No more winter static shocks for me !

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
386
I've had resistors for decades, and I've been getting zapped by static in the winters my whole life. This winter in a new home I kept getting shocked of a lamp, so I tapped some big resistor to it and why didn't I do that years ago?

Which reminds me I better make a static strap and tie it to my PSU GND, that's convenient.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
7,599
I've had resistors for decades, and I've been getting zapped by static in the winters my whole life. This winter in a new home I kept getting shocked of a lamp, so I tapped some big resistor to it and why didn't I do that years ago?

Which reminds me I better make a static strap and tie it to my PSU GND, that's convenient.
How exactly does taping a resistor to a lamp stop static shocks? Or a static strap to a PSU GND help? The input of the power supply should already have a grounded plug on it. Static shocks are not mains involved.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
1,058
During the winter my shop would produce a lot of static due to the conveyer belts, so I would always have a piece of metal in my pocket to discharge the juice with.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
1,058
LOL, yea...the shocks were so powerful that I had to install custom designed opto-couplers to keep some of the various 555s in the shop from triggering.
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
797
The winter static shocks received are as a result of your body becoming charged and then contacting something (normally earthed), which results in the charge being rapidly discharged (resulting in the shock).

I used to suffer this often when exiting my car, on one occasion after getting out of the car I received a shock as a result of touching the metal garage door.
The cure in terms of avoiding this is to hold on to the metal door frame of the car as you get out – this results in the charge being discharged as it builds up.
The car body is not earthed, but being much larger than my body, most of the charge is transferred to the car body – acting much like a discharge to earth.

One way of avoiding these static shocks is to wear anti-static foot-ware which provides a resistance path through the sole.
 

Tonyr1084

Joined Sep 24, 2015
4,369
The winter static shocks received are as a result of your body becoming charged and then contacting something (normally earthed), which results in the charge being rapidly discharged (resulting in the shock).
If you've ever noticed a static shock when grabbing the doorknob of a wooden door - the reason why you get the shock is because the door knob is at a different potential than your body. Static electricity can build up on the human body upwards of 50KV Static. It isn't harmful but it sure is annoying. You don't have to touch something grounded to experience a static discharge. Once the charge has finished transferring you and the doorknob are now at the same potential. Eventually the doorknob will dissipate its charge due to humidity in the air. Even low humidity will slowly discharge the knob.
One way of avoiding these static shocks is to wear anti-static footwear which provides a resistance path through the sole.
This works when on a conductive surface. In electronics companies, they have static grounding flooring where when you wear such static footwear (or heal straps), as you walk and generate static, the charge is dissipated into the floor and conducted to ground. If you're wearing static footwear and walking on a carpet it will do nothing to dissipate static. Unless your carpet is damp. And dampness breeds mold - so you don't want that.

Tapping a resistor (touching one lead while the other touches a metal object you're about to touch) will equalize the charge. I said Equalize The Charge. Not dissipate it. Though not likely, someone can be at a substantially lower potential and touch a lamp who's metal casing has received a charge CAN get a shock. Prevailing thought is that the person who just got a shock from a charged lamp thinks they had the charge and the lamp provided a ground path. The ONLY time a lamp will provide a path to ground is if the lamp has a ground wire connected to it. Most lamps only have two wires, hot and neutral. And neither should ever come in contact with the metal surface. If there's a potential that it could happen - the lamp cord should have a ground to keep the user safe from potential life threatening electrical shocks from mains power. Mains power, though much lower in voltage, has significant current potential whereas static has an extremely low potential current. Your arm may jolt, but the charge is so weak that it isn't likely going to injure you.

Carrying around a resistor to touch metal objects will equalize the charge. But it equalizes at a slower (lower) current rate, so you don't feel the pain of the bite of static. Keeping a higher humidity level in the home will lessen the potential static charges from accumulating. There's one other way to neutralize static - and that's with ionization. But that in itself can be unpleasant as the odor of ozone is somewhat unpleasant. I've worked at work stations with ionizers blowing a cloud of ionized particles over the work and work surface. Positive charges are drawn to the negative static charges and they are neutralized.

The study of static generation is an interesting subject but a long winded one so I won't go into it here. In short, when two objects are in very close proximity, stripping one away from the other can draw electrons away, leaving positivel charges on one side and negative charges on the other. It's the stripping away of electrons that generates static.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,338
How exactly does taping a resistor to a lamp stop static shocks? Or a static strap to a PSU GND help? The input of the power supply should already have a grounded plug on it. Static shocks are not mains involved.
You have to read between the lines, the text that isn't there.

Ron
 
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