Earthing Help - First Time Build

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Summary: I would like to know of a good way to earth yourself when working on ESD sensitive components in a "home enviroment"

Hello People! I am currenly at a stage where I am comfertable with building my own PC. But for about 6 months I have been messing around with second hand stuff. To earth myself. I set myself up at a table next to a radiator (painted, I dont think this should affect earthing) take a seat tough the radiator and commece work. Touching the radiator at about 30 second intervells (I dont think this is needed but I was just "playing safe".

My question is this... what is the best way to earth yourself in a "home enviroment" where access to an earthing station or specialist equptment is not available. I have heard that if you plug in a PC to power outlet, turn off the swtch on the wall or the back of the PC if poss on the PSU, pressing the power or reset switch a few times to drain all electricity from the components, touch an unpainted surface of the case and there is the earth (human - case - psu - power lead - earth @ power point). I think this should work. What do you all think.

All advise and comments are welcome with appreciation.
 
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kaiowas said:
Have a few cans of beer and just dive right in. I've never taken anti-static precautions in my life and it's never killed any hardware.


I can see I may be over worrying. But bearing in mind that I would like the system to last a while. I would assume someone who is experienced enough in computing with over 6000 posts to upgrade to new components every year. However I have done some research and it shows that ESD sensitive compnents only start to show issues around a year down the line after the ESD.

Would this be a good statement? Or do you think it's a load of rubbish?

Thanks for the comments... please keep them coming

p.s Just thought I would put this scenario up again... seems like a safe bet and easy to do anywhere. Can anyone see any problems with the following? :

I have heard that if you plug in a PC to power outlet, turn off the swtch on the wall or the back of the PC if poss on the PSU, pressing the power or reset switch a few times to drain all electricity from the components, touch an unpainted surface of the case and there is the earth (human - case - psu - power lead - earth @ power point). I think this should work. What do you all think.
 
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bluetech said:
I can see I may be over worrying. But bearing in mind that I would like the system to last a while. I would assume someone who is experienced enough in computing with over 6000 posts to upgrade to new components every year. However I have done some research and it shows that ESD sensitive compnents only start to show issues around a year down the line after the ESD.

Would this be a good statement? Or do you think it's a load of rubbish?

Thanks for the comments... please keep them coming

p.s Just thought I would put this scenario up again... seems like a safe bet and easy to do anywhere. Can anyone see any problems with the following? :

I have heard that if you plug in a PC to power outlet, turn off the swtch on the wall or the back of the PC if poss on the PSU, pressing the power or reset switch a few times to drain all electricity from the components, touch an unpainted surface of the case and there is the earth (human - case - psu - power lead - earth @ power point). I think this should work. What do you all think.

ESD is very real. However you are not necessarily going to discharge electrically every time you touch the insides of a PC.
You may have had the odd shock when you touch a car door on a hot dry day for example. It doesn't happen EVERY time but it definitely does happen occassionally.
If it happens when you are touching an expensive graphics card you might regret it.
 
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I usually pop the power supply unit in first and then plug it in. Obviously not switching the plug on mind. Then you just need to touch the case to earth yourself.
 
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VIRII said:
You may have had the odd shock when you touch a car door on a hot dry day for example. It doesn't happen EVERY time but it definitely does happen occassionally.

It does happen every time, but usually the voltages are quite small so you dont feel them. Just the shocks you get from car doors etc are at massive voltages (usually between 8000 and 10,000 volts). Just because you dont feel the shock does not mean it isnt there.

Computer circuitry can obviously be damaged by voltages a lot smaller than it takes for you to feel it. So most of the time you wont even notice you've borked it until you try and boot up the pc.

Always wear a wristband tbh, cost £2-3 to buy, can save you ££££s.
 
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Don't worry about it mate.

By all means wear a wrist strap or touch a radiator but don't panic about it. I've worked in electronic assembly places where they make equipment that costs thousands and they didn't even worry about static.
 
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I bought a wrist band, but you're more likely to damage something if your hand is attached to a stupid springy cord imo. It was an absolute pain and I took it off after about 5 mins.

Put the PSU into the case first and plug it in, though don't turn it on, and that'll be fine. Touching the case will now earth you through the mains.
 
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bluetech said:
Can anyone see any problems with the following? :

I have heard that if you plug in a PC to power outlet, turn off the swtch on the wall or the back of the PC if poss on the PSU, pressing the power or reset switch a few times to drain all electricity from the components, touch an unpainted surface of the case and there is the earth (human - case - psu - power lead - earth @ power point). I think this should work. What do you all think.

No problem with that, it will work, although I would turn the switch off at the wall and not on the psu personally. However, the best thing to do is simply to handle things carefully. Only hold components by the edges to avoid touching electric parts, as obviously the pcb is non conductive.
 
Soldato
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I rarely, if ever, touch the radiator.

The last rig I built from scratch (about £1800's worth) was built on my bedroom carpet, with me taking no antistatic precautions. A year and a bit later and it's still going strong...

Have been working on someone elses rig this afternoon and have taken no precautions either
 
Soldato
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Install the power supply into the case first and connect it to the wall socket (turn the wall socket off). This will keep the case (and hence you whenever you touch the case) earthed.

Radiator is second best option, just try to touch something other than white paint though.
 
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