General Question

scamp's avatar

Why do I get shocked so often?

Asked by scamp (13062 points ) October 23rd, 2008

When I am at work I get a “carpet shock” every time I touch anything metal. It happens only to me, and it happens on a daily basis for the past couple of weeks. I don’t “scuff” my feet on the carpet when I walk. It’s very entertaining my co-workers, because when I jump, they get a laugh, but it’s becoming pretty annoying! It only happens at work, never anywhere else. Does anyone have any ideas why this happens to me, and what I can do to stop it?

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22 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

this is a GQ! i have noticed that some people get shocked more easily than others (like my mother). i really hope someone answers with the reason for this.

bpeoples's avatar

It depends on your shoes (and the weather), believe it or not!

When I was working on theatrical catwalks that were carpeted, and I switched from my normal boots to boots that were electrically isolated, I started getting HUGE PAINFUL sparks whenever I touched a railing. If your shoes are particular kinds of rubber, every time you pick your foot up off the carpet, you’ve picked up some charge.

Now, as for why it started the past couple of weeks—it’s likely with the drop in temperatures (don’t know where you are in the world) that the humidity has dropped. Higher humidity means more conductive air, which makes the charge disperse from you into the air quicker. However, in dryer air, you hang onto that charge and get shocked more.

boxing's avatar

There is no cure – you are electrifying.

jlm11f's avatar

@bpeoples – but w/ my mother example, she gets shocked touching something when i don’t, and this is when she’s wearing no shoes at all. and we are in the same weather. so what’s the explanation for that?

scamp's avatar

@bpeoples Thanks! That makes sense to me. I just wonder why it happens to me and no one else tho? I wear sneakers to work, and so do some of my co-workers, but they don’t get shocked.

@ boxing ha ha!! thanks!!

bpeoples's avatar

@PnL—Not a clue! My guess would be varying capacitive capacity between your two bodies.

That is, Your Mom (and scamp) may be capable of carrying more charge than the average person.

This article (purchase required) may have details on it: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6THV-49YDXC0–92&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=8fd40fa1446443cd7c1fbdc494d1f6ee

But it sort of sounds like the layer of fat under your skin (generally more present in women than men) helps to isolate the skin from the underlying charge, permitting you to store more.

Then again, I have no idea what I’m talking about?

jlm11f's avatar

haaaaa so i should tell my mother that she is getting too fat? lovely. (j/k)

scamp's avatar

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jvgr's avatar

You’re not alone. I met a woman at work who generated much more static electricity than her co-workers. It was so bad it affected her computer.
Just think of yourself as special.

scamp's avatar

Maybe I should change my user name to Sparky, huh? LOL

deaddolly's avatar

could it be from dry skin? Cream yourself up!!!!

It happens to me when the room is dry as well.

loser's avatar

Hey Sparky! I used to work with a woman who had this problem. We called her Sparky too! We finally got a wire and tied it around one wrist and made her drag it around with her. It worked and was great fun for the boss’s dachunds to chase around the office!

augustlan's avatar

You’re electric! Boogie woogie woogie woo.

scamp's avatar

@deaddolly if I used any more cream than I already do, I’d probably slip and slide down the hall!

@loser So I have to drag a wire around with me? If I point it toward the ceiling would it make sparks up there like the wires on the bumper cars do?

@augustlan ha ha!
It’s Electric!

You can’t see it
It’s electric!
You gotta feel it
It’s electric!
Ooh, it’s shakin’
It’s electric!

Jiggle-a-mesa-cara
She’s a pumpin’ like a matic
She’s a movin’ like electric
She sure got the boogie

You gotta know it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie!
Now you can’t hold it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie!
But you know it’s there,
Yeah here there everywhere

I’ve got to move,
I’m going on a party ride
I’ve got to groove, groove, groove,
And from this music I just can’t hide.

Are you comin’ with me?
Come let me take you on a party ride
And I’ll teach you, teach you, teach you
I’ll teach you the electric slide

Some say it’s mystic
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
You can’t resist it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
You can’t do without it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
Jiggle-a-mesa-cara she’s a pumpin’ like a matic
She’s movin’ like electric
She sure got the boogie

Don’t wanna lose it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
But you can’t choose it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
But you know it’s there,
Yeah here there everywhere

I’ve got to move,
Come let me take you on a party ride
And I’ll teach you, teach you, teach you
I’ll teach you the electric slide

Some say it’s mystic
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
You can’t resist it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
You can’t do without it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
Jiggle-a-mesa-cara she’s a pumpin’ like a matic
She’s movin’ like electric
She sure got the boogie

Don’t wanna lose it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
But you can’t choose it
It’s electric
Boogie woogie, woogie
But you know it’s there,
Yeah here there everywhere

loser's avatar

OMG! I am so cracking up!!!
She just dragged it around with her and she was totally fine after that!
Except for being chased by 2 dachunds all day!!!

loser's avatar

Boogie woogie….

scamp's avatar

Ha ha! Well maybe I should try that! Should I add a ball and chain, or will just plain bare wire work? I think I’m safe in the weiner dog department tho… uh oh.. what’s that? ahhh!!

boxing's avatar

@scamp, you should not be nicknamed Sparky, that could be mistakened as a dog.

How about “Battery”?

scamp's avatar

Ha ha, then I can ask people if they have met my partner, “assault” right??

djamygdala's avatar

I have the exact problem. Ever since I moved to New England every winter I get shocked everywhere I go. Out of the car, through the door, kissing my girlfriend, grabbing my computer, etc. I found that the only cure, or actually relief, is to touch a metal object with a metal object to defuse the charge. For example, before I turn a door knob I touch it with a
key. So now I carry around a handy “defuser” every winter. It sounds nerdy, but hey, it works. My girlfriend suggested that it could be because I’m from Miami where there is more humidity. I don’t really know, but the metal works for me. Good luck

augustlan's avatar

@djamygdala I am so going to try that. Thanks for the tip and welcome to Fluther!

Cruiser's avatar

Try drying your clothes with ant-static dryer sheets and use this “Static Guard” spray to help prevent static buildup in your clothes.

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