Grounding yourself? first time builder here

Hello,
I'm going to build a new rig for the first time and I'm a bit confused about how to ground myself propperly (I don't want to fry my CPU with an electro-static discharge):

I've been reading about some ways to ground yourself and if I undestood it well, the safest method is attaching an anti-static wrist strap to the psu or anything that is already grounded.

But I don't own an anti-static wrist strap so, if I mount the psu into the case, I switch it off and then I plug it and I put the case on the floor and I keep one bare foot in contact with the metal of the case... would it be the same as using the wrist strap?
Assuming that I'm always in contact with the case, which I suppose to be grounded.


Thanks.
23 answers Last reply
More about grounding yourself time builder here
  1. You can buy a strap for like $5... or just slap the case every once in a while.

    Don't stick your finger in a socket. That's basically it.
  2. DONT plug the power supply in to anything . Its insane to do this since you are not trying to "ground" anything . You are trying to eliminate electrical potential between you and the components and the case.

    Wear cotton clothing . Work on a wooden table [ and floor if possible] .

    Touch the case with your hand before picking anything up and putting it in the case

    That should cover it
  3. I just found this:
    Quote:
    If you don't have a wristband, you are not necessarily out of luck. Assuming that your PC is grounded, you can ground yourself by just keeping one hand in contact with the bare metal frame (not a painted or coated surface) of the computer case. Keep the PC power cord plugged in to a (3-prong) grounded outlet and turn off the rocker switch on the back of the power supply. If the power supply does not have a switch on the back, this won't work, however. Never work on a PC with the power on. In that case, you should buy an anti-static band or try another method of grounding.

    Isn't it the best way to do it?

    I'm working on a wooden table and tiled floor BTW.

    EDIT: @Outlander_04 if I do what you suggest, would be safer to keep contact with the case all the time? Thanks!
  4. No need to stay in constant contact with the case. I have always built with the power supply plugged in and off. If it does not have a switch(havent seen one yet)plug it into a power strip and turn it off.
    Just touch the case with your hand, forearm, foot,Cant see getting that up on the table too :) ,before picking any part up.
    It almost becomes second nature to keep my forearm in contact with the case while putting parts in.
    I've been using this method since 95 with no problems yet.
    Typos cat helping me type.
  5. Basically, you need to make sure you're free of static electricity. That's why you touch something metal (NOT the motherboard). But if you touch something metal and start working on the motherboard, between the time your hands touch the motherboard to start working and leave the motherboard, I don't think there is any way you could have picked up static electricity. So you ground yourself before you put the CPU in, then put the CPU in, then ground yourself again before moving on. You don't need to be in contact the entire time. I think unencumbered hand movement is more important than static paranoia, because hardware is becoming more and more resistant to static, and if you bend something... you're out of luck.

    Have you ever seen a review of a motherboard? They never ground themselves and parade around. You don't need to be paranoid... especially because you're working on wood/tile. Just ground yourself every once in a while. Also, don't let cats get near it... static bombs! D:
  6. Unolocogringo said:
    No need to stay in constant contact with the case. I have always built with the power supply plugged in and off. If it does not have a switch(havent seen one yet)plug it into a power strip and turn it off.
    Just touch the case with your hand, forearm, foot,Cant see getting that up on the table too :) ,before picking any part up.
    It almost becomes second nature to keep my forearm in contact with the case while putting parts in.
    I've been using this method since 95 with no problems yet.
    Typos cat helping me type.

    If using the foot to keep contact with the case, I would put the case below the table, not on it :lol:
    Just to be sure I'm grounded when I mount the CPU/RAM in the mobo before putting the mobo in the case. The reason why I'm planning to use this method is because keeping contact between my forearm and the case while mounting everything outside the cage seems very uncomfortable.

    Thanks!

    EDIT:
    ddan49 said:
    Basically, you need to make sure you're free of static electricity. That's why you touch something metal (NOT the motherboard). But if you touch something metal and start working on the motherboard, between the time your hands touch the motherboard to start working and leave the motherboard, I don't think there is any way you could have picked up static electricity. So you ground yourself before you put the CPU in, then put the CPU in, then ground yourself again before moving on. You don't need to be in contact the entire time. I think unencumbered hand movement is more important than static paranoia, because hardware is becoming more and more resistant to static, and if you bend something... you're out of luck.

    Have you ever seen a review of a motherboard? They never ground themselves and parade around. You don't need to be paranoid... especially because you're working on wood/tile. Just ground yourself every once in a while. Also, don't let cats get near it... static bombs! D:

    Yes, I'm being a bit paranoid mainly because it's my first time doing this and I don't want to damage anything, but according to this thread it seems like there is not that much risk.
  7. Yeah... I mean, static electricity is a little hard to build up on a tile floor, cotton clothes, and wooden table. You have to do something to build it up. It's not necessary to keep constant contact, but I would slap the case every once in a while.

    Just don't wear your favorite wool sweater :)
  8. Ok, thank you.
    I can't wait till the parts arrive here to build it.
  9. Oh, I almost forgot! When you take out your motherboard, it'll be in an anti-static bag/sleeve. This is important: WHEN YOU TAKE THE MOTHERBOARD OUT OF THE ANTI-STATIC BAG, DON'T SET IT ON THE BAG! The bag is only anti-static on the inside, and the outside conducts electricity. Instead, set it on the cardboard box it came in. Then, plug in the RAM, GPU, and CPU (with cooler, of course), and connect just the motherboard to a display (oh yeah... connect the PSU). See if it posts. If it does, go ahead and mount it in the case.

    By the way, the newegg videos on building a computer are helpful.
  10. You can be anti static for free by using your birthday suit!
  11. ...what? :heink:
  12. If you have the psu plugged in you are creating a pathway for current to flow and increasing the chances that a static spike will occur
  13. Plugging the psu (switched off) is for being grounded, I thought it was the correct way to avoid electrostatic discharges because if you are grounded, you would be close to 0V, so you can't fry the chips when you touch them.
    Thats what I thought, but I might be wrong, thats why I'm asking for advice here ;)

    I've been watching those neweggtv videos and they don't wear a wrist strap, neither they plug the psu till they're going to test if the system boots, they only touch the case before touching the components, like Outlander_04 said above, so it seems to be a valid method.
  14. Yeah, just slapping the case every now and then should be enough. Components are getting more resistant to static.
  15. ddan49 said:
    ...what? :heink:


    I've got a slight suspicion he meant if you were naked but just to clear things up:

    Going commando doesn't effect the build-up of static electricity.
    It makes you feel stupid.
  16. Yeah... wearing cotton is all you need.

    What the heck, Addison? You go commando on your birthday? :heink:
  17. MillionAirL said:
    I've got a slight suspicion he meant if you were naked but just to clear things up:

    Going commando doesn't effect the build-up of static electricity.
    It makes you feel stupid.

    I said "barefoot", not naked :lol:
  18. Oh, well... don't wear wool socks.
  19. Its suprising how many simple solutions there are for a potentially serious problem :P
  20. It's a simple problem...
  21. ddan49 said:
    It's a smple problem...


    Not if you fry your board...
  22. What I meant was that the problem itself is simple--static electricity builds up, and thus it warrants a simple solution.

    I didn't say it wasn't a serious problem, it's just something like making sure you're not holding a knife in your hand while installing components.
  23. When I build my PCs I simply just try to keep one hand on the case and the other doing work like inserting the other components. I have never had a problem since then.
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