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Thread: static electricity and dust lines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs

    static electricity and dust lines

    Ive been using my dust collector for Id say 1.5 years maybe?
    Have all the plastic lines grounded, never had any problems.
    Today, everytime I walked over to get a piece of wood coming out of the planer, whenever I touched the metal wheel or handle I was getting a shock.
    I figure all this static electricity is not good, something is wrong.
    Could not figure it out at all.

    This morning, my son had helped me move some wood, and the loose long dust line(4inch hose) that I move around for planer and jointer, and hang when not in use, he curled up in a double circle and hung it and I just took the end and put it in planer.
    That must have caused it, cause when I uncurled the line, no more shocks.
    Interesting to me, dangerous to me. I was going to shut down the dust collector I was getting a bit nervous.
    Was that the culprit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Like the winding on an electrical motor?? Be interesting to hear what the responses are. Glad you eliminated the problem even if by chance.

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!


  3. #3
    Maybe since it was wound in a cicle the dust was rubbing the flex for a longer period of time there fore creating more of a static charge. Atleast that sounds good to me. My shop vac is like that sometimes. Sometimes I'll get zapped and sometimes nothing happens but I will pay attention next time to see if the hose is coiled.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Any chance your ground is bad, and the metal wire inside the flex contacted metal on your planer, and made a ground?

    FWIW, all my DC plumbing is plastic, and it's NOT grounded. I've never had a problem.

    Interestingly, I get shocked by the shop vac (a Fein) all the time.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I'm just curious, not knowledgeable; does the coil wire in the flex hose connect to the grounding wire on the plastic pipe? If not the discharge has no where to go until it jumps to the nearest candidate.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I've had this happen to me on my thickness planer that is hooked up to about 10' of flex hose, but only in the winter, as it is that much drier here, and only if I used a certain plug that is NOT grounded (all my other plugs are..... long story......) If I plug the planer into a properly grounded plug, no problem.

    BTW, you cannot "ground" your PVC pipes, it is impossible to ground an insulator.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    ...BTW, you cannot "ground" your PVC pipes, it is impossible to ground an insulator.
    You're right!

    But running a copper wire through the pipe will (supposedly) dissipate the static, and if you connect both ends of the spiral wire in flex tubing to a ground, it'll (supposedly) dissipate static, too.

    I had the braided wire running through my 4" plastic piping for several years, but got tired of having to clear it of clogs caused by planer chips catching on the braid, so I removed it, and have experienced neither clogging nor static problems.

    Several studies over the years have concluded that the dust buildup needed to produce an explosion far exceeds anything that could conceivably generated in a one person hobby shop. If I recall, for several years back references to these surveys/studies were posted at SMC (I'm not sure, and I'm not welcome on SMC any more, so I can't verify it).
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I guess I'd be wondering if the ground on your planer was connected or not. Typically electricity takes the least path of resistance and that seemed to be you instead of the electrical cord. That or you were the one building up the static and the ground is just fine.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    I don't run any wires through my hoses and haven't had any problems with static shocks..but part of my dust lines are those metal flex hoses used for driers.. it lays on the floor behind a work bench and goes through a metal wall to connect to the DC fan... maybe enough grounding there to prevent any shocks...

    In the right circumstances, static electricity shocks can be fun... when I first left the airlines and when to work for a forwarding company in SF, my office had a cheap nylon carpet... if you shuffled your feet you could build up a static charge that would be strong enough that you could see the spark.... if we had a salesman coming, I would shuffle my feet just before shaking hands.... interesting reactions from the salesmen...
    it would back fire though... if I reached for a file cabinet, I got zapped... I developed the habit of slapping a file cabinet before I opened it... did that until I retired almost 30 years later... got a lot of funny looks from that over the years.
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  10. #10
    since certain types of plastic will build -up static electric when it rubs together-do the plastic builds -up static when the dust rub against the pipe

    I love static electric, when someone walks into my charge elbow

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