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How do I dissipate static electricity...

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How do I dissipate static electricity... From my treadmill?

 

Note that the ground in my house is crap. It's an old home, and while it has grounded outlets on the wall, I'm fairly certain they are not grounded outside. When I'm running on my treadmill, static electricity builds up so when I grab the handles it shocks me... often, and frankly I'm sort of tired of it.

 

I tried taking a metal clothes hanger and wrapped it around the leg of the handle and touched the other end of the clothes hanger to the floor, but that doesn't seem to be doing much for me.

 

Is there anything else that would help? I'm wondering if maybe there is a device that can be clipped on to absorb the charge while I run (almost like those wrist straps used when working on computers, but again... not sure what to connect it to since the outlets aren't grounded outside), or if there's simply a better way to dissipate the static electricity that will work better than the bent coat hanger I'm using now.

 

Thoughts?

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There are anti-static products for clothes dryers, maybe some kind of spray could reduce static buildup.

I've heard plumbing also works well, if you can run a wire from the treadmill to a pipe.

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Plumbing (and gas) does tend to be earthed pretty well if only because at some point the metal pipes end up in the ground. But you should avoid using them as your main earth as if something goes wrong it can be pretty bad. How sure are you it's static?

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Plumbing (and gas) does tend to be earthed pretty well if only because at some point the metal pipes end up in the ground. But you should avoid using them as your main earth as if something goes wrong it can be pretty bad. How sure are you it's static?

 

What else can it be?

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What else can it be?

Some poor connection, so the build up is never very great but it could get much worse.

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Thanks, all. The wrist strap seems like the best option right now, although it's going to be a crazy PITA to be running with the equivalent of an old phone cord attached to my wrist. The heartrate monitor is bad enough. I might explore the antistatic bracelet.

 

Question, though. While the wrist guard or bracelet will prevent me from getting zapped (or feeling it in such a focused way), won't the electronics in my treadmill still be at risk from the build up of charge (which as I mentioned above is probably greater right now than other times due to the extremely low humidity)? It has the equivalent of a 10" tablet built into the controls.

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Drilling down a bit on StringJunky's link, I think this might work: http://www.antistaticbracelets.com/EXCLUSIVE-NEW-PRODUCT-.html

 

According to the marketing, it uses passive corona ionization. Is this something you think makes sense, or is it just BS? If it works, I could just place a few strips of this in strategic locations around my handles.

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You could try this running across the belt on the rear underside of your treadmill. make sure one of the ends is touching the metal for grounding. You could also try a bit round your wrist to see if that other idea works or is BS...it's cheap enough.

 

post-14463-0-70947500-1362278556.png

 

http://www.sportsmith.net/ItemForm.aspx?item=P01OK2617640000

 

I've found this problem quite interesting and learnt that the problem is the static charge building up on you is being insulated by your footwear and the treadmill belt. If these both had conductive materials (carbon?) in them the problem would be alleviated but this is probably quite costly but worth bearing in mind when considering a future purchase of these things again. Could you wash your running shoes in anti-static fabric conditioner? Also you could clean your treadmill belt with it in. Coupled with the tinsel fitted these three things might create sufficient continuity for controlled steady discharge...it will smell nice anyway! smile.png The good thing about this approach is doesn't interfere with your activity like a strap does.

Edited by StringJunky

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You shouldn't use gas pipes for earthing.

 

Especially true given that in many areas, gas pipes aren't pipes in the normal sense... They're plastic tubes.

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The more I read about this phenomenon, the more I realize it's unrelated to the ground in my house (and I would not ground to a gas line even if that weren't the case). The challenge is that the belt and my shoes are insulated relative to the rest of the treadmill, and as it rolls it builds up charge so there is a difference between me and it. It seems this issue occurs in manufacturing where belts and rollers are used, too.

 

When I ran today, I simply lifted my had to dissipate the charge ever 5-8 seconds so the charge was small. Ultimately, though, I'll probably need a wrist strap. That just seems so un-ideal. I would love for that sticker thing I linked in post #9 to work, but I'm cynical that it actually will.

 

I also looked at the anti-static tinsel, but I'm unsure if that would do it since it would not be attached to me directly (only to the belt).

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