What is Grounding/Anti-Static and how does it work?

Okay, I know there are MANY threads out there that explain what you should do, but I want to ask why? Or rather confirm why.

I've heard its to take the static from your body AWAY from the PC components.

But how does it work necessarily. Like I've heard that grounding is done by keeping your case plugged in and either anti static strapping urself to it or constantly touching it.

Then I have heard that you SHOULD NOT have it plugged in.

What exactly is right??

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More about what grounding anti static work
  1. Best answer
    in simple terms, when you move around you can accumulate an electrical charge. when you touch something conductive like a metal case or circuit board, the charge dissipates, which essentially means that electrons are flowing from you through the object that you have touched. if you touch a very tiny wire on a circuit board, you can send a large number of electrons through it in a very short time period. too many, in fact, and it will destroy the wire, and oftentimes your component. by touching the metal case you allow the electrons to dissipate throughout the large volume of metal, instead of a tiny wire on an expensive component.
  2. Oh ok. So what would be the best way to go about protecting the components and grounding myself?

    I have a Anti Static Strap BTW.

    Also, is it true that the PS has to be in the case and plugged in?
  3. Yes it does require to PSU to be installed and plugged in, not turned on. Also you don't have to have the PSU's cables plugged into the individual components.

    The 3rd prong on the PSU power plug is the ground cable, and when that plugs into the PSU it grounds the PSU. When the PSU is installed in the CPU case, the screws going through the case and PSU ground the metal of the case.
  4. Best answer selected by idjlee96.
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