Posts Tagged ‘electrostatic discharge’

November 5th, 2010 by admin | No Comments | Filed in Prince George's (PG) County Maryland (MD) Antistatic Wrist Strap

Prince George’s (PG) County Maryland (MD) Antistatic Wrist Strap – Using An Antistatic Wrist Strap, Prince George’s (PG) County Maryland (MD)

I’m sure that all of us are extremely familiar with walking across a rug or carpet touching a doorknob or other grounded metal object and getting an uncomfortable static shock.  This is known as Electrostatic Discharge or ESD.  If you’ve ever opened up your computer to put in a new sound or graphics card, add RAM, or upgrade or CPU or hard drive, and you weren’t careful, you could have done major damage without even realizing it.  Static electricity can be a killer to the inner workings of a computer.

One of the easiest ways to disperse static electricity when we are working on the inside of a computer is to wear an antistatic wrist strap.  There are a number of different antistatic wrist straps on the market and they can range from under $10 for a one-time use disposable model to $50 for a multi-use unit designed for people who work on computers and other electronics regularly.  There are also cordless straps that you can find for around $40.  They tend not to work as well but they are better than taking no precautions at all.  If you are using an antistatic wrist strap you need to be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to connect and use it properly, otherwise it’s completely useless.

Before you can feel it, static electric shock must be between 3,500 and 4,000 volts.  The static electricity that you get from walking across a carpet and touching a grounded metal object has a range between 10,000 and 12,000 volts.  And while this sounds impressive, static electricity has extremely low amperage and if you know anything about electricity it’s the amps that are dangerous, not the volts.  With this said, it’s important to know and realize that it only takes a tiny shock of 400 volts to damage the integrated circuits and inner components of your PC.  That means that without even noticing or realizing that you are doing it, you could be causing your system major damage, and it may not be something that happens right away, it could take, days, weeks, or even months before a component starts to show symptoms of failure.

So, if you are planning on opening up your computer, its worth your time and money to invest in something as simple as an antistatic wrist strap.  There are other safety measures you can take as well like using other antistatic components and making sure your work area is safe and clear of plastic and other objects that can hold static electricity.  Another way you can reduce static electricity is by controlling the humidity.  The lower the humidity level the more likely that damaging static electricity will build up quickly.  This is means that if you can’t control the humidity yourself with your ventilation system, you should try to avoid working on the inside of your computer during low humidity times such as cold winter days or hot summer days with the a/c running on high.  A humidity level between 35 and 50 percent is ideal for doing your computer upgrades.

Here at Geek ABC we work hard to provide you with the best information we can and to help you have a positive experience with your computer.  Geek ABC is a local computer and network service and repair company.  We can be reached via our website, www.geekabc.com, or give us a call at 1.877.GEEKABC (1.877.433.5222) for more information or to schedule an appointment.  We provide same day, mobile, in-home network support and repair services for residential and business customers in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.


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