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Thread: static electricity with outdoor deck

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    DIY Junior Member Rik51's Avatar
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    Default static electricity with outdoor deck

    I have a new outdoor deck which is constructed of plastic composite planks. The deck is on the 2nd level of the house. The plastic planks have no contact with the ground. The plastic planks are laying on wood sleepers. I have a static electricity problem. Almost every time I walk around on the deck I will get a shock when I touch anything metal (door handle/metal cap on top of deck wall/bbq). I can't seem to find a proper solution to the problem. Will grounding every plank solve the problem? I have found a couple of sites that refer to grounding every plank...one says grounding is the solution...one says grounding will do nothing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I suspect the planks are no more or less conductive than dry wood. Grounding them would have not effect. Static is related to the material they are made out of, and what your shoes are made of. Change one of those two things!

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rik51 View Post
    I have a new outdoor deck which is constructed of plastic composite planks. The deck is on the 2nd level of the house. The plastic planks have no contact with the ground. The plastic planks are laying on wood sleepers. I have a static electricity problem. Almost every time I walk around on the deck I will get a shock when I touch anything metal (door handle/metal cap on top of deck wall/bbq). I can't seem to find a proper solution to the problem. Will grounding every plank solve the problem? I have found a couple of sites that refer to grounding every plank...one says grounding is the solution...one says grounding will do nothing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    .

    You may be able to find an anti static liquid to the composite planks to reduce ore eliminate that. I have Trex, and it never generated static electricity from us even in the Winter. What kind of shoes are you weraing when this happens? Also happens barefoot? Also check with the composite plank manufacturer to see what they can suggest
    Last edited by BobL43; 07-31-2011 at 11:09 AM.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If you cannot eliminate the static electricity, you may have to carry a key or something similar to touch any metal first. I have heard that spraying something, I think Downy, on carpet eliminates the problem but am not sure if it would work on wood. it is a problem with plastic. There was a roller skating rink which replaced the wood floor with a plastic one and we could build up tremendous static charges. You did not want to be the first or last person in a Conga line and touch the rail.
    Last edited by hj; 07-31-2011 at 02:16 PM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Most of the sprays that would help to dissipate the buildup would be washed away in a rainstorm. Might take some research to find one that would work moderately long-term and, not leave a residue that detracted from the current look of the deck material.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Welcome to Terry's forum Rik51,

    You might want to get something like this;

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0011ENHDQ

    And put it in the entry way to your interior/exterior door.

    Or paint your deck with leaded paint.


    Good Luck on your project.


    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Or paint your deck with leaded paint.

    Wouldn't that do away with decades of trying to eliminate lead paint? He would need the antistatic pad anywhere he has metal he could touch and it needs to be attached to a grounded source also..
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Or paint your deck with leaded paint.

    Wouldn't that do away with decades of trying to eliminate lead paint? He would need the antistatic pad anywhere he has metal he could touch and it needs to be attached to a grounded source also..
    I like your Ben Franklin idea better
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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    DIY Junior Member Rik51's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the input. I am wondering if grounding the planks (even though they're plastic) will give a static charge a path to ground instead of traveling through a person. When we walk on the deck in our socks...doesn't seem to be a problem. If we are out there with our running shoes or sandals...anything with a rubber sole...big problem. We have not been able to get anywhere with the manifacturer regarding this problem. They say they've heard of it, but it's rare and to call an electrician. So far, 3 electrical inspectors and 3 electrical companies have not been able to give us a solution. If you spend big $$$ on a deck (actually 3 levels of decks) you should be able to walk on it with whatever shoes you want and not need to carry a key around in your pocket or spray something on it that will only last a short time as we live in the Vancouver area...we get a lot of rain. Now that I've vented...any further thoughts would be appreciated.

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    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    Grounding can do nothing for you. Plastic is a non-conductor and electrical charges cannot move through it.
    The static charges you are getting are generated by friction, at the point of contact between your shoe and
    the deck.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    You may want to consider a anti static paint.

    http://www.osakapaint.com/reco3.htm

    But grounding every plank would not help, unless the plastic was conductive.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

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    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    The easiest solution is to clench your fist tight and touch a metal surface with a knuckle if you feel you may need to discharge yourself.

    You will see and hear a spark, but will not feel a thing.

    I use this trick all the time. Mostly in the supermarket.

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    If you could measure the static voltage when you discharge it from your body you would be "shocked" to learn it could be as high as 3000 volts.....

    I work on machines that have lots of PC boards in them. Replacement boards are packed in anti static packaging.
    On some really high tech parts I have to wear a wrist strap to prevent any static discharge from possibly damaging a new board.

    In the winter when I do my laundry....I get static discharges from clothes right out of my dryer.....I have gotten used to keeping myself grounded by staying in contact with grounded metal of the washer or dryer....


    Trying to attach some metal to continoulsy ground some plastic and make it inconspicuos and effective would be difficult....

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Get you some Heel straps.

    http://ultrastatinc.com/
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Get you some Heel straps.

    http://ultrastatinc.com/
    or the esd flooring to cover that beautiful new deck
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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