"Houston, I have a problem" [ with static elec."


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Jaxondog
November 18, 2012, 12:35 PM
Hope this is in the right forum. My problem is with static electricty has arroused in my reloading room. I have just spent a ton of money on finishing this room upstair's over the shop so I could have my own little "man cave". I put down some laminate flooring and when I walk across the floor and touch something, anything, there is that dredded spark:what:. I did'nt give it much thought till I started moving the material's in [press's powder bullet's]. Then I laid a stepping stool against a metal cabinet and a pretty blue spark :eek:jumped between them and it was fairly strong, that's when it dawned on me that I may have a serious problem.:uhoh:

Has anyone here had a problem with static and how could I fix this problem. Maybe some rubber fatique mat's or something. Any sound advice would be appreciated.

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Nushif
November 18, 2012, 12:42 PM
Maybe some rubber fatigue mats or something.

That'd be my first notion, though you may be able to do something with a humidifier/dehumidifier, too.

danez71
November 18, 2012, 12:48 PM
I dont know much about reloading and if/how much ESD is an issue,

However, having worked in the electronics industry, I know some about ESD and how to control it.

Various products and sources are out there. Here's a couple examples. Shop for price and selection. Its a competitive industry with lots of choices.


I'd go floor mat, table mat and a wrist strap.
http://www.esdmat.com/


http://www.uline.com/BL_1755/Anti-Static-Mats

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/H-935/Grounders-Static-Control-Equipment/6-Grounding-Wrist-Strap

thefish
November 18, 2012, 12:57 PM
I'd first check to see what the relative humidity is in the room. If it's below 30%, add a humidifier.

Also wearing rubber soled shoes with cotton socks will help.

If that does not give you the desired results, i'd look into an ESD mat and tether like in the previous post.

You could also set up a grounding bar that you touch before toucjing any of your reloading equipment, and keep movement in the room to a minimum.

That being said, I don't know if it is a concern or not, I have no experience reloading.

Reloadron
November 18, 2012, 01:02 PM
There have been a few threads on this subject. One major issue is static build up on powder dispensers really screwing up your powder drops. Overall you can start working with ESD mats, wrist straps and such but I would begin with adding a nice humidifier to the room. Get some moisture in the air and the problem should go away. It should also make the overall new room environment more comfortable. Just a guess from fading memory but get the RH (Relative Humidity) up around 50%.

Ron

Jaxondog
November 18, 2012, 01:08 PM
How do I go about checking the humidity. If raising it, if that's the problem sound's a lot easier and cheaper than the mat's. But if I have to have the mat's then oh well. Just another $500 or so. I looked at one of the link's above and I would need about 30 ft. or more. But I have gone too far to give up so I will start with the humidity and find where I'm at with that.
And will not haveing consistent heat in the room have anything to do with it? I only turn on the heat when i go up to the room and it get's fairly cold up there.

Certaindeaf
November 18, 2012, 01:10 PM
Here's a few threads on static electricity affecting various things in the reloading room..

http://www.thehighroad.org/search.php?searchid=10823816

Steel Horse Rider
November 18, 2012, 01:16 PM
The low humidity is the source of the problem so everything else is like treating a cold with over the counter medicines, they just treat the symptom, not the problem. You should be able to get a relatively inexpensive humitiy guage from almost any hardware or discount store. You can also get a portable humidifier at the same place. I would probably go with one of the "cool mist" types with at least a gallon reservoir for your situation.

Jaxondog
November 18, 2012, 01:29 PM
OK , thank's guy's. I will try the Humidfier and if that does not work I will have to step back and punt. It's just a little dissapointing that I have not even got it all set up yet and this happen's. I can deal with a little static clean in the funnel's, etc. I just worry about a big kaboom that would be on the evening new's. lol

Reloadron
November 18, 2012, 02:11 PM
OK , thank's guy's. I will try the Humidfier and if that does not work I will have to step back and punt. It's just a little dissapointing that I have not even got it all set up yet and this happen's. I can deal with a little static clean in the funnel's, etc. I just worry about a big kaboom that would be on the evening new's. lol
Start cheap with a humidifier. Get yourself one of those inexpensive wall mounted humidity indicators. The main cause of high static. especially up where I am is the low humidity during the winter months. So rather than treating symptoms as mentioned, treat the root cause.

Also, it is actually to ignite gunpowder as a result of ESD so the chances of a big Kaboom are very slim. :)

Ron

beatledog7
November 18, 2012, 02:25 PM
The cheapest and most expedient humidifier is a couple of warm, damp towels hung in room. The sooner they need rewetting, the worse your problem.

Owen Sparks
November 18, 2012, 02:39 PM
My computer was in the shop a last winter and the repairman took me in the repair room to show me the problem. He said "Be sure to touch this before you handle anything" and pointed to a steel plate bolted to the work bench. It had a copper wire attached going to the ground that would discharge any static electricity before you touched the sensitive electronics. There were also rubber mats all around the work station where you could not build up a negative charge by dragging your feet like you can on the carpet.

As I understand it, this is a common practice where people have to handle electronics and explosives and it would not be hard to rig up some sort of grounded piece of metal near your reloading bench.

Fast Frank
November 18, 2012, 03:59 PM
The good news is that it's commonly accepted that an electric spark can't light the powder.

It seems that gun powder is not conductive, so the spark goes AROUND the individual grains of powder.

Electricity takes the path of least resistance, you know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5Z5yAeO3dw

Jaxondog
November 18, 2012, 04:49 PM
what was that used to ignite the powder?

JLDickmon
November 18, 2012, 05:00 PM
Is the hallway leading up to the reloading room carpeted?

If so, that's where your problem lies.

An anti-static spray on the last few feet of carpet plus grounding the doorknob should alleviate the problem.

Ever consider a whole-house humidifier? One that goes in the ductwork of the heating/ac unit?

Reloadron
November 18, 2012, 05:15 PM
what was that used to ignite the powder?
Looked like a small hand held torch.

Ron

upstech76
November 18, 2012, 05:27 PM
I always heard that gas heat would dry out the air during the winter months. A place I used to work hung bounty drier sheets from air ducts. I would definately try a inexpensive humidifier in the room and see if it helps. That some drier sheets and maybe some antistatic spray would be the least expensive fixes.

Jaxondog
November 18, 2012, 05:30 PM
JLDickmon, no it is a room above my car shop. The stair's are wood tread's and there is 7 mm laminate flooring with the padding that is on the floor. No carpet or pads anywhere. The heat will come from a window unit. That you tube video made me feel a little better. I'm just old school and thought the spark's would ignite the powder

rcmodel
November 18, 2012, 05:41 PM
Raise the humidity to around 50%.

Then go to the grocery store and buy a can of Static-Guard spray in the laundry aisle.
http://www.dollargeneral.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12580765&cagpspn=pla

Then hose the place down with it.

It works wonders!
It even keeps my slip from clinging.

rc

Jaxondog
November 18, 2012, 05:52 PM
I will have to get one of those machine's to do it with and I will give it a try RC. Can't wait to get in there and get started. Have been reloading out of a walk in closet for over 20 year's. All other time was at my Dad's. Excited.

Thank's for the replies.

jaimeshawn3
November 18, 2012, 06:01 PM
Get a hotplate and a teapot for your man cave and make yourself a pot of tea before you start work. I myself prefer green tea. The steam will raise the humidity and the tea will calm you before attempting precision work. Reloading should not be rushed, and making the tea also gives you time to collect and review your notes, and make your plan so no mistakes are made...

SHR970
November 18, 2012, 07:29 PM
Keep humidity over 30%. In aerospace electronics, if under 30% all work stops unless we run ionizers and that lets us go down to 25% and then everything stops. Mind you we are also using ESD mats, wrist straps, constant grounding monitors and other things to protect our work. For us ESD is a serious matter.

If you keep humidity between 35% and 50% you are golden, that will mitigate your primary source. You can also mop the floor with a solution of dish soap and let that dry. The soap residue will help dissipate some of the static charge that is resulting from your laminate floor surface which is insulative. Wiping the inside of your powder funnel with a dryer sheet will also help with the static cling inside of your dispenser.


Rubber soled shoes do not help as they insulate you from the ground plane(floor) and cause you to have a different electrical potential than the surrounding areas. To draw a spark that can be felt you need to be at least 3500V different than what you contact.

blarby
November 18, 2012, 08:07 PM
#1 Ground your bench. Easy to do.

#2 Wear anti-static wristbands.

#3 Ground your stool pr chair if you use one to the bench ground.

#4 Discharge yourself before touching your bench. Doorknobs are usually great for this, but you can just as easily strike a large nail into the door frame to remind yourself to do it.

Not sure why you are picking up static, but its never good.

Keep humidity over 30%.

Also a positive. There are cheap humidifiers on the market that have humidity % settings on them. I have one. It goes from 20%, to 100%. Mine was $45, and its very accurate. Eerily accurate....... It doesn't get used much in the winter here in Oregon, but it helps a lot in the drier seasons.

JLDickmon
November 18, 2012, 08:48 PM
Get a hotplate and a teapot for your man cave and make yourself a pot of tea before you start work. I myself prefer green tea. The steam will raise the humidity and the tea will calm you before attempting precision work. Reloading should not be rushed, and making the tea also gives you time to collect and review your notes, and make your plan so no mistakes are made...

that's the most intelligent idea I've read all day...

wally
November 18, 2012, 09:26 PM
Ah! in Houston its damn hard to make a high school static electricity demo work at all!

Raising the humidity is probably the easiest thing to do.

If you get it to Houston levels you'll quickly have a patina of rust on your dies -- never caused me any problems, however.

Steel Horse Rider
November 18, 2012, 11:09 PM
Heating air by any means will lower the relative humidity. It increases the size of the sponge.

SHR970
November 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
Heating air by any means will lower the relative humidity. It increases the size of the sponge. Not necessarily true; actually the opposite applies. Air Conditioning was first added to the "P" class subs and was good at removing excess water from the air inside the subs. All subsequent classes of US submarines were equipped with A/C. Cooling the air actually removes airs ability to support moisture. Water reaches maximum density at 39 F. As you get under 20 F air has an increasing inability to support moisture of any kind.

1SOW
November 19, 2012, 01:36 AM
My computer was in the shop a last winter and the repairman took me in the repair room to show me the problem. He said "Be sure to touch this before you handle anything" and pointed to a steel plate bolted to the work bench. It had a copper wire attached going to the ground that would discharge any static electricity before you touched the sensitive electronics. There were also rubber mats all around the work station where you could not build up a negative charge by dragging your feet like you can on the carpet.

As I understand it, this is a common practice where people have to handle electronics and explosives and it would not be hard to rig up some sort of grounded piece of metal near your reloading bench.

If you reach for a ground and have a static build-up, you'll get zapped big time. :-)
Actually, a ground provides a path for the "biggest" arc. Those methods aren't "directly" to ground. They are first through a tiny resistor to control "current". The wrist straps contain a resistor as do other paths to discharge the static.

Don't just ground it. Put a 1 meg-ohm 1/4 watt resistor in the ground wire.

thump_rrr
November 19, 2012, 05:51 PM
Not necessarily true; actually the opposite applies. Air Conditioning was first added to the "P" class subs and was good at removing excess water from the air inside the subs. All subsequent classes of US submarines were equipped with A/C. Cooling the air actually removes airs ability to support moisture. Water reaches maximum density at 39 F. As you get under 20 F air has an increasing inability to support moisture of any kind.
Cooling the air will bring it closer to the dew point which will increase the relative humidity.
Steel Horse Rider was correct in his statement that warming the air will decrease the relative humidity.

http://www.bigelow.org/virtual/handson/humidity.html

SHR970
November 19, 2012, 06:44 PM
Assuming a perfect system.

Heating the air by "any means" (SteelHorseRider stated this)...so if one uses steam to heat the air you are saying that the RH will go down? You are changing both the actual and relative humidity by this method. If there is an excess of water available to the system, and enough energy added, the RH will come back up to what the air will support up to and including Dewpoint.

And I should have said the opposite CAN apply. I should have been more careful in my wording.

Reloadron
November 19, 2012, 08:09 PM
This is getting off topic but.... :)

The OP shows a location of Culbreth NC. Now I don't know exactly where that is but right now, with the exception of the coastal areas the average (give or take) RH in NC is about 67% with the coastal areas as usual being higher. That outside RH should be comfortable and ESD should not be a problem. Clueless as to what the inside RH is. Here in Cleveland, Ohio the current RH is about 50% and it is cooling down outside. We use a forced air natural gas heating system and heating will decrease the RH, matter of fact as we move into winter and dry air forced air natural gas tends to really dry the air out. Dry to where you wake up at night with a dry or sore throat, dry to where the inside RH is lower than the already dry outside air. Good heating systems up here include some form of humidifier built in.

All that aside, and sans a fancy wet bulb / dry bulb hygrometer system all the OP needs to do is go to the local Wally World (Wal-Mart) and invest $8.94 in one of these units. (http://www.walmart.com/ip/AcuRite-Digital-Humidity-and-Temperature-Monitor/16888914) While not quite a laboratory grade hygrometer it should do just fine. When the RH gets low use a humidifier like this one (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sunbeam-Cool-Mist-Humidifier/19536346) which can be had for a whopping $37 or so. First, if the OP has a hotplate make tea as suggested or just boil a pot of water. The RH in the room should increase and the static dissipate.

ESD mats, straps and other similar ESD solutions are treating the symptom and not the cause of the ESD.

Ron

Jaxondog
November 19, 2012, 09:28 PM
Reloadron; Culbreth is a little community below Oxford, above Durham, and right smack dab in the middle of Stem and Berea.lol I will try both of those and maybe some anti-static for this cheap-o laminate flooring as i believe it is the cause some how. The whole time I have been trying to finish the room, never had a static spark till the flooring was put down. Thank's again everyone.

Otto
November 20, 2012, 01:14 AM
Just take off your shoes and socks....problem solved.

mr16ga
November 20, 2012, 01:59 AM
make a solution out of fabric softener and mop the floor with it.

Reloadron
November 20, 2012, 06:39 AM
Reloadron; Culbreth is a little community below Oxford, above Durham, and right smack dab in the middle of Stem and Berea.lol I will try both of those and maybe some anti-static for this cheap-o laminate flooring as i believe it is the cause some how. The whole time I have been trying to finish the room, never had a static spark till the flooring was put down. Thank's again everyone.
Yeah, I do not doubt the floor is a contributor. You can treat it as suggested. I know know where Culbreth NC is too, yay! Love NC and have lived on the coastal areas, visit Carey and Winston Salem every spring to see friends.

Ron

foxtail207
November 21, 2012, 12:20 AM
You should be glad you're not in CO where humidity is never more than 35%, and usually about 25%. Every step creates S.E. and a long blue spark when you make contact with any metallic item. Somehow, and luckily, I haven't had any problems at my reloading bench.

leadchucker
November 21, 2012, 02:26 PM
Most electronic supply places sell a variety of inexpensive and fairly easy-to-use anti-static equipment. There are wrist bands with a small wire that you ground yourself with. There are mats, also with the grounding wire, that you stand on. It might make sense to ground your equipment too.

A small squirt of Static Guard anti-static spray on the plastic powder hopper prevents any static problems with the powder. I also occasionally give the outside of the plastic primer dispenser a squirt just for a little peace of mind.

Mike 27
November 21, 2012, 02:51 PM
I have static here in Alaska big time. We shoot sparks when petting the dog that will knock the skin off your finger nail. I put in the humidifier, and I grounded my press. I added a resister inline to avoid an abrupt discharge (works great). There was a thread a few years ago and I think the recommended resistor was a mega ohm but can't remember. You can pick up one at the local radio shack for probably less than a dollar. I use dryer sheets constantly. My garage/re-loading room has a concrete floor. We also run 2 huge humidifiers in the house to avoid shocking the crap out of one another and the pooch's.

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