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Discharging static electricity?

post #1 of 32
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hi i have dumb question about static, when i was building my computer (i was building next to a lot of carpet, i used something like this http://www.computerchairmat.org/ to work on which was placed on top of the carpet) i thought discharging yourself was as simple as touching the case, i didnt know that the case was supposed to be connected to an outlet with the power supply in it to work. all i did was touch the case that WASNT connected to anything to discharge, i touched the case as often as i could before touching the cpu or the mb, i was wondering if this action was enough to discharge myself of static electricity. and in order to actually harm something with static electricity would i know i did or feel it? would i feel the actual shock or would it be something i dont notice? my computer seems to be running fine but i was just curious as i heard some shocks dont even harm your computer until later on. thanks and if this is the wrong place to ask then please let me know where to post this as i am completely new to this site. thanks in advance
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post #2 of 32
Unfortunately, the only way to discharge it is to ground yourself. The only way to ground yourself is to touch grounded metal (I think that it has to be metal). So the only way to ground a metal computer case is to have the power supply attached to it with screws, and to have the power supply plugged into a grounded wall outlet. However, the power supply doesn't have to be on (it should actually be off anyway for maximum safety)

Worse yet, the discharge is usually not even felt; only the larger amounts are felt. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be felt for it to be effective.

So another way to ground yourself (to discharge any static electricity) is by touching one of the screws that are holding a light switch's face plate on the wall. Of course, that switch has to be connected to a grounded line in order for it to work. Fortunately, most are! Although, not all wall outlets are grounded. However, if you have one of those surge suppressors that has an LED to indicate whether or not it's grounded, then you can use it to test each outlet.

So I figure that it's best to take no chances. In fact, I even wear as little clothing as possible. If I'm alone, then this really does mean that I might take off my shirt and pants to avoid extra static build-up. I've also been told that it's better to work barefoot, but I don't know if this is true; except, I go barefoot anyway.

Regarding those chair mats: mine is often full of static, so I don't know how beneficial these are when trying to use them as a way to avoid static build-up. However, mine has no anti-static properties. smile.gif
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post #3 of 32
wear those static bracelets?
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post #4 of 32
Yeah, but those anti-static bracelets must be attached to something that's grounded for you to have even a remote chance of them working.
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post #5 of 32
TwoCables, your advice is good, but this just jumped out at me...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables;12962769 
...I might take off my shirt and pants to avoid extra static build-up.
...
the discharge is usually not even felt; only the larger amounts are felt. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be felt for it to be effective.
... smile.gif
lachen.gif

Would you mind if I sig'ed that? biggrin.gif

Ok, back to the topic at hand...

Since I do most of my builds on my kitchen table, I just touch the faucet before I get started. That's electrically grounded because I have all copper pipes in my house and the water comes in from pipes in the ground.

Since the wiring in my house is pretty sub-standard I don't trust touching the screws on the face plates for outlets or light switches in my house. If I were building a PC in your house, I'd be ok with trusting it (my house is just wonky like that lol). As for your chair mat, that should work fine. My experience with them may be limited, but I haven't heard anything counter-productive about anti-static chair mats (or anti-static place mats either.)
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post #6 of 32
That static electricity thing is pretty much a myth. I work on my comp on my rug while wearing socks...comp still isnt fried.
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post #7 of 32
Razinhail: lol

No comment necessary. smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbmjhk6;12968233 
That static electricity thing is pretty much a myth. I work on my comp on my rug while wearing socks...comp still isnt fried.
All it takes is one direct hit to something on any one of your PCBs, and then that component becomes a fancy paperweight.

For example: you can kill some of your USB ports by sending a direct shock (even a tiny shock) to that metal box housing. Worse yet, you might screw up some other parts of the motherboard at the same time.
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post #8 of 32
If you have an old PSU laying around you can just use that to ground yourself (you have to plug it in). When I work on my PC for extended times, like when I built it I grounded myself every once in a while on it. But most of the time when I'm just moving cables or something I don't care and where my comp is, is all carpet.
    
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post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables;12968260 
All it takes is one direct hit to something on any one of your PCBs, and then that component becomes a fancy paperweight.

For example: you can kill some of your USB ports by sending a direct shock (even a tiny shock) to that metal box housing. Worse yet, you might screw up some other parts of the motherboard at the same time.

I try to kill my comp!!! I want a new one!!! It just won't die!!! I guess I am naturally grounded...mad.gif
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post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbmjhk6;12968270 
I try to kill my comp!!! I want a new one!!! It just won't die!!! I guess I am naturally grounded...mad.gif

Unless you rubbed yourself against carpet beforehand, it's not very likely you'll have that much static electricity to fry your components..
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