Sparks when vacuuming sawdust

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Forum topic by jaidee posted 12-13-2012 04:33 PM 1645 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2803 days

12-13-2012 04:33 PM

Hi Y’all,

In my garage shop I was cleaning up after a short cutting project. I use a Vortex bucket connected to my shop vac to extend the life of the HEPA filter. While vacuuming up a small pile of sawdust I started getting static shocks and noticed small static electric arcs appearing along the hose. I know that this is not a good thing and that is why dust filtration systems are heavily grounded. But I don’t have the room or money for a dedicated filtration system. For now I am using my shop vac/Vortex hooked up to each machine as I use it to keep the dust down. I haven’t noticed this problem when it’s hooked to a machine but I’m not usually watching it while I’m cutting/routing/jointing, etc. Any thoughts on how I can ground this set-up so I don’t wake up in the hospital burn unit some day? Thanks in advance for your thoughts…...


-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

4 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3984 days

#1 posted 12-13-2012 04:45 PM

This may sound a little goofy, but I put a couple generic clothes dryer “softening” sheets through the vac hose letting ‘em stay in the canister. Add new ones when I empty the vac. Stops static just like in the clothes dryer.
Just another mindless shop tip from the White Book of Barnyard Senseless Stuff.


View jaidee's profile


51 posts in 2803 days

#2 posted 12-13-2012 07:05 PM

Hey, I’ve seen goofy work before so I’m not above trying goofy. Thanks for the tip, I’m gonna try it tonight.


-- I used to be all thumbs......'til I got a tablesaw!

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3585 days

#3 posted 12-13-2012 11:18 PM

Other than the discomfort the shock gives, there is no danger of starting a sawdust fire. This has been extensively blogged and researched.

-- Joe

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2096 days

#4 posted 12-13-2012 11:32 PM

many dust collection hoses are coiled with steel so you can ground them. Assuming the vortex bucket is plastic it may have “insulated” your system. connect a ground wire between the hose entering the vortex and the dust collector or hose connecting to the vacuum groud.

sorry need to read better…. add a ground wire from the vac hose to vac.

i am curious… did the dryer sheets work.

-- Who is John Galt?

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