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How to discharge static electricity

Updated February 21, 2017

It's likely you've experienced static electricity many times. Static electricity is a build up of separated electrons that can only discharge when the item or person with the electrical build up touches something connected to ground. Static electricity, with the exception of lightning, is not typically dangerous. Usually, the only effect you get from discharging static electricity is a small shock, sometimes accompanied by a spark which is especially noticeable in the dark.

Place your hand quickly on a metal object in your home if the static electricity has built up on you. Static electricity often builds up from rubbing your feet on a carpet, particularly a nylon-based carpet. Placing you hand on a metal object allows the static electricity discharge. If you do it quickly you hardly notice anything, but if you slowly move your fingers toward the metal object, you will see a spark and get a small shock just before your hand touches the object. This is because the static electricity jumps from you to the object.

Wire your computer to ground. Computers readily get a build up of static electricity, due to the various component parts, particularly the computer screen. Attach a wire to a metal part of the computer and attach the opposite end to a metal object nearby ensures that any static electrical build up discharges immediately. Strip the plastic coating off the ends of the wire then use strips of tape to attach the bare copper to the metal parts.

Discharge static electricity from your vehicle using a rubber strip that contains copper wire, which you can get from aftermarket car part stores. One end has a metal band. Attach the end of the rubber strip that has the metal band to a metal part of your car on the rear near the ground. Cut the strip to a suitable length using a knife so the loose end just touches the ground. As your car moves forward the rubber strip occasionally touches the ground and discharges any build up of static electricity.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber and metal strip
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About the Author

James Stevens has been writing articles for market research companies in the U.K. since 1990. He has written various country profiles for inclusion in comprehensive market reports including Vision One Research and Investzoom Market Research. Stevens holds a General Certificate of Education from Chelmsford College of Further Education.