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Grounding your Dust Collector

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  • Grounding your Dust Collector

    Fellows, now that some of us had a very good time buying and setting up our dust collectors.

    It is time to think on the side effect of having a dust collector - specifically the electricity buildup as you use your dust collector. We don’t really want to create a fire hazard.

    Does any one have pointers on how to properly ground the Dust collector?
    I have seen a ground cable be coiled on the length of the hose but that is as much as I know…

    Any feed back is greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    I think alot depends on how much sawdust you plan to create at one time. From my readings on the subject, I've basically come away with the feeling that, for most small shop/non commercial systems, grounding your DC isn't really necessary. It certainly wouldn't hurt to do it but for the most part it would be overkill. In laymans terms, cause thats what I am , the average DC doesn't create enough static electricity to worry about it being a fire hazard. I honestly can't recall ever hearing about a fire that was caused by static electricity from an average sized 2HP or less DC.

    You are the best judge as to whether or not your system need to be grounded.
    ================================================== ====
    All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.


    • #3
      For myself in a hobbiest application I agree with Dave, not necessary for me and the amount of work I do.

      Here's a bunch of links to places where I found infomation on this issue, there's is plenty out there on the 'net and various forums too.

      Dust Collection Info

      Duct Incorporated Products
      Bill's Cyclone Dust Collection Research - Home Page
      Static and PVC for wooddust collection
      Oneida Air Systems Homepage
      Wynn Environmental- Industrial Air Pollution Control, Aercology Filters, HEPA filters, Torit Filters, and Cartridges.
      Dust Collectors A killer health hazard!
      Penn State Industries - Your Wood Turning and Dust Collection Source Bill's Cyclone Dust Collection Research - Home Page (2)
      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


      • #4
        Do as I say, not as I do

        My official stand on this issue is: Yes, you must ground your dust collector system for safetys' sake.

        Do I have mine grounded? Hell No!! It isn't necessary and it's a waste of time and money.
        "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06


        • #5
          Wow, great question! I was wondering about this. I'm using a little Ridgid wet/dry shopvac that I hook up to whatever tool I'm running. It saves me lots of money on having to buy a dedicated DC, plus I haven't really put all the tools in their final place.

          So, using the little shopvac on the planer, I noticed there's LOTS of static created. Is this simply due to the shopvac not being grounded and having a lot of plastic parts? It's actually got to a point where I have to make sure the tool is grounded before I touch it. It's got a good ground through the electric cable, but it still will short the whole circuit if I touch the machine without grounding the staticy pipe from the shopvac first.

          Any hints on this? Am I doing something wholly wrong and dangerous? Give me 1/2 reason, and I'll go get that DC, but I'm kind of putting it off until the shop is finalized. Plus, it's a bunch-o-money I can use on wood and tools right now.
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


          • #6
            "...So, using the little shop-vac on the planer, I noticed there's LOTS of static created. ..."

            The static is created by friction. The friction is from the air molecules rubbing on the ducting or hose interior wall surfaces and from banging into the sawdust particles in the mixture moving through the system. The surplus electrons collect on the surface of the ducting. The higher velocity of the shop-vac verses a dust collector accounts for the more rapid build-up of static. Your shop-vac doesn't move more air than a DC (Cubic Feet/Minute), but what it does move is at higher velocity (Feet/Minute).

            In my opinion you would be better off with the DC. You can get it now and use it with some 4" hose (Woodcraft has theirs on sale for $12.99 for a 10' length right now) until you get everything where you want it. In the mean time your ears will thank you as the DC is much quieter than the shop vac and more efficient with the proper type bag or filter. Plus, the DC price will most likely go up not down so buying it now might save you a couple more bucks down the road.

            "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



            • #7
              Thanks everyone. After reading more about the subject I also think for what I am going to be doing it would be overkill.