Static electricity driving us crazy

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Bresias, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

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    I'm posting this here because my problem has something to do with the cold climate of north Idaho, and I'm hoping someone out there has been through this and conquered it.

    We live in a small cabin in the woods, have woodstove only heat. Since the weather has gotten colder and especially since it never gets much above 24 F during the day, I have been plagued with static electricity. I get shocked everytime I touch my stove, light switch, you know the story. And I mean visible sparks.

    I have a cast iron pot kept full of water on the stove. We have oogly cheap foam backed blue carpet in living areas. I avoid dragging my feet as much as possible.

    I have tried the canned "spray", which seems useless. I am wearing those Ugg like boots from Costco, with rubber soles. I can't figure this out, and it is driving me crazy. I look crazy, like I have obsessive compulsive disorder, as I hesitate and wince every time I have to touch something that I know will shock me.

    I have not experienced this one before, to this degree. Any one else with this disorder? I probably sound like a big baby, but it is making me NUTS.
     
  2. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    My 1st thought was fabric softener too.

    I have really long hair, and I use fabric softener as hair rinse on the lower 1/2 and a wet rag (water1st) then softener to wipe things down, or even a spray bottle of softener and water.
     

  3. Mama C

    Mama C Well-Known Member

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    I get that every winter!! I know what you mean it drives me crazy.
    Get your pot boiling for a while,once the widows have some condensation on them you know you have as much moisture as you will likley get. then it can just simmer to maintain the moisture. Also, I have one pair of slippers that I cant wear because of this problem. Try to get out of the UGGs for a day and see if its them. They are probably an acrylic inside. I just wear my sneakers when its that bad.
    I always toss whole cloves and a couple of cinnamon sticks into my water-pot, smells wonderful. The cloves last and last!!
     
  4. leoaloha

    leoaloha Well-Known Member

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    IT is a result of low humidity

    Try putting a pot on the woodburner with water in it, let it evaporate. Will be good for you sinus' also

    L
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Has anyone ever tried the anti-static bracelets that computer techs wear when they replace PC components?

    Would a metal bracelet work?

    Rick
     
  6. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll do the fabric softener thing for sure, will hose down the whole house. I think just about everything I'm wearing, including furniture and carpet is acrylic. The blanket on my couch is, too, and I can hear the sucker crackle when I pick it up.

    I hate to even take off my fake Uggs, but I think they are acrylic fuzz inside. I got used to 70 degree winters in So CA, I'm afraid.

    I plan on converting to natural fabrics and wood floors in the future as we have dogs and mud. Now I will do it long before next winter, for sure.
     
  7. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    The static thing is TERRIBLE in the winter at work. I hate getting shocked with a passion.
    What I finally learned to do - and this solves 90% of the problem - is to slather myself down with lotion (and I do mean slather) as soon as I dry off from bathing. Every square inch of skin.
    Also use a good amount of fabric softener on your laundry.
    I agree with boiling water till you get some condensation on your windows. We don't have the static problem much at home because we have a propane heater that creates lots of moisture in the air. Sometimes when it's really cold outside the metal frame of our sliding glass door is frozen shut because of the condensation!

    Other little things you can do to keep from getting zapped:

    When you slide into or out of your car, make sure you keep your hand firmly on the metal of the door or door frame (grab hold before you start sliding) - this lets the static transfer without a shock.

    If there's a particular thing that zaps you no matter what, don't touch it with your bare hand first - grip some metal object (key, eating utensil, etc) firmly and touch the thing with that. There will still be a zap between the thing you're holding and whatever you touch with it but you won't feel it as long as you're gripping your metal object firmly.
     
  8. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Well-Known Member

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    It would if the metal bracelet were wired to ground like those computer techs wear.
     
  9. romancemelisa

    romancemelisa Well-Known Member

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    i don't have a solutio, but it reminded me when iwas little and we were drivig from Alaska to texas, my Mother had my sisters and my hair cut of so she didn't have to look at it standing up on ends, from the static electrcity.
     
  10. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

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    I rolled and scooted around on my couch until my hair was practically standing up, walked to the front door and touched it with my car keys, mega zap, but I felt nothing.

    I'm running my couch covers in the dryer with fabric sheets, and when we go to the library, I'll spray the couches and carpet so the stink will dissipate before we get back.

    I've got a pot of chicken stock going now, but tomorrow I'll deliberately get the house wetter. I have an old "witches cauldron" type cast iron pot on the wood stove, but it has four little legs, so the pot is an inch and a half above the stove. It never boils, just evaporates. Maybe not good enough?
     
  11. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    ROTFLMAO!!!
    Great mental picture :)
     
  12. kitaye

    kitaye Well-Known Member

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    We have to get ours to rolling boil or run the hot shower to get the humidity back into the air.
     
  13. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I am with you all on this one, when i go to bed at night it is like the forth of july! we can actually see the arc between the dogs nose and my elbow! I have tried everthing that i can think of and agree that the spray is useless. for clothes I use hand lotion. Like i put it on my hands in a normal way and then run my hands over my socks or stockings so my slacks dont stick to them. it works well for things worn under sweaters too. I have tried making my house more humid but unless i actually steam clean all the carpets in a single day i cannot get the humidity up above 31 percent! I am pretty sure it must get up to at least 40 percent to solve the problem. I even have 4 pots of water sittiing on the wood stove right now and I am still arcing!
     
  14. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

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    Sisterpine, you might try sleeping with your car keys, or maybe a salad fork :D
     
  15. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    there ya go :) i'm taking a barbeque fork to bed but dont tell DH shhhhhh! LOL
     
  16. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was given a bracelet made of synthetic material to use when I was swapping out some PC components. It was not connected to a thing.

    I don't know if it would help case, I'm just asking.
     
  17. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    I was in E. Tenn. the winter of '93 and static was killin' me when getting out of the car or truck. It was so bad that it would numb my fingers just like I had touched an electric fence. Here it is a dozen years later and I STILL expect to feel it when I go to close a car door.
     
  18. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i do not think the slippers are helping. you need a tether, lol. like the bracelet the computer guys wear only it needs to be anchored to some metal object. hehehe, you would be like a dog on a leash with a super long 50 foot wire anchored to a radiator or the fridge. it would work though!

    the idea of having a heavy piece of jewelry may have some merit. just touch the heavy bracelet to something heavier from time to time to discharge it. you discharge static to another object with less of a charge. if you increase your potential via adding heavy metal, i would theorize that you could maintain longer periods before you discharge. however when you do, if you do not touch the bracelet to another metal object first, and use maybe the opposite hand, BAMMO, the shock may be greater.

    having said that, if you wear a lot of jewelry, maybe you are building up a greater amount of static before you accidently discharge with your skin. perhaps, if this is the case, if you were to lose the jewelry, then the shocks would minimize in severity.

    i enjoy the static when i am not working with my pc. i usually look for the cat. :D
     
  19. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the weather we have this problem at work. I've gotten in the habit of touching anything metal I walk by with the back of my palm as I walk around the office. This discharges the static electricity in smaller portions so I don't get shocked, or at least not as big of shocks.
     
  20. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i think it is winter and it is dry and they do not make light bulbs like they used to.
    my first clue was when i saw "extended life" bulbs in the store. then i saw pricing games. then it seemed that if i used the cheap (normal) light bulbs they lasted half as long. it is a light bulb conspiracy!!! :mad:

    also, maybe something seasonal draws more juice on one side of your electrical system and causes a spike. maybe the load is seasonally imbalanced.