ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) is the term used to describe the transfer of static electricity from one object to another.
As we go about our daily lives, we gather certain amounts of electrostatic charge. This happens mostly in low humidity areas; moreso, in winter and in dry seasons.
Our bodies also produce static electricity which is caused by excess electrons (negatively charged particles) being formed especially when we walk on carpeting.
Although you may not be able to detect the static electricity you generate, it is always present. You can transfer it from your body to computer components just by touching them!
I am sure that sometimes after walking on carpeting and touching door knobs, you feel a slight electrical shock.... that is Static Electricity!
Should I be concerned about Static Electricity when building my computer?
Your sensitive computer components such as the Processor (CPU), hard drive, memory, main board chips and expansion cards could be severely damaged.
Static Electricity can damage your computer components
Whenever you open your computer and expose your components, you run the risk of damaging your computer system with static electricity which has been built up by your body.
Your computer components inside your case (especially your hard drive) are prone to being affected by ElectroStatic Discharge.
It is very possible for you to be damaging your sensitve electronic components inside your case from ElectroSatic Discharge without knowing it.
If you felt a discharge, it possibly was more than 2,000 volts. A discharge as low as 200 volts can destroy your computer chip.
It is possible that this damage might not be noticeable immediately. Your components might just start a degradation process that slowly kills your computer parts. You could (for example) start getting intermittent breakdowns until your computer stops functioning properly.
Protect your computer components against ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD)
To prevent damage to your sensitive electronic components in your system from ElectroStatic Discharge, you should:
Antistatic Wrist Strap:
Damage to your computer can be prevented if you use an antistatic wrist strap. This strap fits on your wrist (See Diagram A) while working on your computer components and has a wire attachment with an alligator clip which is connected to your case.
If you are removing a component for an extended period of time while you are building your computer, you should store the component in an antistatic bag.
You should try to keep some of these bags to put your expansion cards and computer parts in while working on your computer. Click here to get some antistatic bags or you can click here to purchase the Cables Unlimited 10-Inch x 12-Inch Metalized Anti-Static Bags - 10 Pack.
ConclusionStatic Electricity is the No.1 cause of damage to internal computer parts. You should always use an antistatic wrist strap or some other method of preventing ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) when working on your computer to prevent damage to the components.
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