Gasoline in the walls...

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I've made a few threads about having my deck rebuilt, and the issues that have come along with the contractor. I have to admit, though, that at this point, the work is looking pretty darn good... as long as I stand over the contractor the whole time and not let him get away with shortcuts!
Anyway, today's issue has to do with a decision the contractor made that I'm not even sure was legal.
Apparently, I had a nest of yellow jackets inside of my wall, behind a GFI outlet, which he stirred up this morning. He tried spraying them with wasp spray, and when that didn't kill them he decided to pour gasoline into the hole.
Now, I have concerns with the smell that's overpowering the house, the fire risk with electric wires, the risk of damage to the subfloor that the gas has to be sitting on, etc.
It rained pretty hard today and I hoped it would wash the gas out, but it smells stronger now than ever before. What exactly do I do to get the gasoline out of the wall?? Or at least, get the smell out?
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Jason Carlton wrote:

Ventilate. Gasoline is volatile.
Were it me, I would pressurize the house, using fans placed on the *opposite side of the house* from the outlet in question. I would start with a fan in clear air outside of a doorway.
If you are even a tiny bit lucky, all the gasoline will slowly vaporize and exit without any drama.
Lock your most important paperwork in the trunk of your car and be ready to shut off the fans and dial '911' if things go sideways.
--Winston
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That's pretty much what I did today, and I thought everything was fine until it got cold and I shut the windows. 15 minutes later, it was just as bad as before. I'll do the same tomorrow.
Now that I think about it, my MIL has a huge fan that they used to use in a factory. I'll see if I can borrow that tomorrow, and then just let it blow all day. That's a lot more powerful than the little window fans that I have.
I'm not really all that upset about the smell (although the dogs are!), because I figured that would go away. I'm more concerned with the concept of having gas soaking into the subfloor, drywall, etc. I certainly hope it DOES evaporate quickly! I thought about dumping sawdust or kitty litter in the hole and then trying to suck it out with a wet/dry vac, but even with the outlet out I don't think I can get the hose down to the floor.
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Jason-
Do NOT try to soak it up with saw dust or kitty litter and vac it out!!!!!
Shop vacs generate sparks with their crappy little motors....sucking vapors through shop vac is a good way to get an explosion. Every couple years someone in SoCal blows up their residence by washing greasy clothes in washing machine with gasoline.
Do as others have suggested.......pressurize the house using windows on he opposite side of the house from the gas spill.
Gasoline is volatile and stinking but it will go away.
cheers Bob
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Suggest: Don't switch anything on or off in the house until the smell dissipates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. The spark from a light switch, radio, TV cooking stove could set off an explosion. Very very dangerous. Also surprised that your battery operated smoke alarms have not sounded. Gasoline fumes are not the results of burning (yet) but our smoke detectors will often sound off with excessive dampness, somethimes when showers are operating, once or twice when using certain household sprays, and/or when cutting wood on a bench saw which then jams and while not making obvious smoke sets off the alarm. Ventilate; ventilate. What a stupid thing to do .......................... gasoline into wall of house!
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Now that you mention it, I'm a little surprised, too. There's a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector on the ceiling in the kitchen, so it's about 15' away from where he poured the gasoline.
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On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:24:21 -0700 (PDT), stan

Gasoline will not burn below 1.4% or above 7.6% concentration in air. Your nose will find it extremely offensive at as little as 0.15 ppm. Unless the guy poured in a LOT of gasoline it is not an explosion risk. The typical "bug bomb" aerosol is as flammable as gasoline - often using propane or MAPP gas as the propellant.
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wrote:

Why are YOU feeling responsible for it? The contractor did it, make him take care of it. HE has fans, etc., and it's his job to do that. And don't let him charge you for that work; it's something HE did. If the money's in the right state, I'd fire his ass if he didn't fix it; he should have done that without you even thinking about it. I'd watch that bass turd like a hawk thru the rest of his work. He obviously believes in shortcuts and using any method, right or not, to get a job done. Wonder what else he screwed up?
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Jason Carlton wrote:

How would rain wash the gas out? Can rain get into the hole he put the gas into?
Why not call the local building inspector and see what he suggests?
I bet he would love to get that call.
Or maybe you should just call a lawyer. He'd probably love to get the call also.
________________________
Just another reason why I do-it-myself, I guess.
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Bob F wrote:

As would the local contractor's board. Pouring gasoline into a wall, that's about as reckless as I've ever heard.
Jon
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I'm really speechless. There is something wrong with both of you. All I smell from here is 'free' deck.
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Thomas wrote:

I'm almost speechless, too....especially after advice to run a lot of electrical fans or vacs with a house full of gasoline fumes. Call the freaking fire department and then fire the freaking contractor.
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On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 08:23:38 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

least as flamable and almost as bad smelling.
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No, not as flammable, not even the fumes. Gasoline is initially very explosive depending on how much was used, which hasn't been mentioned.
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Twayne wrote:

I remember reading an article, long ago, about the person with the worst burns ever to survive. Being a nurse, it really hit home. It was a young girl who had gotten paint on her skin. She was given a rag wet with gasoline and went into the bathroom to clean off the paint and to shower. She wiped the paint off with gasoline. When she turned on the shower, the water heater caused the gasoline to explode. Fumes not flammable? Insane! She had 3rd degree burns, 99% of her body.
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On Thu, 10 Sep 2009 13:56:38 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

are deadly explosive.
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joevan wrote:

That's a hard one to believe without a better cite. It seems highly unlikely that the water heater was located in the bathroom, and even then, IIRC the flamability range of gasoline vapor in air is about 1.5 to 7.5 percent.
You gasoline vapors at much lower levels than 1.5 percent smell pretty strongly.
As for the upper concentration level, In my halcion days I actually stood alongside some Darwin Award candidates who would show off by flicking lit cigarettes down the open hatches of 100,000 gallon gasoline storage tanks to "prove it could be done". I can understand that the fuel/air concentration inside the tank was above the upper flamability level, but what about the area just above the open hatch? Maybe I'm still alive because the autoignition temperature of the most easily ignitable gasoline/air mix is about 465 Farenheit and perhaps a smoldering cigarette butt is actually cooler than that?
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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jeff_wisnia wrote:

I lived in a house where the gas w.h. was about six feet from the tub.... close enough for fumes being sucked along the floor by an air-hungry w.h.

My brother had a friend who did the same on tanker trucks....no ears, bad facial burns.

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Some interesting links on the subject: Like gasoline flash point is -40F, difference between flammable & combustible, etc. etc. Interestingly enough, it says paint thinner is more dangerous than gasoline: http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/fire/Prevention/flammablesubstances.asp
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2003/ShaniChristopher.shtml
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/flammable/flam.html
HTH,
Twayne`

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jeff_wisnia wrote:

It sounds to me like you were a candidate too, if you "stood alongside".
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