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Have you ever reached out to open a door or even gone to shake another person’s hand and been unexpectedly zapped by static electricity? In these instances it can be annoying, slightly embarrassing and a little bit sore, but generally harmless. However, for those thinking about building their own PC, it can be quite dangerous.
While it won’t really do any damage to you, it could ruin the interior components to your PC, which it is so important to remove any threat of it before you even think about touching your PC. You may have heard people say that you have to ‘ground’ yourself before you go to build a PC or touch any of its inner workings. Well, this is true and it can really pay dividends, as the last thing you want to do is to be doing the final tweaks to your PC build only to ruin everything with a static charge!
But exactly why can static be so damaging to computers? Well, it’s because you may not even realise that you have transmitted a static charge. You and I only notice it when you experience that familiar jolt of electricity, but this only occurs when it reaches over 3500-4000 volts. Anything below this is not felt, but it can still transfer to your PC and do damage.
For weeks or even months your PC may work perfectly, so you will be happy that your new PC built has gone swimmingly. Then, one day, a programme may freeze or a component may cause strange things to happen with your computer. You could put this down to a faulty part, but in actual fact it is much more likely that it has been caused by a static charge.
So, how can you prevent this from happening? Here are just a few solutions to this issue:
1.) Invest in antistatic products
When working on your PC build you may want to use an antistatic pad that you can lay your PC case or any components on. This will keep everything grounded so there is no risk of static building up, whether it goes above or remains below the threshold. You can find these products online now.
2.) Wear an antistatic wrist strap
Even the best in the business will tell you that antistatic wrist straps can be a real godsend to anyone looking to build their own PC. They can take the worry of static related issues off the table altogether and can make things much easier for you.
3.) Work in a prepared area
You should never work on your PC in an area that is conducive to static, as this will only cause problems. Instead, work on a bare surface with no items that can build up static. A wooden table is ideal for this, and you should ensure that plastic items and metallic products have all been removed from the area. It can also be best to stand up when working on your computer, as chair (especially rolling chairs) can be great conductors for static electricity.
Do you know of any other ways to limit the risk of a static charge when working on your PC?