Static electricity build-up can be an occasional annoyance for a new treadmill owner. Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the occasional zap when your skin makes contact with the frame. These tips can also be applied to elliptical trainers and other home fitness equipment.
HOW TO STOP STATIC ELECTRICITY ON TREADMILLS
1-Put a mat under your treadmill
A treadmill mat will help eliminate a lot of static and is an effective counter-measure. There’s an added bonus to placing a rubber mat under your treadmill as well: it will help keep your motor compartment free of dust and debris. The static charge will also act as a vacuum of sorts; carpet fibers, pet hair, dirt and dust will get sucked up into the motor compartment and clog up the inner-workings of the treadmill. By placing a mat under the treadmill, you are not only reducing the static electricity, you are also protecting your motor and lower electronics board from and keeping it clean.
2-Pay attention to what you are wearing
Whenever at all possible, work out with clothing made of natural fibers, such as cotton. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon will build up a significantly higher static charge.
3-Compensate for dry air
A lot of people buy a treadmill for the home because in the winter months, they aren’t able run, jog or walk outside due to the inclement weather. In the winter, the air is much drier. You are more likely to get shocked by static electricity when there is little moisture in the air, so put a humidifier in the same room as the treadmill and set it to 50%.
4-Perform routine maintenance
Your treadmill has moving parts and wear-items and requires regular maintenance. Check you owner’s manual and follow the instructions for lubrication, belt adjustment and cleaning. Do not underestimate the importance of cleaning your fitness equipment.
5-You've Got the Power
For optimal performance, as well as safety and to avoid electric shocks, you want to make sure the treadmill is on a dedicated power source. What this means, is the treadmill should be plugged directly into the wall receptacle, leading directly back to the circuit breaker, and no other electronics should be on that line. It should be a minimum of 15 amps (20 is optimal).
Other Notes About Power
What you don’t want to do, is use extension cords, surge protectors, power strips or ground adapters. Your treadmill has a motor controller that sends a series of high and low pulses that increase and decrease the voltage to the motor. This is not simply for speed changes. When you plant your foot on the treadmill, you are applying resistance to the motor turning the belt. The motor controller compensates for this by increasing the voltage when you plant your foot. This is what gives you a smooth follow through as you plant, and then push off. Power conditioners and surge protectors can interfere with the efficiency of this design.
If you have Arc-Fault breakers (AFCI) your treadmill will not function properly. Because the motor controller is constantly sending a series of ON/OFF pulses, an AFCI breaker will think that it is detecting an electric arc, and it will break the circuit, because that is what it is designed to do. If you have AFCI breakers in your home, you will want to consult with an electrician before you install your treadmill.
If you absolutely must use an extension cord, go to a hardware store and purchase an extension cord that is rated and approved for appliances, and use the shortest cord you possible can.
Hopefully you are monitoring your hear rate when you exercise, and most treadmills have features for doing so. These features that offer heart rate monitoring signals are regulated by the FCC to not interfere with any other electronic signal. What this means, is you want to place the treadmill at least six feet away from anything giving off an electronic signal. Anything and everything could possibly interfere with telemetry heart rate signals, even a lamp!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST . . .
Here’s a few factoids, just so you know.
Never use cleaners with ammonia, alcohol or bleach, and never spray a cleaner directly on the treadmill. Instead, use something like Athletix wipes. If you have a spray-cleaner, spray it on a washcloth first and not directly on the machine.
Put a rubber mat under the treadmill.
Rust is NEVER covered under warranty, so keep your machine clean, and wipe your sweat off after every workout.
Consider purchasing an extended labor warranty on the treadmill, if available.
Read your manual and follow the instructions. Lubricate if needed and adjust the belt when needed. Call G&G Fitness’ service department for preventative maintenance services.
There are several other homemade solutions out there, like anti static spray, wiping the treadmill belt with fabric softener, or increasing airflow in the area. If you've found one that works for you, share it in the comments.
Thanks for reading.
For more tips on maintaining your fitness equipment, we recommend these articles: Do You Really Need to Clean Your Fitness Equipment? The Ultimate Guide to Treadmills, The Ultimate Guide to Ellipticals.
If you’re ready to take the next steps in your fitness journey, contact the experts at G&G Fitness Equipment today, use the chat feature on the bottom right of this window to connect live with a G&G expert, or stop into a G&G Fitness Equipment showroom and let us show you why we are the best specialty fitness equipment retailer in the northeast.