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post #1 of 13
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Hey guys I just got all my parts in today to build my rig which I will build tomorrow. I also bought a anti-static wrist strap. I've been reading up on static electricity when working with a pc but I have a few questions as I have come across some conflicting information.

1. I've heard that you should have your psu plugged in but set to off or else the wrist strap is useless but i've also heard that you need to have everything disconnected, which is true?
2. If the psu indeed needs to be plugged in does a three pronged outlet mean it is grounded?
3. I will be probably building it on a big pool table I have that has a leather cover on top. Is that ok or should it be wood or granite counter top? I do not have any carpet in my house just wood and tile btw.
4. Work barefoot or with shoes on?
5. Wearing a digital wristwatch that has a small metal part on the back on against my wrist, good or bad?
6. The anti-static wrist strap I got was cheap (5bucks cheap) are these one time use only or can I re-use them?
7. Open window or no?

I've heard ESD is a myth and also that it rarely ever happens but I would kill myself if I fry something out of ignorance. And this is gonna be my first machine I have ever built so I'm gonna be a nerve wreck.
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post #2 of 13
I build my PC's on carpet.

Just touch metal parts of your case before you work on anything.
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post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by opi View Post

Hey guys I just got all my parts in today to build my rig which I will build tomorrow. I also bought a anti-static wrist strap. I've been reading up on static electricity when working with a pc but I have a few questions as I have come across some conflicting information.
1. I've heard that you should have your psu plugged in but set to off or else the wrist strap is useless but i've also heard that you need to have everything disconnected, which is true?
No, Most modern PSUs in fact use the PSU's metal casing as the ground as it is usually screwed into the PC case. But a lot of users run PSUs outside the case and the PSU still uses the housing as a ground. Hook your metal clip to the PSU's metal(grill) but don't plug it in if you are going to do that, or to be safe clip it to the cases metal, or even a large heatsink used to cool the CPU that has bare metal.
Quote:
2. If the psu indeed needs to be plugged in does a three pronged outlet mean it is grounded?
It could, but still makes no difference.
Quote:
3. I will be probably building it on a big pool table I have that has a leather cover on top. Is that ok or should it be wood or granite counter top? I do not have any carpet in my house just wood and tile btw.
If you want to be ultra safe, do granite and tile, but wood is an insulator and leather, idk about leather, but prob not that bad. Plastics generate a lot of static tho.

MOST people build their PC's outside the case, just to make sure the case isn't grounding anything and causing a short. They build it on the motherboard box smile.gif You should too, take the anti-static bag the board is in, or the tray if it had a tray and no bag, and place the box down, then put the anti-static bag and then the board.
Quote:
4. Work barefoot or with shoes on?
Either, just don't wear socks and stand on carpet lol.
Quote:
5. Wearing a digital wristwatch that has a small metal part on the back on against my wrist, good or bad?
Wont make a difference really, you are dealing with very low voltages if any at all when the PSu is on, your watch isn't going to change anything.
Quote:
6. The anti-static wrist strap I got was cheap (5bucks cheap) are these one time use only or can I re-use them?
You can use them till the break, which is almost never. They are great and last for a very long time, just don't lose the alligator clip and make sure the metal inside the wrist band itself is touching your skin.
Quote:
7. Open window or no?
Does it really matter? Probably not if its cold then you'll get cold. lol
Quote:
I've heard ESD is a myth and also that it rarely ever happens but I would kill myself if I fry something out of ignorance. And this is gonna be my first machine I have ever built so I'm gonna be a nerve wreck
Well if you want to be ultra safe touch metal before touching any parts, and you will discharge the static, but also don't move your feet to be safe, and also don't wear a nice wool sweater or anything of the sort lol, then rubbing against yourself can cause static. I just wear a t-shirt or whatever I am wearing. but if i have on a cashmere sweater i take it off before working on my parts, because I can literally touch metal every 10 mins and discharge enough to make a noise. I have killed things through it, I know others have too.

if you handle parts, handle them by their heatsinks as most all of them have heatsinks now and touch metal before touching the parts to be safe, and yea wear your wrist band, you will feel better about it.

Good luck mate, you will be fine! Also i always suggest for firs time builders to buy locally from like a microcenter so that they can return if something is DOA or they kill something by accident, or if its incompatible. Also microcenter matches newegg so its all good.

you came to a great active forum for your build, it wont let you down! you have a lot of great months ahead of you!
Edited by Sin0822 - 2/3/12 at 6:45pm
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
MOST people build their PC's outside the case, just to make sure the case isn't grounding anything and causing a short. They build it on the motherboard box smile.gif You should too, take the anti-static bag the board is in, or the tray if it had a tray and no bag, and place the box down, then put the anti-static bag and then the board.

Now that's something i haven't heard before. Do you mean have the mobo on the box, connect all the devices and cables and then screw it into the case? And what do you mean when you say they do that to make sure the case isn't grounding anything?
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post #5 of 13
I guess I am lucky, I have built machines over carpet and wearing socks and never had a problem, yet. redface.gif
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by opi View Post

Now that's something i haven't heard before. Do you mean have the mobo on the box, connect all the devices and cables and then screw it into the case? And what do you mean when you say they do that to make sure the case isn't grounding anything?

sometimes new builders will screw everything into the case, and some part of the metal case is touching some part of the motherboard and grounding a component. It doesn't always happen, but to be safe, and just to get a feel for it id build it outside the case.

BTW if your motherboard is high quality enough, it will already have some sort of ESD protection.
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post #7 of 13
Yup, it's kind of like a test bench when you do that. So basicly you just put it on all the mobo bos hook it all up and power it up.
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin0822 View Post

Quote:
3. I will be probably building it on a big pool table I have that has a leather cover on top. Is that ok or should it be wood or granite counter top? I do not have any carpet in my house just wood and tile btw.
If you want to be ultra safe, do granite and tile, but wood is an insulator and leather, idk about leather, but prob not that bad. Plastics generate a lot of static tho.
MOST people build their PC's outside the case, just to make sure the case isn't grounding anything and causing a short. They build it on the motherboard box smile.gif You should too, take the anti-static bag the board is in, or the tray if it had a tray and no bag, and place the box down, then put the anti-static bag and then the board.

I have heard that anti-static bags can be slightly conductive and there not good to build on. Well, it would be fine to build it on, just don't turn in on while it is on the anti-static bag. Or so I have heard.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidiaftw12 View Post

I have heard that anti-static bags can be slightly conductive and there not good to build on. Well, it would be fine to build it on, just don't turn in on while it is on the anti-static bag. Or so I have heard.

Correct. I don't know why everyone builds on the anti-static bag, it's actually not the best option as some only have antistatic properties on the outside of the bag.

Building on the motherboard box is the best way, if you want to build it outside a case/bench.
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post #10 of 13
they have to be conductors to be anti-static like they are, but I believe the inside is different from the outside.

i guess don't build it on that, just don't build it on plastic either. i would just build it on the box.
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