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ESD: PSU plugged in but OFF when working on PC or just antistatic mat with NO PSU??

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I still get conflicting responses to this day regarding whether it is better to leave the PSU plugged in but turned OFF or whether to NOT plug in the PSU and just use an antistatic mat?

Which is the best method? I will be working on my computer tomorrow and want to know.

I have also used an antistatic mat + wrist band but attached to my case .

I never used the PSU because if you accidentally forgot to turn it OFF (which could happen very easily, you could damage something).

what do you guys recommend to throughly avoid ESD??
post #2 of 5
PSU plugged in, but master power switch OFF. This will keep the PC chassis grounded via the power plug, but prevent any power from flowing. Then, get yourself an ESD wristband with an alligator clip, and clip it on to some bare metal inside the chassis. That will keep you grounded as well, and at zero electrical potential.

FWIW I've never damaged any devices in 30 years of PC technical work, by following one simple rule - always ground myself to the case before touching anything sensitive. If you're not rolling around in a chair on a plastic mat, or petting your cat, or doing some other activity to generate static - a simple touch on the case every few minutes will keep you relatively equalized with the PC chassis.

As for accidentally forgetting to turn off the PSU master switch - that's why they put a LED that is ON all the time on most motherboards. It's to remind you things are energized (including the capacitors inside the PSU which hold a charge a short while after power is removed).

Greg
Edited by hammong - 5/16/13 at 8:34pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

PSU plugged in, but master power switch OFF. This will keep the PC chassis grounded via the power plug, but prevent any power from flowing. Then, get yourself an ESD wristband with an alligator clip, and clip it on to some bare metal inside the chassis. That will keep you grounded as well, and at zero electrical potential.

FWIW I've never damaged any devices in 30 years of PC technical work, by following one simple rule - always ground myself to the case before touching anything sensitive. If you're not rolling around in a chair on a plastic mat, or petting your cat, or doing some other activity to generate static - a simple touch on the case every few minutes will keep you relatively equalized with the PC chassis.

As for accidentally forgetting to turn off the PSU master switch - that's why they put a LED that is ON all the time on most motherboards. It's to remind you things are energized (including the capacitors inside the PSU which hold a charge a short while after power is removed).

Greg

What about just doing everything the same but NOT using the PSU plugged in? simply the antistatic mat + wristband , alligator clipped to the PC case?

what's the difference between this and having this PSU plugged in?
post #4 of 5
With the PSU plugged in, it is attached to your house's ground connection. Personally, I just don't touch any sensitive components without touching the case first. I don't plug in the PSU for ground. Never had an issue, probably never will. If I do notice that I'm picking up a static charge, I will add in the ground connection.
post #5 of 5
I repair power supplies at work. I don't use an antistatic band but I have a large antistatic mat under me and on my table top. I haven't had any cases where I killed any components within the power supply due to static while working on top of the mat.

I've also built 2 computers at home without using an antistatic mat or wrist band. I didn't even connect my PSU either. Before handling a computer component, I would discharge myself by touching my computer case.
Edited by redxmaverick - 5/17/13 at 3:43pm
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NZXT Switch 810
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4670K MSI Gaming 5 MSI GTX970 Gaming 4G Crucial 2x4GB 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Crucial MX100 256GB EKWB Radiators, EKWB CPU, EKWB GPU Windows 7 Home Premium Asus PB278Q 
KeyboardPowerCase
Max Keyboard Nighthawk X9 Seasonic X650 NZXT Switch 810 
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