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Thread: static electricity with outdoor deck

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member ContractorSam's Avatar
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    All the sugar coating, lipstick and mascara can't hide the simple fact that there is no static electricity, build up, retention, or release, until there is a CONDUIT in place. That conduit is the HUMAN! Nylon rugs, mylar balloons and car seats have the same problem. How many kids rub a balloon against their heads and stick it to the wall, or drag their feet on the rug, only to zap someone? Blame it on Benjamin Franklin and his kite. Don't get me wrong, a shock is just that - "shocking", as in STARTLING. It is NOT an electrocution because it does not have CURRENT, which is the FLOW of electricity. A static shock is "the build up of electric charge on the surface of objects".
    Also, regarding "Rich B"s comment of 300o volts; That's fine. You could have 1,000,000 million volts go through the human body without ill effect. It is the AMPERE that kills - as little as 20ma. The AMPERE is what is generated FLOW of electricity - ergo "current"...... line voltage, from a wire, not static.
    Lastly, grounding a deck is silly. IT IS ALREADY! If it's touching the house, which is touching the ground, it is grounded! If you want to ground something, ground the conduit - the human. That's why the zap happens. the human touches the ground.

    (apologies for the rant tone..... Electricity 101 ) :-)

  2. #17
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Build a redwood deck and leave the milk cartons for railroad ties.

    Actually I use 1x12 sugar pine for decks and I get about 25 years out of them. Decent sugar pine is better than bad redwood.

  3. #18
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Build a redwood deck and leave the milk cartons for railroad ties.

    Actually I use 1x12 sugar pine for decks and I get about 25 years out of them. Decent sugar pine is better than bad redwood.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member AlW's Avatar
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    I am experiencing the same issues with my new Trex deck. I see some suggestions on how to suppress the discharge but my problem is with people who walk across my deck, then touch/rest their hands on my lighted post caps. The post caps are metal and have LED light strips in them. (Post caps are Rondi from De-Kor) I have seen the static discharge actually cause the light strip to fail, even though they have a 1/4 inch foam insulating strip between them and the cap. I talked with my builder and he mentioned the same thing happened to him on a display deck. He built a static charge walking across the deck, touched a post (Trex lighted brand) and the subsequent discharge caused the LED to fail. I am thinking I need to ground the post caps just to give a better "path of least resistance" for the discharge. The non-lighted post caps do not cause a discharge so I am sure the discharge is grounding through the electrical ground. Trex will not acknowledge this is a problem, but does suggest grounding the deck. I agree with some posts above that grounding the deck won't work, otherwise I would get a discharge from the non light post caps as well. Would be interested in hearing any other experiences with static discharge and the effect on deck lighting. BTW, I live in Colorado, low humidity, very dry climate.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlW View Post
    I am experiencing the same issues with my new Trex deck. I see some suggestions on how to suppress the discharge but my problem is with people who walk across my deck, then touch/rest their hands on my lighted post caps. The post caps are metal and have LED light strips in them. (Post caps are Rondi from De-Kor) I have seen the static discharge actually cause the light strip to fail, even though they have a 1/4 inch foam insulating strip between them and the cap. I talked with my builder and he mentioned the same thing happened to him on a display deck. He built a static charge walking across the deck, touched a post (Trex lighted brand) and the subsequent discharge caused the LED to fail. I am thinking I need to ground the post caps just to give a better "path of least resistance" for the discharge. The non-lighted post caps do not cause a discharge so I am sure the discharge is grounding through the electrical ground. Trex will not acknowledge this is a problem, but does suggest grounding the deck. I agree with some posts above that grounding the deck won't work, otherwise I would get a discharge from the non light post caps as well. Would be interested in hearing any other experiences with static discharge and the effect on deck lighting. BTW, I live in Colorado, low humidity, very dry climate.
    Be happy you live in a low humidity, dry climate. My Trex deck, which I installed in 2008, gets mold spots and looks disgusting over the Winter into Spring. You can't use a pressure washer on Trex (at least with much power), or it will damage the surface. Normal deck cleaners don't seem to be able to clean it up. I had to buy an expensive, but effective deck cleaner over the Internet, but now sold at Lowes I think. It took all the beautiful coloring of the Saddle planking and Madeira colored railing system and made it like a puke grey. I bought composite decking materials,as they were advertising it as being very low maintenance. There was a class action suit on Trex years ago, but the newer stuff in 2008 was supposed to be better. It does not splinter, has not warped, but making it look decent each year is NOT low maintenance. I hope their latest product they advertise now on TV is better than what I got. Be happy with your static electricity shocks and remove the LED lighting. do as Ian said and walk around with a key in your hand, or do like Detective Monk on TV did with his finger.

    Sorry to make light of your situation. I think the mold is worse, and its probably something you won't get, I hope. Touch objects quickly instead of the slow approach. If I had your problem, I'd probably make party hats for everybody on the deck with flashing lights from the static discharge.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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