LumberJocks

How Did Grounding PVC Dust Collection Pipes Work Out?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Crashcup posted 02-23-2017 06:13 PM 3764 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Crashcup's profile

Crashcup

25 posts in 1033 days


02-23-2017 06:13 PM

Those of you who have PVC piping in your dust collection system, and used some kind of grounding to dissipate static charge, how is it working out for you?

If I search for this, all I seem to come up with is debates about whether you can blow up your shop or whether you can truly “ground” PVC. Unless I come into unexpected money, I will most likely use PVC. I’m not worried about explosions, but I do find it pretty dang annoying to get zapped when I pick up a hose or touch a DC pipe.

So, I’m curious to hear from those who have done this. How did you ground the system? Where did you connect the ground to? (I imagine to the building’s electrical system ground, but where did you tap in?) And how effective has it been in preventing buildup of static charge?

Thanks for your help!
Keith


28 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5456 posts in 2646 days


#1 posted 02-23-2017 06:20 PM

I have 6” metal ducts, so I can’t answer your question directly, but grounding flex hose sure helped. On longer lengths of flex hose, I ground the internal wire to the ductwork and /or to the tool. It seemed to solve my static charge issues.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4756 posts in 2326 days


#2 posted 02-23-2017 07:15 PM

It’s sucks.I removed it and haven’t used it since the first set up. To explain: my first system was completely grounded as Wood magazine explained how important it was to do so (this was in the late 90’s). What I found was that every little change (and you will always be making changes to accommodate something) was probably 3X the work because you had to re do the grounding wire. Then as DC systems grew more popular folks started challenging the notion it was needed. That didn’t sway my decision, I had reworked my ducting several times and got tired of the ground wire always complicating things, so after the first major overall I tore it out. Surprise, surprise! I didn’t miss it, didn’t experience severe static shock, saved money (and aggravation), didn’t burn the house down, and had no catastrophic explosions/fires. Now there is some data (apparently) that refutes the grounding myth; at least from a safety aspect. Personal comfort may still be a reason to ground the system. But for me: it’s good riddance and never again.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jbay's profile

jbay

1852 posts in 732 days


#3 posted 02-23-2017 07:32 PM

I have over 80’ of PVC pipe going to 5 different machines with a blast gate for each
and I Never get shocked operating any of them.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

112 posts in 1065 days


#4 posted 02-23-2017 07:40 PM

All I’ll add here is Stickley Furniture is a local manufacturer. Years ago they had the factory burn down when static electricity ignited dust in their dust collection system. How many hundreds of hours did they get away with it? I don’t know, I bet it was thousands but eventually it happened and the effect was devastating. Avoiding a shock may not be worth it but avoiding a fire? Your choice.

View jbay's profile

jbay

1852 posts in 732 days


#5 posted 02-23-2017 07:49 PM

I’m thinking there is a big difference between a small garage dust collector and a massive factory system.
But like you said, your choice.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View wuddoc's profile

wuddoc

231 posts in 3551 days


#6 posted 02-23-2017 08:13 PM

This is the movie I would show students to make them aware of Static Electricity discharge and its effect in the wood and finishing labs. The idea was to reinforce bonding procedures presented during lectures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sSqzLPMb4s

-- Wuddoc

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3289 posts in 1631 days


#7 posted 02-23-2017 08:34 PM

I researched this a bit when I installed my 4” PVC ducting. My sense was that there is that static electricity discharge in dust collection systems is real, but, as noted above, is a concern for industrial sized systems that are consistently running. A small system like mine that runs for short periods at a time is not at risk.

I’ve never experienced a shock.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Crashcup's profile

Crashcup

25 posts in 1033 days


#8 posted 02-23-2017 08:48 PM



I have 6” metal ducts, so I can t answer your question directly, but grounding flex hose sure helped. On longer lengths of flex hose, I ground the internal wire to the ductwork and /or to the tool. It seemed to solve my static charge issues.

- pintodeluxe

How much of an issue was it before grounding the flex hose?

In my old shop, I’d get zapped about half the time I reached for the flex hose to pull it off a machine. Of course, I had a short piece of PVC sewer pipe on the end of the flex hose that made it easy to couple to the machine’s dust port, so the charge probably never got a chance to bleed off to the machine’s grounded frame.

View Crashcup's profile

Crashcup

25 posts in 1033 days


#9 posted 02-23-2017 08:50 PM



...and you will always be making changes to accommodate something…

- Fred Hargis

That’s a really good point, Fred. I’m even thinking of not gluing the PVC sections to make it easier to re-configure. So this is definitely something to keep in mind.

View Crashcup's profile

Crashcup

25 posts in 1033 days


#10 posted 02-23-2017 08:53 PM



I have over 80 of PVC pipe going to 5 different machines with a blast gate for each
and I Never get shocked operating any of them.

- jbay

Is your ducting permanently connected to each machine? Maybe what I’m learning here is that pipe connected to a machine is grounded well enough through the machine itself to electrical ground that nuisance static never builds up. But flex hose not connected to anything can build up a charge. ?

View jbay's profile

jbay

1852 posts in 732 days


#11 posted 02-23-2017 09:02 PM


I have over 80 of PVC pipe going to 5 different machines with a blast gate for each
and I Never get shocked operating any of them.

- jbay

Is your ducting permanently connected to each machine? Maybe what I m learning here is that pipe connected to a machine is grounded well enough through the machine itself to electrical ground that nuisance static never builds up. But flex hose not connected to anything can build up a charge. ?
- Crashcup

Not sure about that.
I have the black PVC pipe and Flex hose going to my machines permanently (until I move them)
I used screws to attach them together, no glue on mine.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3202 days


#12 posted 02-23-2017 10:05 PM

The problem comes in with hoses/pipes not connected to machines that are grounded. Hold a shop vac in your hand and start cleaning your tools with it. Reach out with your other hand and touch the machine. That is the static shock you need to avoid, in the dark you can see the spark. Grounding is simple, just run a bare piece of wire inside your hose or pipe. a small hole lets you pull it outside and around any joints or gates and then back inside and attach the end to your DC housing. For making changes to your system you cut the wire at the joint where you want to change or add a run and just twist the wires back together outside the connections. The DC manufacturers advise grounding the systems for safety and would reject any claims for liability on a system installed without grounding. It costs $5-10 bucks for wire and adds about 30 minutes to installation time for a DC system. I always kept mine grounded and never had a problem, and never will. OK, I’m done, now all the experts can tell me how wrong and stupid I am just like normal.

View nkawtg's profile (online now)

nkawtg

263 posts in 1084 days


#13 posted 02-23-2017 10:20 PM

Has anyone ever heard of an explosion or fire caused by un-grounded PVC?
I haven’t

http://www.rockler.com/how-to/exploding-pvc-dust-collection-ductwork/

View Crashcup's profile

Crashcup

25 posts in 1033 days


#14 posted 02-23-2017 10:32 PM



Has anyone ever heard of an explosion or fire caused by un-grounded PVC?
I haven t
http://www.rockler.com/how-to/exploding-pvc-dust-collection-ductwork/

- nkawtg

I’ve read in several places that there’s never been a documented instance of an explosion in a small-shop environment from a dust collector.

I’m mostly trying to avoid the jolt, but maybe there’s something to be said for covering all your bases. If there was a fire in the shop, and an insurance adjuster questioned your un-grounded PVC duct collection piping, then you’d have to find the documentation to show how you don’t believe it was due to a spark generated from the DC system. The insurance guy (or gal) might be dead wrong, but it could be a PIA proving it.

Maybe similar thinking to electrical permits. I don’t even do small electrical jobs without it. Even if I’m comfortable that I’ve got everything correct, I don’t want to give the insurance company a reason to deny a claim.

View Rick_M's profile (online now)

Rick_M

10605 posts in 2213 days


#15 posted 02-24-2017 12:43 AM

I’ve read enough knowledgeable discussion on this subject that I believe grounding small systems is a waste of effort but if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, do whatever you want.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com