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Dust extraction fire risk

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Michael Forster 204/11/2011 09:17:47
75 forum posts
52 photos
Does anyone have enough knowledge on this to advise me? I'm just setting up a dedicated workshop in my garage, and while searching Axminster's site for extraction kit I was alerted to the potential for fire - especially where fine dust is involved. I'd been aware of this before, but it seems the risk might be more than I had thought - especially if using plastic components not effectively grounded against static
Any advice would be most welcome
steve h04/11/2011 09:45:53
403 forum posts
128 photos

Hi Michael,

A very good question and maybe something that others are not aware of.

I have been running plastic ducting for some time and have just moved house (July) and I am still trying to get my workshop up and running.

I have trebled the length of my ducting and I also have the same concern.

I had seen other postings in the past, about running a copper cable down the ducting, but have the same question of where and how it should be earth bonded?

I run mine through a cyclone system and dump bin before it gets to the extractor itself - I am not sure if this makes any difference.

Can any one help??

Thanks - Steve

steve h04/11/2011 21:57:57
403 forum posts
128 photos
Hello again Michael,

I had a discussion this morning with the company I purchased my extractor from and they forwarded to me a technical sheet on how to to electrically bond the plastic ducting systems.

I discussed using their tech sheet and they were trying to post this onto the forum earlier, but had some issues themselves posting - they said they will make this available, so hopefully it will get posted soon.

I do not want to add anything that may 'steal their thunder' or may get me into trouble for copyright or intellectual property rights!


Derek Lane05/11/2011 17:48:17
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
I think if there was a problem with plastic pipes then the companies that sell extractor piping would also sell grounding kits
Derek Lane05/11/2011 19:21:50
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
HERE have a read of this
Camvac Dust Extraction07/11/2011 08:46:48
2 forum posts
2 photos


My name is Natalie and I am the Sales Administrator for Camvac Dust Extraction machines.

I have some information below which should be of help for you to Ensure correct grounding of ABS/PVC fittings & ducting for dust collection.

For dust collection systems for industrial use or in a production shop, galvanized metal pipe and fittings are best, but for most home shop applications, fittings and dust collection tubing made of plastic (ABS or PVC) are sufficient, provided they are properly grounded to dissipate static electrical charges. Dust and air in the right proportions can be an explosive mixture, and a build up of static electricity can provide the spark to ignite it.

To safely collect and bleed off the static charge, bare copper wire (not insulated) should be run along the inside of the ductwork and be attached to grounding screws or a bare metal surface on both the dust collector and the woodworking machine. The power cords of both machines must terminate in a grounded three-prong plug to complete the connection to the ground. Wires over the irregularities of fittings, especially at Y's or T's could form traps for chips and sawdust, so bypass the fittings by running the wires to the outside through small holes. Seal the holes with silicone caulking compound and join the wires by twisting them together and securing them with a wire nut.

For internal ground, run bare copper wire along the inside of the ductwork. Lead the wire externally to bypass the fittings.

As charges can also collect on the outside surface, we recommend wrapping bare copper wire in a spiral around the outside of the ductwork, securing it with electrical tape and connecting it to the ground system by means of wire nuts. If you have any difficulty securing the hose clamp to the hose and fittings, try wrapping the joints with duct tape first to provide a good gripping surface.

Wrap bare wire on the outside of the ducting to prevent static build up on the surface.

If you are still having difficulty in obtaining a safe electrical ground, we recommend the services of a good electrician.

Kind Regards,


Camvac Sales Administrator

*Please visit for information on the Camvac Range & Accessories*

steve h07/11/2011 09:38:54
403 forum posts
128 photos

Can you add the images Natalie - it would very helpful to see the pictorial instruction along with the written instruction.

Many thanks


Camvac Dust Extraction07/11/2011 14:19:28
2 forum posts
2 photos
Hi Steve,
I have tried but, unfortunately I am experiencing an issue with this.
I did try in the above post but I believe the documents may be too large for the post.
I am now in the process of trying to add the images to our 'my photos' file so they can still be viewed by members but, this is also proving difficult.
I will get them on here as soon as I can.
Kind Regards
Camvac Administrator
Mike Jordan09/11/2011 09:28:13
166 forum posts
17 photos
I think you would be better using purpose made all metal parts in your system rather than pressing drain pipe into use in the hope of making a saving.
When I priced the use of both some time back the cost of the fittings for drainpipe was higher than those for metal so the all metal system was about the same cost overall.
I haven't known of a dust explosion involving plastic piping but have been involved in smoldering fires in dust lying in metal ducting, not something you would want to experience, particularly with plastic pipes!
The most important issue in my opinion is to ensure that the extractor vents to a separate area out of the workshop, A surprising amount of very fine dust gets through the standard cloth bag of an extractor and into the atmosphere. You can very easily give yourself serious doses of toxic dust.
steve h09/11/2011 15:42:02
403 forum posts
128 photos

Hi Mike -

I run purpose made 63mm plastic ducting, that is great for what i want out of it - this is cheaper than the metal ducting and as I am only a hobbyist - forking out for metal ducting is not an option.

I run mine through a cyclone system into a dump bin and then through my filters - I have a spare bag on the internal Camvac extractor allowing me to clean and wash it regularly.

I also run an overhead fine filtration system -

I find the biggest issue is the poor extraction ports on machinery - especially the hand-held tools, even when connected to a vacuum or dust extractor.


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