There are a few steps to ground yourself properly; the most important is wearing an anti-static bracelet to eliminate the body’s natural electrostatic charge and working in a safe space on a solid table or surface.
My name is Ty Robinson. I have worked in the technology field for some years now. One of my favorite hobbies is building computers. One of the most crucial steps when dealing with delicate internals is grounding yourself.
The internals of your computer are beautiful but fragile pieces of hardware, and with the slightest bit of mishandling, you can break them beyond repair. Handling with the utmost care is essential to ensuring the safety of your hardware.
There are multiple ways you can go about grounding yourself, many of which you can use in tandem.
1. Anti Static Bracelet
You can use an antistatic bracelet to dampen out electrostatic output. You need to clip the bracelet to something with no current and wear the bracelet on your wrist to ground yourself.
2. Safe Environment/Surface
Another thing that seems pretty inconsequential but is essential when grounding yourself and keeping your device safe is the surface you’re working on. Choosing a flat, sturdy, and clean surface can help reduce static.
Stay away from working on top of towels, blankets, or carpets, as they can conduct and produce static, which can harm your computer during the building process.
3. Disconnect All Power
Make sure you disconnect everything entirely before you begin working on your computer. No matter what it is, from display cables to power cables, it all must go.
4. Anti-static Mat
An anti-static mat is made of rubber, with a wire and clip to discharge any leftover static. Placing your computer parts when assembling on top of this mat will give you an extra layer of anti-static protection.
Static generated through your moving, clothing, and skin building it up can be transferred to your powered-down PC components, transferring that static from you to them, shorting them out.
While the risk is not extremely high, it is still a possibility that you must protect against it. Grounding yourself in any way takes this unnecessary risk and turns it into a non-issue. You won’t need to worry about shorting your expensive parts anymore!