Why do I keep getting electric shocks?


Quick Answer

Electrical shocks that occur when not in contact with a live source of electrical current are most often electrostatic discharges, which are also known as static shock. Frequent occurrences can have various causes, including weather, environment, clothing and whether you are in motion.

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Full Answer

An electrostatic discharge occurs when two objects that are electrically charged with opposite charges come into contact with each other. This causes an influx of protons and electrons to flow from one object to another in a natural electrical current that is strong enough to feel. This occurs because when two materials are in contact with each other, they redistribute their electrical charges based on which material is more conductive, causing an electrical imbalance when the two materials separate. Over time, this charge dissipates naturally, but if contact between two highly charged objects takes place before that can happen, an electrostatic discharge occurs.

Dry weather is a conductor and can lead to an electrical imbalance; rubber soles on shoes or insulated floors can also lead to such an imbalance. To combat this, a humidifier can raise the humidity in a dry room and individuals can wear leather soles instead of rubber. After a lot of time in motion, you can also touch an insulated object, such as a glass window or a wooden door, to help dissipate any excess electrical charges.

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