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Country Discussion Topics
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Shockin' experience....
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Cindi    Posted 01-30-2004 at 04:35:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have a five hundred gallon fiberglass water tank that we have converted to use for feed storage. It's great, it keeps the feed fresh, and holds three tons, which is what we buy each trip. The tank sits on a twelve foot trailer. When it needs to be filled, we just drag trailer and all to Parrish and get it filled and then park it back under the shed roof.

The only problem is, when the feed gets low, the only way to get it out is to lean over the side of the tank and suction it through the fill hole using a big shop vac. We vaccuum it out into the shop vac drum which holds fifteen or twenty gallons, but our trusty shop vac quit working three or four days ago so I went to Walmart to pick up a replacement.

Day before yesterday, when I leaned against the trailer to scoop feed out of the new vac, I got zapped. Shocked. I didn't pay any mind, just went on about my business.

Yesterday afternoon Jill went out to feed and a few minutes later, she came in and told Fred that the trailer was shocking her. I wasn't home, but when I pulled up in the yard, Jill and Fred were standing at the side of the trailer scratching their heads.

"Cindi! Come here! Jill says she is getting shocked!"

"Yeah I know," I said walking up, "the same thing happened to me."

We checked the cord on both the extension and the new vac and found no problems. There was no water or anything else that could carry a current. The trailer sits on four rubber tires and was not touching the ground other than where the tongue sat, and it was resting on a short length of two by four.

"Where are you getting shocked?" I asked Jill, who is not known for her enthusiasm regarding feeding chores. She gets out of it every chance she gets, and I couldn't remember if I had told her about getting shocked when it happened to me, and she was just trying to use that as an excuse.

"Through my feet!"

I looked at her feet. She was wearing water-proof hiking boots with a three quarter inch rubber waffle sole.

"That's impossible! Look at your soles, electricity won't travel through rubber."

"Okay, you have rubber soles on, you get up there and try it." She said, folding her arms over her chest.

Since I remembered getting shocked just a few days before, I suddenly lost all faith in what I knew about electricity.

"Uh, uh." I said grinning. "Fred, you do it."

"He11 no! I'm not doin' it."

"What GOOD are ya?" I demanded. "YOU might as well go back in the house!"

"Okay." He turned to leave.

"No you don't! You oughta be ashamed, standing there, the man of the house, letting the women get shocked!"

"Hey, electricity is my kryptonite. I ain't touchin' nothin'!"

"Useless." I muttered, laughing. Then.. "Well at least scoop the feed out of the vacuum so I can refill it. It's all plastic, it can't hurt you."

That's when we figured out what was going on. Fred put his hand over the open vacuum drum and the feed, which is a fine ground corn and powdered supplement mixture, just started sailing out, clinging to his hand, and there was a mighty POP!

Which prompted him to throw the feed scoop halfway across the yard. I swear I was laughing so hard I literally had to cross my legs.

Jill was wearing a flannel shirt, her long hair flying, rubbing up against the fiberglass of the tank, on a cold day, and pumping feed into a brand new plastic vacuuum tub. Every possible worse scenario for static electricity.

She had built up such a charge that every time she moved she got zapped, and now she wanted to share the joy. She wasn't getting shocked THROUGH her feet, she was building up static and it was traveling through her body and ENDING in her feet.

We all agreed, rather sheepishly that it was only static, but Fred was still standing five feet away, refusing to come near. Every time I looked at his face I burst into laughter again. There he stood, six foot in his sock feet and two hundred and forty pounds looking like a little boy contemplating his first fight with the school bully. Jill and I finally gave up on getting any real help from him and let him off the hook. I had to finish pumping feed by myself but I was wearing a t shirt and made sure not to lean against the tank when I did it. Fred said maybe we can run a wire from the trailer to the something or other and ground it. True? Will that help?


RayP(MI)    Posted 01-30-2004 at 11:04:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wife's uncle used to work in a woodworking factory. Tried to use a shop-vac (plastic) to clean up sawdust. A MAJOR mistake. Static electricity abounds. At least take the wagon toungue, and lay it on the ground! I used to teach a science class, and one of my favorite demos was with a static electrical generator. Would put hand on it, turn it on, and build up a substantial charge. Or, would hold a unconnected flourescent bulb near the generator. Would light the bulb nicely, if a little erratically. Then it happened. Shocks on my feet. Electricity was jumping through the soles of my HushPuppys, and down to the tile floor. YOUCH!!!!


RayP(MI)    Posted 01-30-2004 at 10:59:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wife's uncle used to work in a woodworking factory. Tried to use a shop-vac (plastic) to clean up sawdust. A MAJOR mistake. Static electricity abounds. At least take the wagon toungue, and lay it on the ground! I used to teach a science class, and one of my favorite demos was with a static electrical generator. Would put hand on it, turn it on, and build up a substantial charge. Or, would hold a unconnected flourescent bulb near the generator. Would light the bulb nicely, if a little erratically. Then it happened. Shocks on my feet. Electricity was jumping through the soles of my HushPuppys, and down to the tile floor. YOUCH!!!!


Willy-N    Posted 01-30-2004 at 08:59:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
A good ground system you can make yourself by stripping the insulation off about 10+ ft of stranded #8 Copper wire dig a hole in the ground and put the loose coil of wire in the hole and put a mixture of dirt and a small bag of salt around and on the wire. Then wet the dirt down with water to make it muddy and top it off with dry dirt. This will make the wire a realy good conductor to the earth ground with the salt and water in the dirt. Mark H.


What do I....    Posted 01-30-2004 at 09:14:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
...attach it to, the feed bin, the vacuum or both?


Willy-N    Posted 01-30-2004 at 12:45:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Try to hook it to the trailer, bin and vacume if you can. By bonding all together as a unit it will help and be safer. Like Dave said use alligator clips. You may have to wrap a spirle of wire around the vacume hose to hook to so it will draw off the static. If you bare the end and fold it inside the end of the hose that may do it. Just put some tape on it to hold it on the tip and in a few spots on the hose and leave extra to hook to the ground wire. Mark H.


Dave Smith    Posted 01-30-2004 at 09:57:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Both. Use a wire with alagator clips. The vacuum should be grounded through the third wire on its cord. But the air moving through the hose builds up static electric.
Dave <*)))><


Stan ETenn    Posted 01-30-2004 at 07:39:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Does anyone remember the metal or wire attachments underneath the old cars to drain static electricity. When I get out of my car I touch the doorframe before I touch the ground. If I don't it gives a pretty good shock. Started out at 40, has dropped to 32with slight breeze. Later, Stan


Dave Smith    Posted 01-30-2004 at 09:51:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You can get thoes grounding straps at Napa. I bought one last summer.
Dave <*)))><


Cindi    Posted 01-30-2004 at 08:05:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I do that too. You can try some Cling Free on your seat. Fred swears by it.


RichZ    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:42:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Fred's idea should work. The wire should ground the tank. All the static should go through the wire to the ground instead of through you. Electricity will go through the best conducter, which should be a wire (hopefully copper) and not a human body. Theoretically, of course!!! Just have Fred try it out himself first!! :>)

Geeze!!! I didn't know it got cold enough in Florida to generate that much static!! electricity!!!


Oh it did night before...    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:49:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
..last. Low thirties. Yesterday it was not really that cold but still crisp. Cold enough that I wished I had on more than a t shirt. But by then I was scared to put on anything warmer and touch the trailer.

What....just stick the other end of the wire into the ground? I ask now becuase I have to go out and feed the pregnant sows here in a minute.


RichZ    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:55:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well, the best way would be to use something as a grounding rod, and wrap the wire around that. A copper pipe would work best, or a copper rod, but I doubt you have that handy. If you don't have a piece of copper pipe use any piece of metal. Copper would be best, followed by aluminum. If you don't have that a piece of rebar would work. Just pound it into the ground, the deeper the better, but try to get it in at least a foot or two. The deeper you go the better the ground you will have.

Good luck, and let me know if it works!!!


Les    Posted 01-30-2004 at 04:45:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never supposed that it got dry enough down your way for such a thing to happen.


Ironically enough    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:14:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
It even rained not too long ago. Either way, it happened. When I got zapped the first time I thought maybe I just bumped a little metal bur or something, wasn't even sure that was what happened until this deal with Jill.


Les    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:18:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
This time of year is when the air is very dry. It is so cold that it just can't hold any moisture and static electricity zaps me several times every day.


Cindi    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:29:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well this is not our first experience but definitely the most attention getting. (grin)


Bob    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:45:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wait 'till you have a grain dust explosion in the shop vac! The happens in grain elevators and flower mills, and the explosive force is unbelievable.

http://www.fireworld.com/magazine/grainperil.html

I would try pounding a metal rod a couple of feet in the ground, and using some light, flexable bare wire, wrap a loop around the shop vac, and spiral the ground wire around the convoluted vac hose, clear to the nozzle. This should bleed off the charge, and stop the shocks.

On a similar note, a neighbor with a LARGE farm tank of diesel fuel used for refilling tractors was getting shocks while standing next to the tractor, filling it. Even though the explsive potential of diesel fuel should be less than that of gasoline, this was not a good situation. I suggested getting rid of the cheap, generic hose he was using, and replacing it with a "static safe" gas station fuel hose. These have some type of conductive material built in that bleeds off any charge built up by fuel flowing in the rubber hose. Static problem solved.


Cindi    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:51:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
I was kind of hoping that over time the new vac drum/hose would get kind of scratched up and it would stop. The only thing that changed from before was the new vac.


Bob    Posted 01-30-2004 at 05:56:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here's a vac for you... notice it states the hose is conductive.

Wouldn't even want to know the price on that unit!


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