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Static and Horse Vacuums

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  • Static and Horse Vacuums

    I looked up a couple of old threads, but did not find any answers that had not failed me already. In NC, I used a friend's ElectroGroom and loved it. But we have such extremely dry weather in AZ, static electricity is a big issue. Just pulling a blanket off the horses can make a big ZAP.

    So I tried a shop vac to groom our horses, and although they were just fine with the noise and liked it, in moments we had static build up and hard shocks. I purchased the special kraton rubber attachment that is widely sold for horses.

    I have ruled out:

    Static Guard--too expensive, too toxic, did not work especially well. It can explode if you get a big spark while using it.

    Rubbed the horses with dryer sheets, didn't help

    Diluted Lavender/Vanilla Downy in water and spritzed them--worked a bit and they smelled divine, but only worked while they were still damp, and it was awfully cold to spray with water. Vacuuming while damp doesn't work very well.

    Put dryer sheets in my shoes--protected me a little

    Put aluminum foil on my heels (yes, I'm serious and desperate)

    Bought clean room anti-static coveralls, ought to help me, but won't protect the horses.

    So, is there some difference between the commercial horse vacs to prevent static build up, or did it just work in a humid climate? Is there some sort of mat they could stand on that is not expensive? Do the horses need special footwear? Shod/unshod, seemed to make no difference, oddly enough.

    Ideas? Thanks!

  • #2
    Not the electrical engineer in this household, and he's out, unfortunately... but I do wonder whether it's because the electrogroom itself is metal and therefore grounded, as opposed to the plastic shopvac.

    I find that if I stay off the rubber mat that the horse is standing on, we have less of a problem...

    Comment


    • #3
      I keep my free hand on the horse, and that at least reduces the amount of times I zap them.
      Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

      Comment


      • #4
        This is what works for me --

        Take electric fence tape, like this:
        http://www.tractorsupply.com/electri...56-ft--3601075

        Wrap (or loop) a piece of fence tape around the entire length of the vacuum hose. Hold it in place with black electrical tape. One end needs to be wrapped around the very end of the vacuum hose so that you're touching it while vacuuming the horse, and so that the wire in the tape is in contact with the attachment you're using to groom the horse. The other end of the tape needs to be attached to a "ground", so that the static charges that are building up as you groom your horse have something into which they can "discharge" without shocking the horse. I have it rigged so that the end of the fence tape clips onto the water hydrant.

        Comment


        • #5
          Similar to Foxyrab - I use speaker wire with an alligator clip on each end. I attach one to a 'static strap' bracelet (they're sold and used by computer people), and the other end to ground. There are metal pieces sunk into the concrete by every stall at our barn. No shocks by this method, but it is a pain in the butt keeping the cord out of the way. I use a Fein shopvac - It works great, incidentally, and is the quietest shop vac on the market.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm just extra careful to not let the hose or my hand touch his body. My ShopVac is the small 1 gal. one that you can hold; most times I turn it around and blow his coat against his hair with the side of the vac that blows air. Then I vacuum with the grooming attachment, not going too fast. Some days it's just too dry with too much static so I just blow the coat.

            In the past I've used the big blue barn vacuum and there was less static, probably because it was made of less plastic and more metal. Loved that vacuum.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also, just a reminder: wearing fleece anything will add to the zap factor!
              "Listen to your mind. It has a whole lot more brain cells than your heart does." - SillyHorse

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Very helpful!

                Thank you all, for the excellent suggestions! The pathetic aluminum foil thing was my take on a static strap. I will definitely be trying these methods, and my horses and I thank you all in advance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was going to say, you got it wrong! The foil cap is to go on your head, under your colander! Keeps the alien death rays at bay. Very important in Flagstaff...

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I set myself up for that one, and was wondering why it took so long! However, you really only need the foil and colander on your head if you go down to the Vortex in Sedona.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Foxyrab View Post
                      This is what works for me --

                      Take electric fence tape, like this:
                      http://www.tractorsupply.com/electri...56-ft--3601075

                      Wrap (or loop) a piece of fence tape around the entire length of the vacuum hose. Hold it in place with black electrical tape. One end needs to be wrapped around the very end of the vacuum hose so that you're touching it while vacuuming the horse, and so that the wire in the tape is in contact with the attachment you're using to groom the horse. The other end of the tape needs to be attached to a "ground", so that the static charges that are building up as you groom your horse have something into which they can "discharge" without shocking the horse. I have it rigged so that the end of the fence tape clips onto the water hydrant.
                      That's just freakin' brilliant.
                      Ring the bells that still can ring
                      Forget your perfect offering
                      There is a crack in everything
                      That's how the light gets in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh yeah, Sedona. Now there's a truly strange place. I bet you'd get a lot of static electricity down there...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I use miracle groom...helps wet the coat to avoid static.
                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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