex manufacturers and supplies shorter lengths in a ‘kit’ format, typically in lengths under 15 m.

Tracpipe Reelsfull-HH7821528

Are there any benefits to installing gas with TracPipe?

Being semi-rigid and available in long lengths, a significant benefit of using Tracpipeis that far fewer joints are needed than with rigid steel or copper gas piping, so there are less potential leak sources. It also makes Tracpipe much faster to install than rigid materials.

Tracpipe is also very light compared to rigid materials. It is easier to transport and store. A 45 m reel of DN 50 Tracpipe weighs 55 kg, compare this to the equivalent length and size of rigid steel pipe, which can be more than 200 kg heavier.

Tracpipe assembly only requires the use of standard hand tools, eliminating the need for threading machinery/ tools and the need for on-site electric power. Joint assembly is simple, and the TracPipe fittings can be reused several times if repair or re-routing is required.

How is the seal formed between the TracPipe joints?

Usually gas fittings require some form of sealant. Tracpipe Autoflare fittings form a metal-to-metal seal between the brass fitting and the stainless-steel pipe. Where this form of seal is achieved, no jointing compound or PTFE tape may be used on the metal-to-metal sealing faces or internal thread section.

Autoflare and Fitting

The TracPipe fittings use a split ring that forms a flare on the end of the pipe when the fitting is compressed. In this case, no specialist tools are required. Once the fitting has been assembled and a gas tightness test completed, any exposed stainless steel needs to be wrapped with TracPipe approved tape. This is a self-amalgamating silicone tape that forms a water tight seal between the fitting and the outer jacket of the pipe. If this seal is not achieved, corrosion of the stainless steel may occur.


Remember that TracpPipe can only be assembled by registered GasSafe engineers. The assembly of the fittings must be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

What are the installation standards for TracPipe?

The standards listed below include guidance on how TracPipe should be installed, but the most important consideration is that all CSST manufacturers must provide specific installation requirements. Both BS 7838 and BS EN 15266 place a requirement on the manufacturer to provide guidance on the installation requirements of its products.

However, in some cases, the manufacturer’s specific guidance will take precedence over standards. It is for this reason that the Gas Safe Register considers manufacturers’ instructions to be ‘appropriate standards’ for compliance with legislation such as the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations.

UK Tracpipe Installation Guide 2018

What are the general installation practices?

CSST is installed following the same general principles as rigid pipework.

Sleeving – Although TracPipe has a yellow polyethylene outer jacket, it must still be sleeved where it passes through any wall or solid floor. The sleeve itself needs to be made of a material that is capable of containing gas, such as copper, steel or PVC. The sleeve needs to be secured to the fabric of the building (with an appropriate adhesive such as cement), and the annulus space between the CSST and the sleeve sealed at one end only with a non-setting fire-resistant compound. The seal should, where possible, be inside the property, so any potential gas escape within the sleeve will ventilate to the outside air.


Support – Tracpipe must be supported at regular intervals along its length. The maximum interval between supports will depend on the following.

The pipe diameter. - Pipework within fire escape routes or shafts. TracPipe can be installed in one continuous length through protected shafts and fire escape routes.

TracPipe meets the BS EN 1775:2007, standard it is deemed to have a minimum 120-minute fire resistance, and will meet the requirements of the Building Regulations for such installations.

What depth should Tracpipe be buried?

As TracPipe is manufactured to BS 7838 it can be buried directly in the ground or screed without the need for additional corrosion or mechanical protection. The burial depth will depend on the application. If a pipe is to be buried in the screed in domestic premises, a minimum depth of cover above the pipe would be needed.

What about passing TracPipe through voids?

It is a requirement of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 that any void through which a gas pipe passes must be adequately ventilated. The requirements for ventilation of voids can be found in various installation standards, depending on the situation. Specific details for services in ducts and risers can be found in BS 8313:1997 Code of practice for accommodation of building services in ducts.


If a void cannot be readily ventilated, it is possible to pass a duct through that void (which is ventilated at each end to a safe space) and then pass the gas installation pipework through the duct. The benefit of using TracPipe for this application is that, as it is semi-rigid, it can be passed easily through a secondary containment such as a flexible polyethylene duct. This is often the method chosen by designers where pipework has to pass from a ventilated riser, through an unventilated ceiling void above a corridor, to individual apartments.

Are there concerns with Flux and other contaminants?

If soldering of copper pipework is being undertaken in the vicinity of TracPipe, it is important that no flux comes into contact with it. If flux does come into contact with pipe, it should be washed off immediately and the pipe thoroughly dried.

Chlorine-based products, such as cleaning fluids and some leak detection fluids (LDF), can affect the integrity of CSST pipes. If LDF is used, it must be suitable for use with stainless steel, be non-corrosive and manufactured to BS EN 14291:2004

How much time can be saved when using TracPipe?

By using TracPipe, installation time may be significantly reduced, up to75%. Reducing the jointing needs and the forming of bends by hand are the main factors. Fewer joints also reduce the threat of leaks. TracPipe is a relatively lightweight two-hour fire-rated material designed to withstand normal shrinkage and movement in buildings, and when manufactured to BS 7838, can be buried directly in the ground or in concrete screed.

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Topics: TracPipe, Colglo, Fittings