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Message Board > Sewing Machines > static electricity ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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static electricity
how to discharge
threaddy
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threaddy  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/26/12 1:00 AM

I live in a really dry area. I constantly get zapped by static electricity. Tonight I sat down at my computerized sewing machine ...touched it and wowzer...zap...the screen went dead then came back on. It is on a surge protector. It seemed to sew fine and I went to some embroidery stitches and it was fine...but still it is a bit freaky. Fortunately this is my least favorite machine and one I did not pay much for but I thought YIKES what if I do that on my expensive machine!? Everything is carpeted and it is too cold to go barefoot....maybe I should have a metal something to touch before I ever touch the machine? Any ideas?

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"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem." Theodore Rubin
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life's about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
Dan 9:24-27

Bernina vintage and computerized, Bernina and BL sergers , BLcoverstitch (a stray Pfaff and Viking followed me home too)

Charbucks
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Charbucks
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Date: 10/26/12 1:41 AM

I'm just north of you in Calgary, Alberta, and we certainly have the same thing! Basically, you just want to make sure that your charge is the same as the machine's, which is grounded. If you touch something grounded before turning on the machine, you should be good to go. I make sure to do this when working on computers... basically, just get the charge out of you on something harmless, like a doorknob.

If the charge builds up *as* you're working, you can get something to keep you grounded like this anti-static wrist strap. Probably a bit overkill for sewing though...

Sharon1952
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Date: 10/26/12 6:32 AM

The static originates mostly from the bottom of your shoes and whatever surface you are walking on. Most often it is the shoes and carpets. You can spray static guard on your shoe bottoms or just use a humidifier.

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Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

lgrande
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In reply to threaddy <<
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Date: 10/26/12 8:27 AM

I live in what's determined to be a 'semi-arid' zone and static electricity in heating season is serious. I have nylon carpeting and I can move from the family room (carpet) to the kitchen (tile) and get a shock from the water from the faucet! I thought that was one of the weirdest things I ever encountered.
When it's exceptionally dry, I can shock my dogs noses (not on purpose!) just buy touching them. What a look I get!

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Linda

Bernina 830LE
Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000
Bernina B530
Janome 6600P
Pfaff 1209
Babylock Evolution
Janome 644D

Doris W. in TN
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Date: 10/26/12 3:13 PM

That happens to me in the winter time, when the air is really dry. It did not happen much with my older computerized SMs, but my newer one with machine embroidery is very touchy. Probably because the housing on it is plastic!

On a Bernina Yahoo Group, this same topic came up a while back. Someone said the from anti-static floor mat Office Depot solved her problem, but I'll bet the wrist thingy is waaay cheaper.

beauturbo
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In reply to threaddy <<


Date: 10/26/12 3:48 PM

As long as it's only static electricity from your socks and carpet, I think you could try to put one of those huge rubber with nylon lycra on them (looks kind of like scuba fabric) kind of extra very large mouse pads that they sell at computer stores in with the smaller mouse pads under it. That might or might not do something good. You could actually try to ground yourself with a wrist strap, but I think that would be way over kill. Rubbery soled shoes might or might not help. Sock feet on synthetic carpet probably does not help all that much.

I have been kind of staticy before, lots of long staticy hair: to the point of when even touching a bunch of different car door handles I have got that. And even when wearing rubber soled boots. I actually don't understand how that happened to you and the machine screen went on and off though, because I would think that could/should not happen. Just because any part of the machine you touched I think would have been plastic and not metal at all. And any board in there would have no direct metal connection to the outside of the machine at al ever, and even the board would just have metal lines on it, and not it's self (even if just touching the edges of it, be able to even do that? Maybe there is really something wrong with the machine instead?

Have got zapped with 110 (for a fraction of a second) when touching the metal stitch length lever of a Singer 66 machine, when I did not check the wiring underneath it though once. There was some bare metal wires touching the metal of the bottom of the machine then, and then my finger just touching the metal stitch length lever did complete it. But, that was a big zap instead, and no way to confuse that with just little staticy things instead.

quathy
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Date: 10/26/12 11:49 PM

Wrist strap. It's what we use in data centers when we work on the computer equipment. A floor mat may be more practical for home use, though.

NM gal
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Date: 10/27/12 3:28 PM

Hubby advises to use a Downy dryer sheet beneath the machine!
I can't stand the smell so don't do it. But it works.

lgrande
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In reply to NM gal <<
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Date: 10/27/12 4:28 PM

Your hubby has a great idea there!
Like you, I cannot stand the smell of those scented dryer sheets. But, AHA! There are sheets available that are UNSCENTED. The only kind I use.

------
Linda

Bernina 830LE
Brother Dreamweaver VQ3000
Bernina B530
Janome 6600P
Pfaff 1209
Babylock Evolution
Janome 644D

beginagain
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Date: 10/27/12 6:58 PM

I had a problem when removing things from the dryer until I started touching something made from wood first.

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If you wait for the perfect time to start, you'll never start.

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