February 9, 2022

Do dust collectors need to be grounded

What is grounding?

Grounding is the act of adding a low resistance connection to an electrical system, to limit the voltage that appears on that system. A dust collector can be grounded by grounding rods. These are attached to the building’s electrical ground wire and extend deep into the earth.

Grounding is required for safety. It helps to protect people who come into contact with electrical equipment. Accidental contact or contact with components that have failed does cause harm.

4 inlet air suction blower for industrial wood dust collector for wood working double bag type in furniture manufacturing process

Why grounding isn’t required for dust collectors

Grounding works by limiting the voltage between various parts of the system. Thus, it reduces the risk of electric shock. When a dust collector is plugged into an outlet, there are many  different components that form the electrical system:

Consumers use the term “grounding” to mean several things. One is placing a grounded wire on the inside of your ductwork. One that’s been grounded is wrapped around the outside of your duct as well. You can also include the term grounded if you have grounded screws poking through the inside of your chimney. Interestingly, many people would never wrap grounded aluminum foil around the ducts.

Despite offering a cheap alternative at 4-inch PVC costs for 2.5 cents per lineal foot. Using this technique will improve the quality of your grounding. Consumers use grounding to avoid running into a propagated brush discharge. When your grounding has higher energy than a simple brush discharge, this can happen.

This is dangerous and can be the source of ignition for your dust. The process of grounding helps you to avoid this problem safely. Leakage currents, shielding, and providing a short hop to the ground are essential to think about. The quality of your grounding will come down to many factors. Always try not to overwhelm the system.

How to ground a metal dust collection system

Ensure that you understand the basics of installing and grounding dust collection before attempting to do this. Do your research on various sites to build yourself an optimal PVC grounded dust collection system. The main idea behind the whole system is to keep the air and PVC always grounded.

This translates directly to constant contact with the floor. Many decent techniques exist to do this. In the professional workshops grounding systems are built into the dust collection systems. This addition is because the metal variety needs to be connected to the dust collector at one end. You can also connect it to a metal table saw on the ends.

Grounding insulated elements are often best when running the wire inside. Then if you plan on wrapping the pipe, you can include a conductor in the middle.

Rockler dust grounding kit

The specification of this kit allows you to safely ground all the equipment involved to prevent sparks from flying. This kit includes 50ft of braided copper wire which is good for grounding. The kit also has screws, nuts, terminal ends, which helps prevent unnecessary static. The dust collection system you have available is directly made safer with a wire run through the inside of your ductwork. Enough cables are available in this kit to make it well ground.

Grounding PVC and other dust collection myths

  • The most common myth is that PVC ducts are hazardous. Research of theory shows home shop DC explosions are highly unlikely. The calculations show that the volume of a typical run of 4-inch piping is the same as a cube 14 inches aside. This detail shows that the explosive power of your dust will not be powerful enough to surpass this.
  • The second myth must be that you can ground PVC. This element is a nonconductor. It is challenging and not advisable. An insulator cannot be ground only because it will reduce the odds of an intense discharge. It has minimal benefit to the process.
  • The ground wire used on the outside is completed by reducing the static. This force works outside the PVC and provides no room for static. Without any external friction, you can expect to find static only on the inside. The physics involved will dictate that the electric field can lead to a discharge on the outside. It is critical to understand that this doesn’t translate to static outside.

Poor quality filter bags can cause static on the outside to appear. This problem will result in an opposite charge from the static because of opposite attraction. The static is canceled out, as seen above in shielding. The outside static will be helpful to help protect you. The repelling action helps because the static on the pipe is no longer attracted to the ground wire. It works to provide a reduction in outside charge. PVC is an insulator anyway, so it’s not hazardous.

Static dust collector

The air movement in the dust collector will commonly face resistance, which is likely to cause static pressure. A more stable definition of static pressure will note pressure or resistance in a dust collector fume hood or duct. This amount is expressed in inches of water.

Many issues cause dust collector static pressure. Any small event like an elbow in a duct can cause resistance. The pressure is more likely to come from more significant events, such as air passing through a tube sheet. Checking whether the filters are clean or dirty will determine the likelihood of sparks flying. When the air meets resistance in dirty filters, it will cause static pressure. Take care to avoid any friction when you design your system.

Anti-static dust collection

You will need an anti-static dust collection hose to improve your existing workshop dust collection system.

Flexible Versatility

This system will need the use of a super lightweight, flexible, and kink-proof hose. This should be strong enough to withstand the rigors of everyday use.

Heavy Duty

These systems are strengthened through the use of premium thermoplastic material. It is made this way to prevent the hose from melting in high static pressure emitted from your dust collector. These systems embody unique strength, durability, and optimized flow properties. This power is only found through well-grounded high-grade PVC.

Rated Safe

Anti-static dust collection hoses will often be made from flame retardant PVC construction. It can provide exceptional resistance to chemicals along with acidic and alkaline materials. This means it can cause electrostatic discharge (dissipating static) when grounded. When using this, you can consider yourself safe from the dangers of static electricity and the risk of fire.

How to ground PVC pipe for dust collection

PVC pipe is an insulator, which means it will not be possible to ground it. The only elements that can be grounded are conductors. If you want to make the PVC pipe safer, you can add a wire around the PVC pipe with clamps to help bleed off static charges.

Grounding flexible dust collection hose

A dust collection hose that is flexible will likely cause more air resistance. This can result in increased static pressure.

How to ground dust hose

Wrap the PVC pipe with a braided copper ground wire kit. At approximately every 48 inches, the wire is terminated to a grounding lug via a 3/4-inch screw that penetrated the PVC pipe’s interior. Blast gates are grounded by connecting a grounding lug to one of the gates screws or a dedicated grounding terminal provided on the blast gate. This provides a grounding mechanism for both the inside and outside air.

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