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Thread: Shop Vac + Static Electricity

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southeastern CT
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    38

    Shop Vac + Static Electricity

    I hope I'm not a candidate for a Darwin award here -- hopefully you SMCers can help me solve my problem.

    I have a basement shop (concrete floor) and have been using a BORG-bought RIGID shop vac to clean up after using the table saw. Every time I use it, I get static electricity shocks while holding onto the hose.

    The vac is plugged into a 3-prong, properly grounded outlet, and the table saw is always unplugged when I do cleanup. The shop vac is standard issue, assembled correctly.

    I assume I'm getting static buildup as the chips & sawdust move up the vacuum hose. I get the buildup whether I'm cleaning the saw itself or just the concrete floor nearby.

    Is the vacuum faulty? Do I need to ground myself in some other way?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Lakes Region of NH
    Posts
    187
    If you think that the outlet may not be grounded properly, you can pick up a ground checker for about $4. They are good to have around for other projects as well, I'm sure you will use it another time.

  3. #3
    Many years ago I had that problem in the shop I had at the time. I taped a wood handle to the vac hose.

    It seems like it would help to have the saw plugged in, so that it was also grounded.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sinking Spring, PA
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    881
    This is very typical when moving saw dust & chips and high speeds through plastic tubing/hose/pipe. It is simply static build up on the walls of the hose caused by the particles moving through the airstream. Happens in dust collection systems all the time, and applies to shop vacs as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Pensacola Florida
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    2,156
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Gaul View Post
    This is very typical when moving saw dust & chips and high speeds through plastic tubing/hose/pipe. It is simply static build up on the walls of the hose caused by the particles moving through the airstream. Happens in dust collection systems all the time, and applies to shop vacs as well.
    Dave is correct, this will happen alot more in the winter than summer..kinda works like when you slide out of you car and get zapped..
    something that will help a little is, pic up a can of static gaurd at the super market and spray it on the vaccume hose occasionly
    Dave

    IN GOD WE TRUST
    USN Retired

  6. #6
    I agree that it is normal.

  7. #7
    It is normal and it does lessen with age. Rubbing the hose with dryer static guard sheets or the spray static guard will probably help.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    It is normal and it does lessen with age. Rubbing the hose with dryer static guard sheets or the spray static guard will probably help.
    age of the person or of the hose?

  9. #9

    Hold on

    I have the large Rigid vac as well and have been shocked on many occasions. It is never fun. But what I did notice is, like you, it was typically while vaccuuming out the table saw. I think this is due to the high volume of very small dust particles that accumulate in the TS. So what I do is keep the saw plugged in and hold on to the table saw with one hand while vaccuuming with the other. This way the TS and I are not at different potentials and I will not get shocked when at some point I touch the TS.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Robinson View Post
    age of the person or of the hose?
    Age of the hose! For some reason as the hoses get older the tendency to create static seems to go away. I can't answer if age of the person makes any difference, I'm not old enough yet.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Contribute

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    Interesting. I use a fairly new Ridgid vac frequently in my garage shop with concrete floors and have NEVER been shocked. But I don't have a tablesaw.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
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    Although I have never had this issue, is it the reason the euro vac makes charge a nice chunk of change for "anti-static" hoses?

  13. #13
    I am fairly new here but I ran into the same problem when I hooked up a plastic Dust Deputy with some old vacuum hoses I had. To prevent shocks I wrapped a copper wire around the hose down to the vac and tied it to a large washer which drags on the concrete floor behind the vac.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    6,536
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    Although I have never had this issue, is it the reason the euro vac makes charge a nice chunk of change for "anti-static" hoses?
    Yes it is, we have several at work, they're about 1,000,000 ohms per metre, and the static charge is conducted to ground.

    regards, Rod.

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