ElectroStatic Discharge

The parts for my new pc are coming tomorrow and I'm going to build it myself. I have never done this before but I'm confident that I know how to. My only problem is electrostatic discharge. I'm afraid that I'm going to fry my new pc by static electricity. I know that one way to avoid this would be to get one of those armbands, but no shops near me sell them and I'm not ordering online because that will take to long. Is there another way that I can avoid ruining my pc without one?
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  1. I dont even own one of the wrist bands, i have worked on my machines countless times, you just have to make sure you choose where you work on your machine carefully. Dont work on carpet, dont walk around while building without regrounding yourself. Touch a piece of grounded metal such as a cold water pipe before you start building. Make sure to touch the metal case once in a while, it will reduce the static significantly. Moderate humidity also decreases static significantly compared to dry air, you have probably noticed that static is usually worse in the winter than the summer, that is why.
  2. and don't rub balloons on your head while building.

    Though seriously, in my house, just about all the plumbing is PEX tubing and I'm not even sure if PEX conducts electricity well. I've always just touched the PSU casing while it's plugged in the wall to use the electrical circuit's ground.
  3. The wristbands are a waste of money. Just touch something grounded (like the casing of a plugged in power supply).
  4. wathman said:
    and don't rub balloons on your head while building.

    Though seriously, in my house, just about all the plumbing is PEX tubing and I'm not even sure if PEX conducts electricity well. I've always just touched the PSU casing while it's plugged in the wall to use the electrical circuit's ground.


    I'm confused about having the PSU plugged into the wall. I read the Wikibooks article "How To Assemble A Desktop PC/Assembly" and it stated to "never plug your computer in while you are connected to it by a wrist strap." Does this mean that the PSU is plugged in THEN the wrist strap is connected or that the PSU is not plugged in at all? Is this any different if not using a wrist strap and instead using your hand to touch the PSU case? Then the article states to "turn off your computer and switch off your Power Supply at the wall before installing or removing any components." This is what confuses me. Is the PSU plugged in or not while building the PC? Also, if there is no wall switch for the outlet used what do you do?

    What about a grounding mat or anti-static mat? Is this for only under the case or also for under your feet as well? The article strongly suggests using anti-static equipment.
  5. what the wikibooks is getting at I think is that if you are using one of those wrist straps, you don't want to be connected constantly to a very convenient path to ground. What I and others are suggesting is that you just briefly touch the "ground" to remove any residual charge, and then break contact with it.
  6. Don't plug it in while workng on it! lol...

    1) no carpet if possible.
    2) remove static discharge on a piece of metal before touching components.
    3) dont scuff your feet around the house lol

    Ive done at least 10 home builds ON RUG. if you release the static to something your fine. I have never fried anything yet. Just pay attention while your working...
  7. Any difference between touching the PC case and touching the PSU case to remove static?
  8. install the PSU as your first step, then there is absolutely no difference. The PSU, having capacitors, has the ability to absorb a lot more static than the steel case can but if you install the PSU first then the two are electrically connected.
  9. Do not worry, just build it on the kitchen table. Always touch the case or psu before working.

    I do not think it has to be plugged in to work, After all when you get a shock from a door handle, is it grounded or plugged in?

    Ohhh and yeah PEX does not conduct, but static may well build on it(friction of any kind) since its a plastic.
  10. The OP has apparently left the room.... I think I heard him mutter on his way out 'What a bunch of *********'.
  11. I am another one who has never used an antistatic wristband. I have a 4 foot by 4 foot piece of antistatic foam sheet, that I forget what came wrapped in that I build on. Never had a static problem.
    ----------
    Building computers since 1977.
    Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
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