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Electrocuted by household static…?

  1. Feb 7, 2008 #1
    Electrocuted....by household static…?

    Hi, lately I find that I have been getting shocked by pretty much anything electronic and it has been getting stronger. Lately it’s seems like I can’t even turn off the light switch without getting a shock, on average I seem to shock myself about 100-150 times a day. It’s usually nothing to complain about but on larger power sources it’s stronger and sometimes painful. For instance when I close my laptop, the shock is so strong that sometimes whichever finger touches the laptop first goes numb for about an hour. Worst part is I think it is still getting worse. Just the other day the light on my desk lamp blew when I accidentally brushed part of it with my finger and was shocked.

    So I guess my question is…what the heck is going on here??? I really don’t care for having to constantly replace light bulbs and have parts of my hand numb for hours.
    Any suggestions on how to stop this? Or at least from getting any worse?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Rubber shoes, carpeting, winter.
  4. Feb 7, 2008 #3
    If the lamp (an inanimate object not subject to changes in sensitivity and immune to small static charges) blew, you have either a coincidence or a faulty lamp. Use a voltmeter to check the voltage of the lamp housing with respect to ground.
  5. Feb 7, 2008 #4


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    Gold Member

    Yeah, definitely check the lamp; that could be something dangerous.
    As for the rest, all that I can think of is to spray a lot of Static Guard or similar product all over your carpets, furniture, and clothing. Also try to wear materials that are less likely to build up a charge, and don't shuffle your feet when you walk.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  6. Feb 7, 2008 #5
    I bet Russ and Danger have it. OP, have you recently bought a pair of Crocs (or the ripoffs)? Is it cold right now where you live?
  7. Feb 7, 2008 #6


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Along with your choice of clothing and shoes.
    If the weather report in your area is for low humidity then a ruining a humidifier in your home will help a lot.
    The temperature may not matter, but if it's hot you tend to perspire which will help alleviate the problem.
  8. Feb 7, 2008 #7


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    Gold Member

    First off, get an outlet tester and test all the outlets in your place to make certain that all circuits are properly grounded. If you've got some appliances that are not properly grounded and you get a static-electricity shock when touching them, the voltage differential between the appliance and ground can piggyback on that spark and you become the path to ground.
  9. Feb 7, 2008 #8


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    A humidifier would help reduce normal static shock.
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