Water Cooler – Welding at the Gas Station

January 17, 2014 12:13 pm · 52 comments


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

A Claycordian sent this photo, along with the following message….

Hi Claycord! I was at a gas station in Concord the other day and while I was pumping gas, this guy starts welding something on the back of his truck. He was working on something for the car wash. I didn’t really feel too safe with sparks flying everywhere.

If I’m not supposed to even talk on my cell phone while pumping gas, why can this guy weld something just a few feet away from all the pumps?

This was at about noon on Saturday.

I was just wondering what other Claycordians thought about this. Is it really dangerous, or something I shouldn’t have worried about?

Claycordians, what’s your opinion?

Talk about it….

Keith January 17, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Sparks flying and gasoline are like oil and water. They just don’t mix.

anon666 January 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Not even worth worrying about.

Laura January 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM

As long as there wasn’t any gas spilled, I wouldn’t worry about. But what if there was?

AH January 17, 2014 at 12:39 PM

The guy is welding with his arms exposed. This either means there is nothing to worry about and the work is safe enough to be done at a gas station, or he is a complete nut case!

This was taken at the 76 gas station at the corner of Alberta/YV Road. Do I get a prize?

Outta here January 17, 2014 at 12:43 PM

stupid is that stupid does!

Gas VAPORS in a confined space are the danger January 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM

not raw, liquid gasoline. Sure, gasoline can ignite and burn, but the vapors in your tank are the serious threat, and that welding isn’t going to throw any sparks near your tank. Cell phones, on the other hand, can cause static electricity to flow to the fill tube, which then ignites the fumes inside your tank, resulting in a rather large EXPLOSION.

Reality says... January 17, 2014 at 1:01 PM

I don’t see sparks “flying” and the pumps are 30 ft away at minimum…not a “few” feet away.

paranoid much?!?

Neal January 17, 2014 at 1:08 PM

I wouldn’t worry about it…..until my car blows up.

Nick January 17, 2014 at 1:09 PM

If he was right next to the pumps it would be cause for concern, but since he was infront on the building and at least 20 ft from any pumps he is fine.
And he has short sleeve shirt on, so it cant be throwing too many sparks very far.

The Mamba January 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

He’s fine working where he is, don’t even worry about it.

Miss Chatty January 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I guess it worked out, since the station is still standing.

Antonio January 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

He looks far enough away. I wouldn’t worry about it.

If you’re that concerned, you can always pump gas elsewhere.

Shopper January 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Was the Claycordian who reported this commonly affected by a condition which causes him/her to spray gasoline all over the place, or did he/she notice someone else nearby suffering from the same ailment? If not, then this is a bunch of unnecessary hand-wringing and busy body worrying about nothing.

Title 24 January 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

What’s wrong with this picture?.
1.All welding and other hot work has to comply with the CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE.. performing hot work in areas where there exists the potential of an explosive atmosphere, such as locations where flammable gases, liquids or vapors are present. has to have the approval the local fire code official.
2.No visible fire extinguisher on the truck.
3.Not wearing the proper PPE (personal protection equipment).
4.Dosn’t look like he’s using protection shields (to protect your eyes from his work)
5.the equipment in the back of the truck looks like it may have been tossed in, which is cause for concern if the hoses/cable are under it.
6.the rig is portable..could easily have taken the time to move to another location to weld.
I hope this helps…

NutCreek Frontier January 17, 2014 at 2:17 PM

I always leave if I see someone smoking by the pumps…do other do this too?

Cowellian January 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Here, hold my beer, and watch this!

Anon January 17, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Agree with Shopper #13…seems like this blog has become the go to place to tattle on your neighbors over the smallest things.

dilligafman January 17, 2014 at 2:53 PM


Original G January 17, 2014 at 2:57 PM

OK that’s an obvious hazard that you see and are aware of.
Gasoline pumps are extremely well Grounded.

What people don’t think of is static electricity charge build up looking for a path to Ground. How many times have you gotten a slight shock getting out of your car?

Lets say you want to hear the end of the song on the radio, you start the gas flowing leave your door open and sit to listen to it end. Then nozzle clicks off, you get out and as you grab the nozzle static from you sliding across the seat getting out discharges to that grounded nozzle as you touch it.. Any fumes may well ignite just from that spark. That’s why some stations take the tab off their nozzles, to prevent flash fires.

Filling a gas container in the bed of a truck, you can get a static discharge spark and cause a fire. Always put gas cans on the ground to fill.

Show these videos to your family, especially young drivers.

JW January 17, 2014 at 3:13 PM

My parents used to own a full service service station when I was a kid. My dad used to weld exhausts and different parts inside the shop. I remember there were these steel plates near the pump block where the truck would refuel the station. I think if the guy was away from those then there wouldn’t be too much to worry about.

It'sJustMe January 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

It was probably safe. Cars have big batteries and spark plugs though?

C January 17, 2014 at 3:44 PM

The guy welding probably saw the person who took this picture and said, “There’s another moron who thinks gas stations have a possibility of exploding in situations where they won’t.”

Does the mayor of claycord like showcasing the dumbest people in our community or does he think we’re all as stupid as him?

gene January 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

agree with Anon and shopper #13 read another blog on a fire where someone talked about things that happened 20 years ago ,folks its current not the past that need to on here, get a life and use the site for what it was intended not the past or make big deals out of nothing.

Anon2you January 17, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Not safe by any means…Dumb

Ralph January 17, 2014 at 4:25 PM

If you have to worry about this than don’t drive you car into a gas station, you might cause a spark due to static electricity when you get out of your car and the whole neighborhood is going to be wiped out by the explosion. From what I see he is nowhere near gas. Stay home where your safe. Bunch of paranoid nuts.

mwo1859 January 17, 2014 at 4:37 PM

You all noticed the fuel pumps. But did it actually hit you he is welding on the back of his truck (which is closer to fuel). So quit trippin.

Buncha whiners January 17, 2014 at 4:43 PM

The guy isn’t endangering anybody AND he’s actually working for a living. Whoever sent in this “story” should have walked over there and given him a pat on the back instead of complaining.

brian January 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

not to worry, think about all the welding that happens in refinerys.

Awesome January 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Wow, people really need to pull their heads out of their rears and stop complaining about silly stuff like this. I’m willing to bet the folks who are calling out dangerous and dumb have never welded before. And yes, he is using a welding mask. Also it’s completely fine to use your cell phone near a gas pump. The Mythbusters busted that a long time ago. http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/videos/cell-phone-gas-station-minimyth.htm If you’re really worried about gas station fires start focusing on people who get in and out of their car while fueling, building up their static energy. That’s what causes gas fires.

DanMtz January 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Don’t worry about him. Worry about the guy on the motorcycle who has the cigarette dangling from his lip as fills his tank.

@Title24 January 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Your Items 3 and 4 are the same thing, a face sheild is PPE.

VikingPrincess January 17, 2014 at 5:34 PM

This week’s WC comments are the funniest yet.

You have to admit, any average person might think twice after all the fires we’ve had…seeing a guy welding at a gas station.

As for me, I may have walked up to him and asked. May have had some interesting things to share.

TinFoiler January 17, 2014 at 5:37 PM

You people SCARE me!!! I’m supposed to be the “conspiracy theorist”, but I can’t even see how any of you chickens can get through boiling a cup of water in the Microwave without calling the Fire dept.

Atticus Thraxx January 17, 2014 at 5:46 PM

I’m more amazed by the DVD rental machine. People still rent DVDs?

@Awesome January 17, 2014 at 5:49 PM

perfectly stated.

Rick January 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Obviously an ignorant right-wing wacko.

Sparker-doo January 17, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Why does everybody have to be so mean? Why couldn’t some just answer the question YES it’s dangerous, or NO it’s fine; and by the 10th answer, why would 20 more people continue to answer…..saying the same thing? I don’t think this person deserved the nasty answers that you all gave….what’s wrong with this world????

. January 17, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Cellphone myth was started as alternative to telling people to pay attention to what they are doing. Just as with driving if you are using a phone you are not paying attention to what you’re doing.

Miguel January 17, 2014 at 6:44 PM

@ Sparker-doo—–37

This is a blog. It’s what bloggers do.

I don’t think it’s any big deal.

@31 January 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

A face shield does NOT qualify or take the place of side shield eye protection.
Failure to use appropriate PPE for the job can disqualify a person from workers compensation if they get hurt.

. January 17, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Most employers welcome calls from the public about their employees out in the field. If a person takes short cuts with Safety they are a danger to themselves and people around them.

ANON January 17, 2014 at 7:19 PM

“Cell phones, on the other hand, can cause static electricity to flow to the fill tube, which then ignites the fumes inside your tank, resulting in a rather large EXPLOSION.”

BS – Myth Busters showed this is not true

“Don’t worry about him. Worry about the guy on the motorcycle who has the cigarette dangling from his lip as fills his tank.”

Like him dead is a real loss ….NOT — many M/C riders are too stupid to live as the laws/rules do not apply to them

DeSaulnier and Bonilla.... January 17, 2014 at 7:49 PM

will soon introduce legislation to prohibit this kind of Un-American activity.

@Title24 January 17, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Read what I posted, A face shield is PPE, I never said it was the same as side shield eye protection, I just said it is PPE.

Mimi (original) January 17, 2014 at 9:15 PM


Teacher Wannabe January 17, 2014 at 9:16 PM

The cell phone/sparks issue has been disproved many times. An old wives tale, urban legend, etc.

TheBuddha January 17, 2014 at 11:03 PM

This is a worthless article whoever wrote it is very much paranoid or has to much time on there hands and are looking for things to yell about, get a life.

concordian January 17, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Is someone really complaining about this?? Quit whining! There is so much worse things going on in our community than this! He’s a hard working individual. It’s not like he’s a drug addict committing a crime!People are so pety nowdays over the lamest things

2nd Class Citizen January 17, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Having been a welder for some decades now, I have seen and heard just about every possible misnomer about welding there is. It’s sad actually, because lies and misinformation get propagated most by those with the least amount of real knowledge about a matter, simply because they say it louder or more matter-of-factly.

And then there are those who take things on a real silly tangent, like Title 24. He must be a safety nanny – book learned, with no real-world construction experience, and focusses on the ridiculous things that only impede progress. (no one asked you to explain how safe you think the welder was, BTW)

Enough of that…

Welding is a lot safer than most people realize. Sparks don’t always mean danger. The welder’s truck was a diesel (no danger of flash). PPE is a personal choice, on any job. Yes there are OSHA laws, but OSHA only cares about problems they can fine for. Safety nannies only care about being nannies.

Advice: Leave your house at your own risk. 🙂

Concord Guy January 18, 2014 at 9:45 AM

A few weeks ago, at that very station, I saw a d-bag smoking a cigarette in front of a car that his buddy was filling with gas.

Hubby Jo January 19, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Safety Nannies gotta justify their jobs. I mainly get my feathers ruffled when I am required to wear PPE when the work conditions do not require it, and it is abundantly clear that we are wearing the hat, glasses, vest, gloves and boots so we can readily be identified as dirty pervy construction workers so the elitist snobs won’t catch our disease and pass it to their spoiled children. Heaven help the poor dears, they might contract a work ethic and jump into a secure, marketable, lucrative career right out of High School and make as much if not more than their peers, with no Frat party regrets and no student loan debt so large that they fake their own death….. Nothing against those that choose to go to college or sacrifice a lucrative career to teach our children, or those that find college to be a necessary step on their career path, just don’t treat tradesmen like second class citizens. Sorry for the rant, Mayor.

Title 24 January 21, 2014 at 1:25 PM

comment #31 thank for reading my comment, PPE for his protection, The shields are for our protection.
comment #44 thanks for trying to help but…this is actually what I meant.

3.Not wearing the proper PPE (personal protection equipment).
4.Dosn’t look like he’s using protection shields (to protect your eyes from his work)
number 3 is referring to all PPE that he is missing for this type of work.
number 4 is referring to the diffuser shields he was to set up around his work to keep the public from being blinded by the arch caused by his stick welding.

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