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Question We installed plastic pipes (PVC) to carry the coffee from roasting to the hoppers. There is a large build-up of static electricity. We tried to ground the pipes but this didn't help. What would you suggest to alleviate the problem? - Alan, Coquitlam, British Columbia
Answer You have few choices. PVC is a good insulator and can’t be grounded. You can only ground conductors. The most costly solution would be to install ESD ionization at both ends of the PVC pipe to help neutralize the charge imbalance. This may not be that successful because of the majority of the problem is most likely occurring inside the pipe. Your best bet is to replace the pipe with a metal one (aluminum or stainless steel) and ground it. This can be grounded. Make sure the roasting equipment and the hoppers are grounded to the same potential (earth ground) as well. You may find an ionizer will add some additional benefits at the pipe
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