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#167783 - 08/20/07 04:58 AM Static Electric Shocks  
kiwi  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 354
christchurch new zealand
Does anyone hate random static electric shocks as much as I do ?

As an electrician, you get conditioned to retracting your arm very quickly when an electric shock is felt. This has led to some embarassing public moments for me; Crowds of grocery shoppers at the supermarket sniggering & pointing at me as I recoil, hissing expletives, after getting a static belt from the freezer cry ('pparently the wheels of the humble supermarket trolley are good static generators ). Also people staring at me in the carpark as I slap my car and cuss it, after getting a zap as I exit the car. shocked

Anyway, after extensive internet research ( I googled it ), it seems that the only way of avoiding static shocks is to spray anti-static liquid over everything I touch, or wear a metal thimble. The anti-static spray only lasts so long and wearing a brass thimble 24/7 is just impractical and weird. crazy

Is it just me ? Or does anyone else in the electrical industry have this static shock annoyance ?

If so, does anyone have any better avoidance tips ?

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#167784 - 08/20/07 05:06 AM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: kiwi]  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,405
Vienna, Austria
I hate the jolt feeling of it!
Worst one was in Budapest some weeks ago. My girlriend went to a porta potty (all plastic) and when she came out again I touched her shoulder with my lips - instant hit, hurt for like 10 minutes. Yuck!

#167785 - 08/20/07 05:39 AM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: Texas_Ranger]  
kiwi  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 354
christchurch new zealand
Kissing your girlfriend as she emerges from the "Portable Toilet" wasn't listed as a static shock risk on the websites I read, but I'll take your word for it Texas.

From now on I'll put on the brass thimble and shake my wifes hand after she's been to the to the toilet at a concert.

#167801 - 08/20/07 01:10 PM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: kiwi]  
geoff in UK  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 185
I've formed the opinion that static shocks are at least largely due to wearing synthetic fabrics, combined with a dry atmosphere. I think this is particularly true of shocks when exiting cars.
Given the weather we've had this summer I haven't experienced a shock for ages!

#167809 - 08/20/07 09:36 PM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: geoff in UK]  
wire_twister  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
Georgia USA
put your hand on the door or roof of the car on exiting, this will prevent shock. On my pickup I can get my finger tip on one of the screw heads that hold the arm rest on this works like a champ.


Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid

#167827 - 08/21/07 06:56 AM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: wire_twister]  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Conductive strips hanging from the back bumper of cars and dragging along the road were all the rage here some years ago. I can't remember the last time I saw one though.

#167884 - 08/22/07 03:23 AM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: kiwi]  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted by kiwi

As an electrician, you get conditioned to retracting your arm very quickly when an electric shock is felt.

Word from a Fire-fighter, it helps to touch things with the back of your hands.
One other thing Kiwi, do you tend to wear a lot of non-natural fibres in your clothing?, like Nylon or Polyprop and the like?.
The actual charge is not from the device to you, it is from the static charge built up on your body, generated by tribo-electric generation and when you touch any metallic object of any size (if it is earthed, all the better), the charge will then move to the metallic object.
Cars are renowned for this.
Wear cotton clothing and the problem goes away.

#167887 - 08/22/07 05:52 AM Re: Static Electric Shocks [Re: Trumpy]  
kiwi  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 354
christchurch new zealand
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Jimmy's suggestion of the "Grabbing the car door" method does work, but I don't like looking like a ninety-year-old-man holding on to the car for support as you get out. ( How vain is that ? )

Trumpy & Geoffs cotton clothing suggestion is sounding good. But down here by the Antarctic the polyprop clothes are cheap & warm. The ubiquitous polyprop long-john suit that is standard attire for most South Islanders in winter is probably a good static generator. I'll miss my polyprop long-johns, but if it means I get less static socks, I'm all for getting cotton.

Thanks to Pauluk for enlightening me on the conductive strip hanging from the back of cars. I never knew what that was!

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