proper grounding

working up to the big construction day. I must find some goats to sacrifice and a grass skirt to dance around my new PC for the innogural boot up.. but I still must work out some of the preliminaries.

The last walkthrough I read instructed to plug in the power supply to a surge protector, all switches off. But, I just discovered that my monitor can draw power from the surge protector whether it is on or off. Is it just important that the master swich on my P/S is off and the surge protector switch is irrelevant? Or am I completely off base and awaiting some sort of diabolical comeuppance involving the bradning of bare buttocks with an 80mm heat sink grill?

the layman
5 answers Last reply
More about proper grounding
  1. With the switch turned off there will be zero power available to any devices plugged into a surge protector.

    With the power supply switch turned off the power supply won't power up, and the switched outlet on back won't get power.

    I normally leave the switches on at all times and just use the buttons on my tower andmonitor to power up and down. I understand that it is just as acceptable/safe to use the switches instead though if you want to.
  2. I thought you weren't supposed to have anything plugged in? Is it better to have the PSU plugged in but with the power strip off?

    Also, DeixovreLumni, could you post the link to the walkthrough you read? Just FYI, I found some guides at


    A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
    -Anonymous Veteran
  3. Leaving the PSU plugged in maintains the chassis ground condition. While this is true all one must do to neutralize static charge, is touch the charged object to the case. I don't think the switch on the surge protector affects the ground in most (if not all) cases.

    For built PC's I aleays leave them plugged in when I'm working on them. The logic I use is this: if there is never a static buildup there can never be a problem caused by static. People will complain that while I'm not in direct contact with the case I can and probably do start building up static charge again. To this I say discharge early and often, and the chances that the static will reach damage causing levels is greatly reduced. There are many variations on this whole theme, but I use mine because I can easily follow the logic, and don't own one of those little grounding braclets.

    Warning: there are exceptions, like namely power supplies and monitors, and I'm sure there is more too. In general if you don't know what I'm saying, then stay the hell out of them, they can fry your ass, even while unplugged.

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by knewton on 02/04/02 09:57 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  4. Ok I understand that. Basically you could just as easily touch a properly grounded (ie, in the earth) copper wire rather than the case. The point is to frequently discharge any static buildup by some method, and you just use the case.

    This sounds like a good method for me, since I live on the 21st floor of an apartment building, and can't be sure if anything in my apt actually DOES make it to the "ground." I assume the plumbing does, but I can't be sure its not plastic at some point.

    A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
    -Anonymous Veteran
  5. You can get those outlet testers from hardware stores for not much money. That should tell you if you can trust your ground. Since PC's are such a large investment, it wouldn't hurt to make sure if you are worried. One would hope that 21 story apartment buildings that have people living in them have had the electrical systems scrutinized by some inspector though.

    I believe in the US all water feed systems are considered valid earth grounding points, but I would definitely not count on it since I'm not an electrician.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by knewton on 02/05/02 02:58 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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