Damage from static electricity?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Phil Carter, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. Phil Carter

    Phil Carter Second Unit

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    Hey folks.

    I have, perhaps, an odd question for the wise HTF gurus. I am one of those people who seems to build up static electricity everywhere he goes, and I get shocked every time I touch anything remotely metal-like. It's even worse in the wintertime, of course. My carpets at home seem to promote it, as well.

    Now, this would just be an annoying quirk that I can deal with, except that I am a bit concerned for my HT equipment. I tend to switch on my TV, DVD player and receiver all at the same time, while standing in front of them, instead of using the remotes. This means that I usually get a quick shock when touching one of the three.

    My concern: am I doing any damage to my components with my evil lightning fingers? Or am I just being needlessly concerned about a tiny charge that is immediately dissipated? This may be going overboard, but I love my HT and I don't want to see it hurt. [​IMG]

    cheers,
    Phil
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Unless you're seeing a dramatic, blue-white arc zapping between you and the equipment (like in those 1950s-vintage science-fiction movies), then I wouldn't worry about it. Nothing to be concerned about. But why don't you use the remotes?
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Try to ground yourself (or dissipate the shock) to a piece of furniture before touching a piece of equipment. There is a small possibility of damage, but I think it is unlikely.
     
  4. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    I get this complaint constantly from my customers during the winter months. If your home has a forced air heating system (Furnace) you greatly reduce the static potential in your home by having a Whole House Humidifier installed. Keeping the Relative Humidity at 30-35% will help a great deal with static, help preserve wood floors/furnishings, and make you more comfortable at a slightly lower temperature there by reducing your fuel usage.

    Even if you live in a rental (house or apartment adding an utrasonic humidifier will help some.
     
  5. Phil Carter

    Phil Carter Second Unit

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    Jack Briggs:

    Mostly because I tend to turn on all three pieces of equipment at once, when I'm loading a DVD into the player to watch, and am thus standing within arms' reach of all three. Maybe I will just stop doing that until the summer, when the static issue isn't as bad. Or get a humidifier as Frank suggested. [​IMG]

    Thanks to all who replied!

    cheers,
    Phil
     
  6. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I don't see that when I touch my equipment (electronic that is) but I feel it when I get out of my truck in the winter. It's actually burned the hair off the back of my leg where it touches the metal.

    That probably would fry a DVD reader or HT receiver.
     
  7. JasonMA

    JasonMA Stunt Coordinator

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    I would defintiely advise that you use your remote to turn on your equipment as I once fried a stereo receiver I owned just by touching it and getting shocked. The thing just stopped working. And I wasn't even turning it on, I was turning up the volume and the knob shock me. Every single time I touched that receiver I got a shock, but it died after only a few weeks of purchasing it. Thankfully it was still under warranty so I returned it and got another, which I vowed to never touch.

    Now I almost never touch any piece of equipment unless I absolutely have to, and even then I make sure to touch another piece of metal first to "uncharge."
     
  8. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Always wear a wrist strap.
     
  9. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    HAR! [​IMG]

    I heartily second the humidifier suggestion. It made a WORLD of difference here (Tucson); where the humidity can drop to near single digits.

    It also sounds like you could use a programmable remote with macro capability. Santa brought me a Rat Shack Kameleon 6. I love it and hate it at the same time! [​IMG]
     

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