'Stuff' happens-- but unless you are completely thrilled with the
folks who 'fixed' it, you need a new mechanic anyway. To err is
human- but to take the end of December off in snow country is
unforgivable. Hope you're not in the central east coast.
Find a new mechanic and have them fix it and then you send the other
folks the bill. [chances are real good it is a nut not tightened, or
a clamp not quite snug- a 5 minute job that most handyman can handle.]
I'm with the folks that say, in the meantime,
1. Get what gas you can out of it.
2. store it outside- uncovered.
Even if you don't blow your shed up, it will smell like gas for 20
years and make everything you store out there smell too.
I've seen, and done a lot worse. The pan of kitty litter
under the drip sounds like a first rate idea. Can you find
another shop? Ask your neighbors and friends at church and
work. See if anyone works on gas equipment. Likely a loose
hose, fitting, or something easy to tighten.
Take the cowling off and see where it is leaking. Get a knowledgeable
neighbor to take a peek and possibly tighten something to stop the leak.
If they kinked the diaphragm gasket it might take a little talent to fix
it. Maybe they just didn't tighten the diaphragm cover.
You really need to seal the firewall between the house and the garage. If
some gas fumes can leak into the house and be noticed then carbon monoxide
can easily get in too and fire could easily penetrate the wall into the
house. Most building codes require the wall and/or ceiling to be reasonably
sealed with a one hour firebreak. If your local building code neglects this
specification, it is something you should do on your own for your family's
It was 1963 and there are a lot more plastics now than there used to
be, but I put some gasoline in a disposable plastic bowl then, one
that came with food in it, and the gas dissolved the plastic. It
turned it into a puddle of plastic. Maybe fumes ccould damage your
xmas decorations??? Mine was translucent white stuff.
OT, sort of. Did you know that if you put rubber things on a
varnished (I think) dresser, the varnish will eat up the rubber?
This was a dresser that was 20 or 40 years old, and some swimming
goggles. I've seen it happen other times too.
There is a flashback to my childhood. I have no idea why we didn't have
a good old gasoline can for the lawn mowers. Instead we fought with an
old piece of air hose and usually an empty dish detergent bottle to get
a siphon going out of the family car(there was an art to it). The
gasoline sometimes filled the bottle, and sometimes other plastic
containers, spilled in the driveway, oh well, shit happens. Gasoline
would dissolve certain plastics and when it did, there went another
quart of gasoline into the ground. Oops.
Not to mention all the waste oil from oil changes got poured on weeds in
the driveway. My oldest brother still lives there, and his well, well
he's still living, I'm not sure if he drinks the water? Not making that
an excuse to pollute! It's just how things were back then. Washing
parts with gasoline with our hands soaked in it, even used the gasoline
as a hand cleaner for greasy hands. And of course that was all leaded
gasoline too! But back to plastic and gasoline, yes it dissolved
certain plastics. Who back then would have ever thought we would have
plastic gas tanks on our lawn mowers and even in cars?
The early on suggestion of installing an in-line fuel filter is spot on,
both for the obvious reason of filtration and for the fact that the line can
be easily split in order to empty the tank and the carb. After 'emptying'
the carb after the season ends be sure to start it and let it run until it's
out of gas.
I have been storing all of my gas operated equipment as well as gas cans in
a shed my entire adult life (age 58). Sheds are not generally so air tight
as to be a danger. And, if yours is it should at least be ventilated.
Place the vents high and low - the high ones to exhaust the heat in the
summer as the lower ones allow cooler air in for convection. More important
are the lower ones for the subject at hand - fumes. Gasoline fumes are
heavier than air and settle to the floor as they spread out. I have never
had an incident with electric starts. I've paid too much for my equipment
to let them sit outside so, get the problem fixed and get it into the shed.
Best of luck, Chuck
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