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Dust Collection System & PVC Pipe Explosions

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  • Dust Collection System & PVC Pipe Explosions

    How serious is the problem of static charge explosions in PVC dust collection systems in the home wood shop? Also, does this same problem exist with the clear plastic dust collection pipe Ridgid makes as well? My local HD has discontinued carrying the Ridgid plastic pipe and connectors so I was considering running PVC through the shop area to a shop vac. This would total approximately 25 ft of pipe and fittings.

    Frankly I never heard of this problem till I ran across an article in regard to this called "Static in Dust Collectors-What to do and not do in building a dust collector system" this evening at:


    Really made me stop and think but I’m wondering whether the problem is exaggerated here or is this common knowledge to everyone but me? PVC and the Ridgid gate valves would make a great setup. TIA.

    J J

    [ 07-30-2001: Message edited by: J J ]

  • #2
    For a home shop PVC is a safe to make a dust collection system. You will never get the right particle density to ever start a fire or explosions. It is the big production facilities that need to worry about such things, not the home shop.


    • #3
      This issue has been discussed, argued, brow beat, etc on rec.woodworking for a long time. Do a google search and you will see what I mean. For what it is worth, I think Jake is right the chances of getting the correct mixture in a home shop is almost impossible, in fact there has never been a recorded incident of a dust explosion in a home shop. In fact most recorded cases of dust explosion actually occur in grain elevators.

      On the other hand, it is not a big deal to go ahead and ground the PVC ducting, and it will go a long way to prevent getting the @#$% shocked out of you by the static build up.

      Just my .02 worth

      -Rob<br /> <a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a> <br />Damn, I hit the wrong nail again. Ouch that hurts


      • #4
        Thanks Jake.

        I see what you mean. I suppose the reason I wasn't more aware of this was that I previously hadn't considered installing a dust collection system. With the search I found an interesting article (17 pages!) on the subject and this particular writer agrees with both you & Jake. I followed along for the most part although at times it was a bit too technical for me. As you point out, he says the most likely problem you'd have in a home system is getting hit with a static shock when touching the pipe.

        Therefore, in order to cut down on my clean-up, full speed ahead on the PVC project. I must admit though, that I have a picture in my mind of Elmer Fudd when Bugs puts his fingers (?) in the end of Elmer’s shotgun just as he pulls the trigger!