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Two of my bedrooms share a wall with my garage attic. One of the bedrooms started smelling like gasoline after my snow blower started leaking in the garage. After long investigation, I found out the smell is coming from an electric outlet which backs to the garage attic.

So the question is how to seal this electric outlet so my bedroom stops smelling like a gas station.

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They make gaskets for outlets that should seal it. I'm not up on garage codes, but I do wonder if it's to code to have a passthrough outlet though (I think all garage walls have to be fire rates). –  DA01 Jun 5 '13 at 16:15
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Might also be a case for air sealing/fire caulking all the attic openings above garage. –  HerrBag Jun 5 '13 at 17:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Access from behind

If you have access to the back side of the electrical boxes, you can seal them using a moldable putty in sheet form. 3M™ manufacturers 3M™ Fire Barrier Moldable Putty Pads, which are intended to be used as a firestop but will also block air flow.

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This is probably a good thing to do anyway, since garage walls/ceilings should be a firestop anyway.

No access from behind

If you don't have access to the back of the boxes, you'll have to seal them from the inside. To do this, you'll have to use a couple different products. Seal the openings where the cables enter the box using Duct Seal, making sure to get a good seal all the way around the cables. Duct Seal is a permanently soft, non-toxic compound, that can be molded to seal around cable penetrations.

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Then install foam gaskets under the cover plates.

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Could you use the moldable putty from the INSIDE around all incoming wires/penetrations? –  HerrBag Jun 5 '13 at 17:26
    
@HerrBag That's what the duct seal is for. –  Tester101 Jun 5 '13 at 17:47
    
Thank you, Is it safe to or per fire code to use Duct Seal putty inside junction box? –  iraSenthil Jun 5 '13 at 19:55
    
@iraSenthil I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use it from the inside of the box. –  Tester101 Jun 6 '13 at 13:24

I am guessing that both walls have drywall right? If they don't that is the problem. If you do have drywall you need to probably open up a section behind each outlet. Then stuff in your insulation on all sides of outlet. Then redrywall and mud. On the bedroom side you can use Great Stuff in between the outlet box and open space/insulation. And DA01 mentioned a gasket. I haven't used these but that would be one more barrier.

The most important thing is making sure your walls are air tight from the garage side though. Example... some people are lazy when drywalling garage and don't mud everything. Cutting out a couple squares of drywall, adding a bit of insulation, maybe a gasket, bottle of Great Stuff, doing a little mudding in your garage. Maybe a one hour job and $30-50. Good practice too since garage doesn't have to look good - just needs to be sealed.

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