What is the Cause for Static on My Treadmill?

Winter is the time of year we receive calls regarding static electricity primarily on treadmills. In fact, many of the OEMs state they expect a certain amount of static, especially during this time of year.

Listed below are some of the sources which may be responsible for the static problems:

Items that gyms have control over:

  1. Worn motor brushes
  2. Worn belt/deck
  3. Lubrication maintenance
  4. Lack of humidity in the air
  5. Dusty climate
  6. Bad ground
  7. The unit should not be on the carpet

Suggested Solutions:

  1. If motor brushes are worn, replace
  2. If belt/deck are worn, replace
  3. Always keep belt/deck lubricated
  4. Run humidifiers in the gym
  5. Keep equipment as clean and dust-free as possible
  6. Check ground of machine (power outlet, power cord, drive motor)
  7. Install a rubber treadmill mat

Items that gyms have NO control over:

  1. Dehydration of user
  2. Dry skin of the user
  3. Wool or synthetic materials (nylon, spandex, polyester)
  4. The run pattern of the user (shuffling feet vs. smooth stride)
  5. Shoes

Suggested Solutions:

  1. Encourage users to drink more water to avoid dehydration (which results in dry skin)
  2. Encourage users to use lotion and drink more water (less friction with hydrated skin)
  3. Suggest users wear clothing of natural fibers (cotton)
  4. Suggest change in the run pattern
  5. Encourage wearing well-fitting shoes (old shoes may be too worn causing friction) and shoes without nylon mesh

It has also been recommended users spray themselves with a product such as Static Guard or mist themselves with a mixture of water and fabric softener to avoid static buildup. Allow for sprayed areas to thoroughly dry before using the treadmill.

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