Installing aluminum tape inside PVC pipes?

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 02-18-2013 02:13 PM 1872 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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02-18-2013 02:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I read of some people who use PVC for DC duct installing aluminum tape inside the pipes.
How do you do that?
Would a bare copper wire or even bailing wire achieve the same thing, be cheaper and easier to install?
Thank you.

-- Bert

21 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19596 posts in 2640 days

#1 posted 02-18-2013 02:17 PM

Having not installed ducting yet, this is not from experience: The wire inside the ducting can trap chips and cause a blockage. That would be my guess, as to the extra effort to install the aluminium tape.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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298 posts in 3953 days

#2 posted 02-18-2013 02:35 PM

I’ve never seen much … IF ANY … benefit from any of those “grounding” techniques.

My own ClearVue only seem to build up an annoying amount of static when I’m running my planer … It makes my hair stand up on end a little, but, I’ve never been “popped” with a discharge.

I would try it first without any attempting at grounding or bleeding off static buildup … if you still want to try it, it’s not a big deal to disassemble the ductwork at every second or third joint and shove in a piece of wire or foil tape. I’ve had mine running for several years now, and it’s never been a serious problem that I am running “ungrounded”.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

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#3 posted 02-18-2013 02:43 PM

Thank you Fuzzy and Randy

-- Bert

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Paul Stoops

348 posts in 2525 days

#4 posted 02-18-2013 03:00 PM

I would not install a wire inside of the duct! I did that on my first DC system and what a nightmare that was—continual clogs with chips hanging up between the wire and the duct. I used thin wall PVC for my ClearVue DC ducting as well as in my present shop. There is sometimes some noticeable static charge buildup, but not to where it would spark or bite me. It normally occurs when the weather is cold and the humidity is low. In accordance with the KISS principle, I would try it without a ground on the duct. If it becomes a problem to you, a spiral wrap of wire around the outside of the duct may help with one end grounded. Sounds like you are going to have a super system, Bert. Good show! BTW, that’s really a nice looking shop building you have there.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

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306 posts in 4000 days

#5 posted 02-18-2013 03:02 PM

I’ve also seen some people run the wire on the outside and insert screws that penetrate just enough into the inside of the tube to be visible but not enough to get anything hung up on it.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

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4682 posts in 2316 days

#6 posted 02-18-2013 03:04 PM

I’ve heard of people using it on the outside but not on the inside. I don’t really see how you would apply tape to the inside without a trained squirrel.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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854 posts in 2075 days

#7 posted 02-18-2013 03:24 PM

In my first DC I ran bare copper wire in all of the ducts. I tried to keep it tight against the top and never had a clog because of it. On the v2 DC I am not running any wire. I only notice static on the plastic when I am attempting to collect the chips from the miter saw.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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4851 posts in 3013 days

#8 posted 02-18-2013 03:34 PM

Paul, I live in Utah, it is extremely dry all year long

-- Bert

View ClayandNancy's profile


519 posts in 2980 days

#9 posted 02-18-2013 03:35 PM

My last system I used pop rivets on the outside and strung bare copper wire from rivet to rivet then grounded to a machine. At taking a second look at it, I wouldn’t do it again because there was no advantage to all that work. I saw no static before or after doing this.

View a1Jim's profile


117062 posts in 3542 days

#10 posted 02-18-2013 03:40 PM

I don’t feel grounding is necessary I’ve use PVC for dust collection for 25 years with out a ground of any type and have never had a problem.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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5399 posts in 3628 days

#11 posted 02-18-2013 03:42 PM

Bert—The only advantage I see in grounding the dust collector is to reduce/eliminate electrostatic discharge (ESD).

I have never heard of a situation where static discharge caused a fire in a woodshop, but there is plenty of evidence to indicate that ESD will wreak havoc with electronic devices (e.g. computers, CNC controllers, etc.).

A friend of mine who is a retired HVAC engineer has plumbed the DC in his ship with PVC pipe. He grounded the system with 12 gauge bare copper wire on the outside of the PVC, and covered it with aluminum duct tape. I asked him what the purpose of the tape was … he said it was to keep the wire from sagging and getting caught on stuff.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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4851 posts in 3013 days

#12 posted 02-18-2013 03:49 PM

Thank you guys

-- Bert

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2815 days

#13 posted 02-18-2013 04:07 PM

This subject has been dealt with in great detail here. The conclusion I recall, gathered from several well-versed professional electrical types, was that grounding was not necessary.

Gerry must remember that too, because the ESD was addressed and to my recollection his summary is accurate.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1913 days

#14 posted 02-18-2013 04:24 PM

go to
he is the brains behind the Clearvue his pages can answer all your ?’s

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1294 posts in 2037 days

#15 posted 02-18-2013 06:59 PM

Others: Grounding is certainly necessary, especially in DRY CLIMATES.

Bert I am going to address your original question, Having been zapped twice really good today here in central Tejas, grounding my DC system is fresh on my mind. I am moving several machines so I am sharing hoses around and re-building, so no grounding. I don’t know if running metal tape works,I use DC hose with the wire running through the high carbon plastic, but every one seems clear you need to ground both the inside and out side of pvc systems if you want it to work, a wire is easy to run on the out, so nothing on that.

I would run tape like this: I would use the metal duct tape with the pull off backing. I would cut it 1’ longer than the pipe being taped. And It would help to cut it thinner, about 1” wide. Pull the backing and attach it at the opening. Double it over like a u, with the the tape stuck to the bottom at the opening wrapping around the tool and the backing facing the top. Now the tool. It will have a handle longer than the pipe, and a t shaped head, curved to match the inside diameter of the pipe. wrap the tape back over this tool, and holding the backing push it forward through the pipe, like unrolling a sock. The backing will pull off as you go, keeping it from sticking to the top of the pipe, and the tool will stick it to the bottom. After pushing all the way through, you can work back through the pipe firmly seating it to the pipe with the curved head of the “tool”. whether this helps the static or not i don’t know, seems it would, but to answer your OP ”?”, that is how I would stick it to the inside of a pipe.

-- Who is John Galt?

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