Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
ESD is a much greater problem than most people realize,
especially in our dry Saskatchewan climate. Since our
bodies can create or release static electricity we simply
only have to touch something to release static electricity.
Only a small amount of static electricity is needed to
affect computer components (as low as 90 volts) to disrupt
the circuitry (the damage is not always immediately
apparent). We can only feel a charge of 2800 volts or
Static electricity is the buildup of an electrical charge
within an object, such as a person, and its discharge is a form of electricity.
Whenever two objects are rubbed together they create friction and heat. Electrons
move back and forth between the objects that are being rubbed. Most people are
aware of the static they get when they rub their feet along the carpet and with this
buildup of a charge in our bodies when we touch either another individual (any
conductive material) a discharge occurs (zap)
To prevent ESD Damage
1. Leave all components in electrostatic bags until required.
2. Ensure that any electrostatic buildup in your body is discharged immediately to
the ground by providing a direct ground path from your body.
3. Use an ESD wristband and have the wire with the metal clip attached to a
grounded object such as the computer case itself. If present use ESD floor or table
4. Increase the humidity, since the presence of moisture allows electrons to better
discharge safely into the air
5. You can purchase antistatic carpet treatment.
Most parts in a PC system use 3-5 volts of electricity.
You can create between 700 volts to 6,000 volts you can have working on a
computer and 1500 volts to 35 000 volts walking across carpet.