My former home has been rented out for the last three years to a great set of tenants who would like to stay there long term. However, I fear they will move on because they keep getting static shocks.
I’ve checked this out for myself and totally sympathise with them but I don’t know what to do. Please help!
I have Googled the problem and all the information on the web seems to point to build up of static in clothing or new carpets. However, the only area of my property which is carpeted is the stairs, landing and upper two floors. The static problem is on the ground floor which is all tiled and hasn’t changed since I moved out.
I went to meet the tenants and they made me a cup of tea whilst they explained the problem. After 10 minutes they demonstrated the problem by asking me to switch on their DVD player. As I went to press the button a blue spark of static electricity about half an inch long connected my finger to the button as I went to press it. Not nice I can assure you!
The tenants had read that static shocks occur more in the winter due to humidity and have installed a de-humidifier but this doesn’t seem to have worked. I also looked around for obvious problems such as nylons, the clothes they were wearing etc. and there was nothing obvious that could be causing these shocks or build up of static.
At first I thought it could be an electrical fault but they then asked me to go and stand in the lounge doorway. I had a short sleeved shirt on and as my arms got close to the wooden door frame I felt the hairs on my arms stand on end, drawn towards the wooden door frame. Now switch the light on they said with cheeky grin – I knew what was coming next.
Gingerly my finger moved towards the light switch, an aluminium dimmer switch ……. CRACK! ……. there it was again!
This was like being in one of those nasty little house of horrors experiences you got in the 70’s at most seaside resorts. Strangely I enjoyed them as a child but this was no fun at all let me tell you.
Every time I touched something metal in the house, a door knob or a light switch the same thing happened. I’m as certain as I can be this is static and not an electrical short.
If you could offer me any useful advice on how to cure this problem I would be eternally grateful. I can’t afford to lose these tenants, they are perfect.
I never had this problem when I lived in the house and I can see no logical reason for the problem now.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Now known by friends as Sparky, which is a bit embarrassing as I’m a plasterer LOL