Am I a 'live-wire' or is it static electricity?

  Brumas 23:37 28 Apr 06
Locked

Seriously, is there any preventive step I can take to stop me experiencing what I would call a 'mild electric shock' everytime I touch anything metal (e.g.car door, garden gate, front door handle) after getting out of my car?

  wolfie3000 00:07 29 Apr 06

you could fit a grounding wire to yourself apart from that i dont know.

Reminds me of a story from my uncle who served in the falklands war,
The skids on helicopters can give out electric shocks when they land to pick soldiers up so he was told never to touch them until the helicopter has landed.

  saintorsinner 00:08 29 Apr 06

i have had the same problem. that only went away after i changed the battery

  Forum Editor 00:40 29 Apr 06

you car has cloth-covered seats. You're also probably wearing clothing that contains artificial fibres.

What's happening is that you're acquiring a strong static charge by moving aroundon the car seat, and this is being discharged instantly as your hand is about to touch the metal object. I say "about to touch" because it's then that the high-voltage charge arcs across the small gap between hand and object, and you get that very unpleasant cracking sensation.

Next time you're about to leave the car, try this:-

Grab hold of some metal on the car BEFORE you set foot on the ground - perhaps by opening the door, and holding the metal frame that surrounds the window. Hold the door firmly, and then swing your leg out and put your foot on the ground. Step out of the car, still holding the frame, and you'll be fine - your static will be discharged painlessly.

The trick is to make sure you hold the metal door frame firmly - so no arcing can occur. You'll soon get the knack, and it will become a habit.

  Steve- 08:08 29 Apr 06

I have a similar problem, try carrying a 1 meg Resister around with you and discharching yourself through it - Maplins can supply for a few pence. Other wise I just touch every metal object I can to keep the problem under control, in Supermarkets hold the metal part of the trolley not the plastic. I've actually had arc's jumping between me and other people in Supermarkets very embarassing!

  rmcqua 08:56 29 Apr 06

Also, in situations when you know you are going to get "zapped", do it with the back of your hand - much less unpleasant than the fingertips.
Footwear with less "plasticky" soles (i.e. not such good insulators) also helps. The charge dissipates through your shoes before it builds up to "zapping" potential. Sweaty feet also help!!!

  Brumas 09:45 29 Apr 06

Tried the tip from F.E. first and I have to say it works admirably. Thanks to all the other tips from the rest of you.

Does this mean I can now discard the 3 foot bendy lightning conductor attached to my shoulders and the 18 inches of ship's anchor chain dangling from the manacle on my right ankle ? ;o)

Thanks alot

Brumas

  Diemmess 09:51 29 Apr 06

Amazed the problem still exists!
An Austin Healey long ago and in very dry weather, used to do this to me. It was the car that built a static charge with nylon cored non-conducting Dunlop tyres.
I'd swing my feet out to the ground and then regret clutching the windsreen pillar for support.
Nowadays there's almost no bare metal available inside a car.
Absurd perhaps but you could use an anti-static wrist strap connected to a suitable self tapper to the nearest bit of metal or a seat runner.

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