While the winter season has a lot of upsides, static charge is probably one of the worst side effects of this season. The air becomes super dry and free of moisture which increases the chances of the production of millions of static charges.
One place where you may end up experiencing this static shock is in your bathroom.
In this article, I will explain how and why you feel like you have been shocked when you turn on the tap in your bathroom or kitchen sink.
We will also discuss ways you can prevent this from happening.
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Why am I Getting Shocks From My Sink?
It is undoubtedly a very surprising and unpleasant feeling when you grudgingly leave the comfort of your warm bed and end up getting zapped as soon as you touch the tap or your sink basin in the bathroom.
So much for wanting to wash your face and brush your teeth! But did you know that the most likely reason why you are experiencing these zaps is static electricity?
As you go about your day and interact with your surroundings, your body builds up static charge. Static charge, as we all know already, accumulates due to friction. When objects rub against each other, it causes a transfer of electrons which produces charges.
With your socks rubbing against the floor, your clothes fresh out of the dryer, and your hands touching all kinds of surfaces around the house, it should not be a surprise that you are probably carrying millions of static charges on your body all day.
These charges will remain on your person until they find a means to escape. That is where the sink comes in.
As soon as you touch the sink or the metallic tap, the charges find their cue to discharge. With all of the charges moving at once, it produces a little zap that can shock you where you come in contact with the sink or the tap.
Can Water Shock You Because of Static Charge?
Yes, it is possible for you to experience static shock even when you touch the stream of water from your tap.
How Do I Stop My Sink or Water From Shocking Me?
Here are some ways you can prevent your sink or water from giving you static shocks every time you come in contact:
1. Wipe with Dryer Sheets
One thing you can do is wipe down your sink and tap with some dryer sheets. These sheets have anti static properties and they can remove any charges that may have accumulated overtime on the sink surfaces and the counters.
2. Use Dryer Sheets
Speaking of dryer sheets, make sure you throw some in with every load of laundry that goes in the machine. As the clothes tumble around in the dryer, they can develop high amounts of static charge. Using dryer sheets prevents that from happening and keeps your freshly washed clothes static-free.
For more information, you can read my guide on How Do Anti Static Dryer Sheets Work?
3. Anti Static Mat
You will also find anti-static mats that you can purchase to place in your bathroom. Put them in front of the sink so that you can stand over it and discharge yourself before you touch the basin or the tap. This should prevent you from experiencing a static shock.
Read this post if you want to know more How Do Anti Static Mats Work?
4. Use Anti Static Spray
You can easily find anti static sprays in the market. These are designed to quickly rid you of any accumulated static charges. The spray can be used on any surface and even on your own body and blotches, without expecting any kind of damage.
5. Anti Static Tiles
If you are looking for a more permanent solution, then you may want to consider doing a remodel and getting anti-static tiles installed in your bathroom or kitchen.
I have previously talked about anti-static flooring and how it works to save you from the effects of ESD. you can read more about this solution in this guide.
6. Employ a Humidifier
Like I mentioned before, the winter season does not do us any favors when it comes to static charge and shock.
The dry air increases friction which becomes even more prominent when we use heaters inside our houses.
One way to mitigate this effect is by using a humidifier in your house. That way, the environment never lacks too much moisture.
Water is a good conductor, which is why its presence in the atmosphere facilitates small, unnoticeable discharges as opposed to a collective discharge that results in a static shock.
Is There Any Other Reason Why My Sink or Water May Be Shocking Me?
Yes. If it is not static charge that is causing you to experience these shocks from your sink or the water in your tap, then it may be coming from an electrical source.
If this is the case, then this is an emergency and you should look into getting it investigated as soon as possible.
There could be a wiring issue that is causing some current to leak out into the plumbing system. Or there could be an issue with the earthing or the grounding of the current.
How Do I Tell if the Shock was Due to Static Charge or Electrical in Nature?
You need to be able to differentiate between what is a static shock and an electrical shock so that you can take the most appropriate preventive measures. Static shocks, while noticeable and disturbing, tend to be relatively mild.
The shock is experienced suddenly and spontaneously, and the unpleasant feeling goes away as soon as it comes. The shock only lasts a few seconds and once the discharge has taken place, you will not experience a shock touching the same place or object again.
However, if it is an electrical shock, it will persist. Touching the object immediately after will result in another shock and the shock will be greater in magnitude and intensity.
The shock can even leave behind scars and burns, so be extremely careful if you are suspecting some electrical disturbance and avoid touching the sink or tap again.
What Should I Do in Case of Faulty Wiring?
To make sure you do not experience a major hurt or accident due to this electrical current, get it fixed immediately. Call your electrician and have them take a look if the shocking issue persists despite using anti static measures or if you have identified it as an electrical shock.