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Take Charge! Don’t Let Static Ruin Your Day!

25 January 2009 5 Comments

Hello everyone!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend and you are well rested and ready for a great week ahead!  I just wanted to toss out a little reminder for everyone in hopes that you can save yourself some headache, troubles and money!

Static + Computers = DISASTER!

Photo courtesy of staticsmart.com

Since this has happened not once, but TWICE to me, I thought I would share the info to you, just in case you had never thought about it!

This time of year when everything is dry, static build up is more prevalent than ever.  Especially when you are running the heat in your home.  Unless you are running a humidifier, more than likely you experience static in your home.

One day not too long ago, I walked from the kitchen to my office with iPod and cable in hand.  I was headed to the computer to update some songs on my iPod.  I sat down in my chair, reached down to plug the iPod cable into the USB port and BAM!  Static had built up in my body from walking through the house on the carpet and when I touched the iPod cable to the USB port on my desktop, the static charge popped pretty loud and my computer instantly shut down.

HOLY CRAP was my next thought because I just knew I had fried my computer!  Luckily, only the USB port received some minor damage and luckily I have 3 more ports plus a USB extension I can use.  Why did this happen to me two times?  All I can say is stupidity because not long before that I had just experienced the same thing.  Only that time it didn't shut my computer off, although it did arc when I touched it.

After this last episode, I ALWAYS remember to discharge the static from my body BEFORE I ever plug anything into a USB port on my computer.  Oh, and this goes for thumb drives, card readers, ANYTHING that you can plug into a USB port can pick up static from YOU and you can pretty much fry your computer if it hits just right!

FACTS:

  • The average person can carry up to 25,000 volts of static charge at any given time. This sounds like a lot, but because the current level is low, you usually won't notice it. Just because you touched the dog's nose and he didn't yelp, it doesn't mean you are safe from ESD (electrostatic discharge).
  • If the equipment is cold, wait until it has reached room temperature. ESD builds up much faster when it's cold and dry (low humidity).

How Can You Dissipate Static From Your Body?

Probably the simplest thing you can do, is before you plug whatever device you are going to plug into the USB port, reach around to the back of the computer and just rub or touch the bare metal of the case.  NOT the painted parts, make sure you touch bare metal!  This will usually dissipate the static from your body and equalize the charge so you can safely plug in your cables or devices.

Other Ways To Prevent Static

  • If your home is very dry, consider buying a Humidifier.
  • Wear rubber soled shoes.
  • If you are going to do any work on the inside of your computer such as upgrades etc etc..  an Anti Static Wrist Strap is a must and very affordable!  Just a few bucks could save you a lot of headache and money!

So, are you grounded?  Have you ever had this happen to you?

Do you have any other tips on static discharge?

Remember to take charge and never let static ruin your day!


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5 Comments »

  • Laura-Whateverebay said:

    lol… been there too. Those are great tips.
    WOW 25k Volts, I knew I was a source of power.. :)

    I have been told also about the static one can create at the gas station. While I have never been witness to it or want to prove it. I do have a few bracelets here and have also been advise to use hand lotion :)

    [Reply]

  • chuckiesd said:

    I’m also facing this before. I hand is reflect when i touch the computer. It not full discharge. After i careful and using wrist tag for open my computer and beware while touch the computer body.

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Laura – hahaha, yeah you had all that power and didn’t know it huh? Yes, i’ve seen the scarey videos of the gas pump episodes.. my truck is VERY bad when i get out of it.. i always touch my key to the door when i get out. EVERY TIME! Yes lotion would work and also you can use dryer sheets to rub on your hands, never tried it but read where someone had!

    @ Chckiesd – Thanks for dropping by! Yes you really have to be careful, i don’t think some folks realize how sensitive that equipment is and the power behind static. Thanks for the comment!

    [Reply]

  • Sally Croft said:

    Phew :O never realized this harmless energy can be a real nuisance too, ‘The average person can carry up to 25,000 volts of static charge at any given time’ is something a news for me, man we are real powerhouses in ourselves :D

    [Reply]

  • Jake (author) said:

    @ Sally – HEY! Thanks for coming by my blog! Ain’t it true.. we got powers we didn’t even know about aha!

    Nice blog btw!

    [Reply]

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