Build a PC - Electrostatic Discharge

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Electrostatic Discharge

-This is such a big killer in the PC system and any electronic. You do not want this problem and take it seriously! When working with any part of the PC except the Monitor you should make sure your wearing a wrist strap. This cuts down on a ESD and promotes good health on your PC. When walking across the carpet in your house on a hot summer day you may let out a discharge on the doorknob or even electrocute the dog. I personally like to rub my feet back and forth real fast then touch the wife just for kicks. Of course this can be a bad thing if you touch a CPU and discharge electricity over it, now its history, how much did it cost?

-The most dreaded form of ESD is actually lightening and is just nature. Though seems harmless it can cause much damage even in a low scale environment such as you home. Your case of the computer itself actually has a chemical on the surface of copper fittings to direct ESD safely away. The system case again is very important to your system. When the case is opened up is when you problems begin. Here is some interesting facts about ESD that you should be aware of.

  • Most parts in a PC system use 3-5 volts of electricity
  • ESD of 30 volts can fry your components
  • You cant feel a charge unless its 2500 volts or higher
  • A ESD you can feel such as touching the doorknob is around 3,000 volts.
  • If you actually see the ESD which most times you can, this carries 20,000 volts.

-As you can tell you can fry your equipment without even knowing it! Wear a strap when possible and be careful in those dry environments such as Arizona. I must say that I lived in Arizona for about 3 years and discovered dry skin and no humidity. It was very common to zap everything I touched for months on end, especially with a little humidity to the air. Be careful during those months and wear the ground strap.

Combat ESD

-There are other ways to get rid on the ESD problems.

  • Antistatic Carpet treatment. This can be bought in aerosol cans for the household. Not a bad idea really.
  • ESD bags, most of your electronic parts are stored in these bags and can really help out.
  • Ground Pads, this is good if you build PC's or work with electronics much. You can simply touch the pad to discharge ESD prior to handling.
  • Humidifiers, are a good route to go with in a dry environment. The air needs to be above 50% humidity when possible.

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