How can I reduce static in my office?

Posted on 2010-01-04
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Lately I have been getting shocked when ever I touch anything metal after getting out of my office chair.  Everytime i touch the door knob ZAP.  Im getting timid with the doorknob!  I wont be able to fix many computers with this problem i am having.  I will be frying them.  
Question by:ForLoop5
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    if you are getting static that means the humidity is too low... get a humidifier to get the humidity to around 50 -60%
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    As a fix that can be implemented right away, you could get anti-static bracelets, which I use when working on all machines I have to open up.  I would also keep something metal in your pocket (something really metal, not pocket change since its not enough).  While doing things (like fearing for your life from the doorknob), just hold onto that and it should ground you to a point to prevent the shock.

    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    Earth your chair?
    Use fabric conditioner for your clothes?
    If you are gaining a static charge when you and the chair come apart either of these will actually help!
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    you shouldn't really work inside a computer anyways without first grounding yourself even if you don't have static electricity in your office... I always leave the power supply plugged in and first touch the case since it is grounded.... usually leave one hand on the case but if you doing this a lot then its better to get a bracelets... getting the humidity up more will make it more comfortable to touch to door handle.... Also rubbing your feet against the carpet can create the static charge..... There are a lot of sources but low humidity is usually the biggest culprit...
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    by:Dr. Klahn
    ICaldwell is correct.  Get a small ultrasonic humidifier and set it up in your work area.  It probably won't be enough to humidify an entire office, but it should be enough to keep the static down in your work area.

    Side note -- If you go this route, use only distilled water in the humidifier, or everything will end up covered with a film of white mineral dust.

    Assisted Solution

    Run a humidifier. Static will not (significantly) accumulate in moist air, during winter, outside cold air is heated to room temperature. Cold air has a much lower carrying capacity for water than warm air. This causes the relative humidity in your office to plummet. Ideally, the solution would reduce the static across the entire office, as trying to protect each piece of equipment with an anti-static mat.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Try a different type of chair upholstery.
    Try wearing more cotton; less polyester.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    If it is carpeted, not much you can do without running into the problems of running a humidifier 24/7.  To get rid of static in the winter, when your heater is blowing, you need 50% RH.  Where I am, we're starting at 20% or that's a lot of water.

    In a small electronic pre-press room, we had two console units with two fans and filters/wicks each running 24/7.  One was not enough for the room, which was roughly 20x40.  No carpet.  Wood floors.  Doors closed, and no windows.

    Required semi-weekly chemical treatments in the water, refills every 2-3 days (messy on a hardwood floor), wicks replaced every other month due to crud accumulation and/or smell.

    Carpet is the worst culprit.  My new office has slate or vinyl sheet walkways.  Server room is vinyl tile with grounded static mats.

    When I'm working in the office/cubicle areas, I leave the computer plugged in, rap my knuckles on the chassis and never have a problem.

    In my last office, which was all carpet and tons of static problems, I alway rapped my knuckles on every door frame (or knob) and file cabinet.  After a couple of weeks, you'll get in the habit.  Added benefit...when you're visiting someone's cube or office, they think you're being polite by knocking.

    Whenever people asked me why I did it, a quick explanation was enough to get people to ignore it.
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you.  Im sure all of these suggestions will help alot.  I also found that the shoes I was wearing caused alot of static.  The soles were a soft material and not full rubber soles.  

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