Did you ground your dust collection system?

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Forum topic by mathguy1981 posted 09-14-2018 07:57 PM 2065 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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94 posts in 1146 days

09-14-2018 07:57 PM

While shopping for DC parts, I’ve seen grounding kits and have seen a few videos where people ground their systems.
I understand that static electricity in PVC may build up, but how does an explosion happen? Does anyone actually ground their DC piping?

-- Two thumbs and counting

13 replies so far

View fivecodys's profile


1761 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 09-14-2018 08:17 PM

I didn’t but my ducting is metal and is in direct contact with the blower motor so no issues there.
I looked hard at PVC and my initial plans called for grounding but from what I have read, it’s mostly to keep from getting shocked when you touch the PVC. Do a search on the site. I believe there are several threads on this issue.
BTW, Welcome to LumberJocks. It’s a great place!

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View brtech's profile


1168 posts in 4164 days

#2 posted 09-14-2018 08:19 PM

No. There are NO known incidents of residential/small shop explosions due to static buildup. None that we know of.
There are people who try to ground their systems. If you used all metal ducting, it isn’t hard. If you use PVC, it’s pretty close to impossible. The things I’ve seen tried don’t actually work for PVC. You could line the inside of the PVC with something metallic, but that is impractical.

Don’t worry about it.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7229 posts in 3735 days

#3 posted 09-14-2018 08:27 PM

What he said^^^^^^^

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View jmos's profile


918 posts in 3611 days

#4 posted 09-14-2018 10:14 PM

Another vote for not grounding PVC. I can often feel the static on the cone of my plastic cyclone, but rarely even get a shock from ant part of my system.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I do have a basement shop, so the relative humidity is rather high (usually around 60%) so that might help explain it. If your shop is in an are with very low humidity, you may have more issues with shocks. In that case, I would go with metal ducts work. Trying to effectively ground an insulator is a difficult task.

-- John

View Blindhog's profile


187 posts in 2291 days

#5 posted 09-14-2018 10:39 PM

Have been operating a PVC ducted system for 3+ years without any problems. I have not seen the need to ground the system. Running several machines using a ClearVue cyclone.

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View Andre's profile


4737 posts in 3048 days

#6 posted 09-14-2018 10:40 PM

No, but do get shocks from Shop – Vac!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7170 posts in 4436 days

#7 posted 09-14-2018 11:19 PM

Nope…...No need to…..!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View hokieman's profile


202 posts in 4996 days

#8 posted 09-14-2018 11:24 PM

I did not. This article from FWW offers some information that you might find helpful.

If the link doesn’t work the article is from FWW issue number 153 from January 2002. The author rightly stats that NFPA regulations for grounding apply to dust collection systems 1500 cfm and higher, much higher than our typical 2 hp systems. We don’t ground or shop vacs which are dust collection systems of a much smaller scale. Some folks say they get shocks from their shop vacs but they aren’t of sufficient energy to cause combustion.

I used PVC on my system and I don’t get any static even during the dry winter.

View mathguy1981's profile


94 posts in 1146 days

#9 posted 09-15-2018 12:00 AM

Thank you everyone!

-- Two thumbs and counting

View 44Dan44's profile


14 posts in 1980 days

#10 posted 10-17-2018 03:28 PM

Another vote for no. I am using 4” PVC, I questioned doing it (grounding) as well because a safety mechanism designed for industrial level dust has become urban legend and you will die if you don’t for every small shop or garage. Looking at my homes central vacuum system that has still not exploded to date and it just didn’t pass the common sense test for me. However….as a nod to the principle of static build up, I planned for a removable end cap at the further point away from the dust collector that I can remove and give a spray of static guard or fabric softener while the DC is running.

View JAAune's profile


2034 posts in 3559 days

#11 posted 10-17-2018 03:54 PM

I’d recommend grounding by wrapping wire around the outside of plastic pipes and connecting them to something metal that’s grounded.

Static build up can be problematic in a couple ways. It can give some nasty shocks. My Dust Cobra repeatedly zapped me if I vacuumed large amounts of dust then touched the hose clamp so I had to ground that. The static can also interfere with electrical accessories such as Wixey readouts and mess up the readings.

-- See my work at

View BlasterStumps's profile


2133 posts in 1681 days

#12 posted 10-17-2018 04:43 PM

Try some anti-static hose.

No, but do get shocks from Shop – Vac!

- Andre

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View pottz's profile


20657 posts in 2226 days

#13 posted 10-17-2018 07:12 PM

What he said^^^^^^^

- Fred Hargis

+1 ive used pvc for the last 20 years with no problems.i occasionally get the hair on my arms to stand up from the static but not much else.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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