How do i properly ground myself?

By flowerpower ยท 16 replies
May 9, 2007
  1. I need to know how to do this properly as i'm about to put my system together and don't want to damage any components. Can anyone offer any suggestions?
  2. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    It is always good to have a grounding bracelet, which you hook up to the computers case. You can get one of these from any local comp store. You also want to avoid carpet area's. Also, touch a grounded unpainted metal item before touching any components.
  3. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    You have to remember that when you work on the comp you shut it off, unplug it and then p[ush the power button.

    Why - well, try that sometimes and you'll see - my fans spin for a second - haha! That fan could be YOU!

    As to grounding bracelets, great thing BUT remember, your case is insulated from your mobo by design, and when you pull the plug, you lose the elctrical house ground you had.

    so a really GOOD thing would be to rig a connection from the utility box wall outlet (buy a three prong plug and ONLY hook up the ground prong) to a wire that connects to a 2' x 2' piece of aluminum screen by nut and washers and then set your case on it and attach your wrist strap and computer to that.

    Being that well grounded may draw lightning, BUT you comp is safe.

  4. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

  5. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Exactly. They should have one at radio shack, or of course you could order it online.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    Okay then......

    Three wire outlets are already grounded. The computer case is grounded to the ground. The white wire (common) is another ground. Use a little neon AC circuit checker and verify that it lights when its connected from the ground to either of the other outlet wires. Then, just turn off the surge suppressor. Make sure the green motherboard LED goes out. This leaves the case grounded and cuts the power to the comp. You can also get the anti-static wrist straps at Best Buy (theirhouse brand "Dynex"). I mention this because they only charge $7.95 for them, while most places charge at least $10.00. This may not help if you're not in the USA.
  7. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    The white wire is part of the electical circuit, the return path, otherwise you wouldn't have a circuit. As such, it can be considered dangerous.

    The green/bare house ground wire is connected to the earth. It is only part of an electrical circuit when some device/appliance has a short.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    In reality if you aren't getting shocked by touching things in your house you'll be fine working on the computer. The only thing I ever consistently do before reaching in is touching the edge of the case. 99.9% of the time I've got ahold of the case because I had to grab it to move it or get it in the right position to work on.

    If you are really paranoid, switch off the power supply but leave the computer plugged in, and use one of those wrist straps.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536


    Yes, but only with the hot (black) active.

    If you kill the breaker you can stick your finger in a light socket without incident. The breaker only interrupts the hot (black). This @ 115 VAC
    At 230 VAC (in the US at least) you have 2 black wires and must break both of them.

    THE ONLY CAVEAT HERE IS: Make sure some ***** hasn't wired the outlet backwards before doing this!!! (Hence my suggestion of an neon AC tester)
  10. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Amen, to that.

    I've had my share of jolts (230 V), due to incorrect wiring.
  11. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    Thanks for all the input. It seems that electrical wiring in my house is done properly since i never get shocked when i touch things. I still ordered that anti-static strap just in case, it was only $2 so no big deal.
  12. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Faulty wiring doesn't necessarily imply that you'll get a shock when you touch your appliances.
  13. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

    What does it imply? Perhaps i should get the Ac tester as suggested by an earlier poster.
  14. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Always keep one around.

    I always keep a multimeter in my house.
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    1. Dig a big hole. Plant feet in hole. Fill hole and cover feet with dirt. Water.


    get yourself a grounding strap from any electronics store / radio shack and attach it to a cold water pipe. Don't work on carpet.

    OR touch the case of your computer and have part of your body touch the case while working on it while it is unplugged.
  16. flowerpower

    flowerpower TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 102

  17. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    That is assuming the water pipes are copper! ;) Some house's use PVC and CPVC for water pipes.
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