Bay Area Electrical Contractor Specializing in Electrical Panels, Landscape Lighting Design, Residential Home Wiring

Mike Counsil Electric – San Jose Electrician

Can I Change Something in My Home Wiring to Stop Static Electricity

How can you stop static electricity?

An electric charge is produced when two pieces of material are rubbed together, such as silk and a glass rod, or when you comb your hair. Did you ever walk across a carpet and get a shock when you touched a metal doorknob. Your shoe soles built up a charge by rubbing on the carpet, and this charge was transferred to you and was discharged on the knob. These charges are called static electricity and results when one material transfers its electrons to another.

Even materials known as insulators (glass and rubber) can build up charges of electricity. Static electricity occurs quite often when there is low moisture and the weather is cold and dry. It stands to reason replacing the moisture would be a big help.

Grounding is the best way of removing static electricity, but is not always practical. Placing humidifiers in heating systems can help. Even sometimes just placing water next to heating ducts can help. Moisture in the air will be absorbed by the carpet fibers. The moisture in the fibers will help to dissipate the electrical charge. There are also antistatic sprays that can be used. Newer carpets are being made with antistatic materials already in the fiber.

One of the dangers of static electricity can be transferring a flammable liquid from one metal container to another; it may result in static electrical sparks. The best way to prevent this is by bonding the containers together. And then grounding the containers.

Bonding is done by making an electrical connection from one metal container to the other. There are special connectors, straps and wire for just this purpose. This will prevent a spark from igniting flammable liquids. Grounding is done by connecting the container to an already grounded object that will conduct electricity. The first choice is a ground rod; if this cannot be done, grounding to a metal building framework could also be used. All grounding connections should be bare metal to bare metal.

Call Mike Counsil Electric, Inc. at 408-212-0230