Shock from blower

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  • Problem
  • Updated 1 month ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
I get a shock from the handle.
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Warren Bobinski

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Posted 2 years ago

  • 9
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Blue Angel, Champion

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What were you doing with the blower when you got shocked, and which blower model are you using?
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Warren Bobinski

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Blowing 56v 530CFM blower - - I was blowing snow. There is a metal bar in the handle and it seems to be conducting energy right through my heavy lines work gloves. It's "static" like and occurs randomly
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Brian Olafson

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Just got my eGo and blowing snow I get shocks through my winter leather gloves.
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Derek Hubbs

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Same thing happened to me today, tried to return it to Home Depot, but they are making me contact the company for warranty.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Ego can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that metal bar is supposed to ground the user to the machine. Perhaps gloves are isolating you and allowing static to build up and discharge?
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Warren Bobinski

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It would make the indication of blowing snow useless then as you need to wear gloves when it's cold, and it's definitely not a nice sensation being randomly zapped. If that's the case, I will need to return the product.
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Jacob

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I didn't know there was a metal bar on the 530 cfm blower cuz i have the 480 cfm blower. The 480 doesn't have one. Buy that one then.. or the backpack blower.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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The backpack blower has the metal bar as well.

I got a few random shocks from my old 480 blower which doesn't have the metal bar, but have yet to get a shock from the 530 which has it.

The only time I got a shock from the 480 was blowing very light powdery snow; it was so light it was making a cloud around me as I worked. I think the static buildup was from snow passing through the blower, and if that's the case you could probably get a shock from that blower even with dust or other particulate matter blowing through it.

That's probably why they included the metal bar on the 530 and backpack blowers. However this is just my assumption, I'm no expert on static electricity. :-)
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Erik

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Has anyone got shocked with the backpack blower?
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David HD, Champion

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I own the new backpack blower, and to date, I have not experience any "shocking" incident.
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John Durnford

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I have an EZGo Power + 56v. Try using fully rubber coated masonry gloves. Worked great.
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Papajack

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Used my blower today with winter gloves to blow snow and was shocked several times. I changed batteries and still got shocked.
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Erik

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I havent tried in winter gloves yet, but I used it a few times with craftsman mechanic type gloves on and no shocks.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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I really feel after using these blowers for over two years and only ever getting a few small shocks on one occasion (in a cloud of fluffy snow), I don't think this would be a common occurrence. I also think any other blower operating in the exact same environment would have the same issue.

Perhaps some sort of ESD wrist strap could be rigged up for when these conditions exist while using the blower with gloves?

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Jennifer VandeWater, Community Manager

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Official Response
Hi everyone, while you can use the blower for snow, we don't really recommend it at this point. The handle in the 530CFM blower does have a ground in it but could be circumvented by wearing gloves. The highest risk of shock can occur when using the blower if it's actively snowing as the small particles flying around can be sucked into the intake and cause shocks or additional damage.
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Brian Olafson

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EGO needs to find a solution not tell us not to use the blower when it is cold out.
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Ken, Champion

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The problem isn't that it's "cold out." The problem is blowing light, powdery snow in dry air creating static electricity, and if you're wearing gloves your hand won't be touching the grounding strip built into the handle.

It's pretty basic physics. Ego can't wave a magic wand to make it go away. You either need to not use the leaf blower as a snow blower, not wear gloves if you do, or wear a grounding strip around your wrist if you do.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Bam... 47 individual posts summarized in one swing. Nice! :-)
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szwoopp, Champion

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And that is why Ken is a Champion
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Brian Olafson

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Ken, if it is blowing snow creating the problem  and EGO intended the unit to be only used in warm weather why did they put a grounding strip in the handle. Also, Ken are you representing EGO or just expressing your own opinion.
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Ken, Champion

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I'm expressing my own opinion. I don't work for Ego, I'm just a customer. But it's been explained before here what is causing the "problem."
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Jake

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Blowers shocking me.

I have the backpack blower and handheld 530cfm blower.  I have been getting shocked while blowing snow with both.  Is this a static issue or grounding issue?  Also noticed my battery life in the cold is extremely short, battery was indoors fully charged prior to use.   
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Dave Fairfield

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Mine shocks  me a lot too -- I plan to try different kinds of gloves, and may have to switch to something rubber. It's a great tool though.
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Papajack

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EGO told me don't wear gloves. It could interfere with grounding. Strange.
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Erik

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So what are you supposed to do in the fall during yard clean up when its getting cold outside and you want to wear light gloves? Maybe Ill stick with my gas blower. I dont get shocked with that thing.
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Dominic49

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The issue is the snow particulates creating static. This mixed with the low humidity creates a great situation to allow static buildup. This is not an electric vs gas issue.
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David HD, Champion

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Erik, I own the EGO backpack leaf blower and used it quite a bit last Fall.  I always wear gloves when using this tool, and honestly, I never got shock from it.  I have yet to use it this winter, as I have no need to ... but when I do, I will see if the "shock" factor is there.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Agree with both Dominic and DHD, getting a shock from one of Ego's blowers is definitely a rare event that requires certain specific environmental stimulus. I'm willing to bet that the very vast majority of Ego blower users have not experienced this... there have been only a few reports in all the time I've been following this board.
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Warren Bobinski

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that's what makes me think I should return it - perhaps it's faulty?
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Dominic49

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Triboelectric effect is the actual term for what is happening. A bunch of particulates rubbing over the plastic chute. Nothing that I can see being fixed by an exchange for a similar product. I like the idea of using an ESD wrist bracelet as this will remove the potential between your hand and the blower and possible add a path to ground the charge. and if it doesn't it will store the charge up in you until you can zap your doorknob or your unsuspecting significant other :P
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Papajack

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Thanks that's good to know.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Ha, tribology is part of my job, but I focus on lube, wear and bearing failure. Never considered static electricity buildup, but it is a result of relative surfaces in motion! Nice! :-)
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TheAtomTwister

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Well I've never been shocked by any of my EGOs as far as I know. I've been shocked by my 80V blowers, once in the cold, once in the rain, and unfortunately one of the shocks shorted out one of the LEDs in one of my 80V units, but Electricity and I are old friends, so I don't really care if it shocks me, but I wasn't too happy about mostly losing that LED (it comes on sometimes, most of the time it does not)... I may have been shocked once by my 530CFM EGO, but I don't really remember.
(Edited)
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Brian Olafson

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I use my EGO for blowing snow and was getting a shock through my glove. It is due to static electricity buildup from air passing through the machine. In a corded blower, it would be dissipated through the cord. EGO has place a metal slip on the bottom side of the handle to allow the static to dissipate through the operator. With a glove on proper contact is not made with that metal strip. I took what is called a static strap, used when working on electronics to dissipate static electricity, bared the wire and taped it to the metal static strip on the handle. The other end wraps around my wrist and then I put on gloves. No more shock.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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NICE JOB!
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Tom Meyers

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Brian:....You got it !
To be fair I think someone else mentioned it as well....?
The strap is a good solution.
Perhaps Ego should offer one as a "winter" accessory?
Not expensive, a few $ at most.
I was pondering a paper intake filter to block snow particles but, That could cause flow/overheat issues if it got wet.
I wonder what the polarity of the charge is....? 
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Brock Brown

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Backpack blower doesn't blow snow in the cold.

Hello: I just bought my backpack blower to blow snow. The first time out, after 20 minutes, it gave me a slight shock and then stopped. I talked to customer service who knew exactly what it was (customer service is great by the way). She said you must have been blowing snow with gloves on. Which I was (its -30c here). She said I need to use bare hands or else a static charge builds up in the blower and it will short out. they are send me a new one, but I'm wondering how I can possibly ground the machine so static charge does not build up. I really can't blow snow in bare hands when its -30c out. Any ideas?
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Obysk

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled LB6000 Backpack Blower zaps my gloved hand.

I live in Canada and purchased the LB6000 backpack blower for snow removal about 6 weeks ago. Come spring/summer/fall it will see use as well, but the primary reason for purchase was snow clearing.

I've had an issue with the blower since new, while using the blower, and mostly when the blower kicks up a lot of airborne snow (mist), the trigger will zap my hand. It's an electric shock, sometimes quite the jolt too.

I didn't think much of it until yesterday, while the trigger was jolting me the blower stopped working all together. Tried installing a freshly charged battery, nothing, kept it inside to warm up overnight, nothing.

I called customer support this evening and the agent didn't sound too surprised by my experience of being zapped. I was told this blower "isn't really designed for snow removal", which is odd because the marketing material for this blower doesn't exactly advertise anywhere that it shouldn't be used for snow removal.

As the tool is still under warranty the agent processed a replacement unit to be shipped to me. I was told to use this tool bare hand to prevent any further jolts. This isn't really a solution for me, or anybody, who would use this tool to remove snow in cold temperatures. The agent said that some EGO customers have cut the palm out of a pair of gloves to wear while using this tool. That way your bare palm touches the tool as to prevent the electric shock.

I was wondering what the official stance from EGO is on this blower, should it be used to clear snow? If not, the information page for this product should clearly reflect this.

Does anybody here use an EGO blower to clear snow? Have you been jolted by the trigger? Has anybody made a custom palm missing glove for use with this tool?
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Ken, Champion

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As you can see by the discussion above the problem is the static electricity that builds up from blowing snow and dry air. Probably the best solution is the wrist strap, which you can probably find anyplace that sells computer accessories.
(Edited)
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Lizzie Newell

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I got shocked three times while clearing my driveway. It happens when my thighs brush against the chute rotation handle. I'm going to try wrapping electric tape around the handle. Good to know it's static electricity, not a short. I might have an ESD wrist strap. Thanks for the tip. I have a Greenworks Pro Snow Thrower.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Hi Lizzie, which model of blower do you have? The 530 and newer models have a grounding strap in the handle that’s designed to touch your skin and ground you to the blower.

If you’re wearing gloves this breaks the circuit and allows static to build, resulting in shocks. The ESD strap is a great idea, though Ego officially advises against using the blower to clear snow. ;-)
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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Hi Lizzie. This thread is about using an EGO leaf blower in a manner that might cause a static shock to the user. Not about a snow thrower and a brand that isn't EGO. However, it does sound as if you are experiencing static buildup and maybe a wrist strap used with your snow thrower will do the trick. 
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Lizzie Newell

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Thanks. I Googled Greenworks snowblower and this discussion came up to the top of the search. It does see to be the same problem, although I looked it doesn't seem to have a grounding strip in the handle.
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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I suppose the snow throwers wouldn't need a grounding strap since the machine potentially makes contact with the ground. The leaf blowers don't make contact so that's probably why they have one.
It's funny that a Greenworks search would yield this site at the top. I know Greenworks gets mentioned as a competitor from time to time in this forum so maybe that's why.
(Edited)
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Snowblower... that totally went right over my head!!!
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Lizzie Newell

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The algorithm probably  went after "blower," "snow," and "shock." We call the machines snow blowers while the manufacturers seem to call them throwers. Most of the machine housing (and the auger) is plastic which might be why it's not grounding to the ground. Judging by this discussion, static electricity builds up with light dry snow. It seems to be a phenomenon resulting from light, dry snow, not from one brand or another. 
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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You may be right. Although I haven't read any reports of static shocks from EGO snowblowers so hard to know for sure.
It likely has to do with the snow passing through the chute developing static. Or, even your pants developing static as you walk and the handle is close enough for a spark.