Whenever you are repairing or upgrading your laptop, it is very important to ground yourself. Without grounding yourself, you may accidentally damage the internal components of your laptop with just a single touch, like memory chips, hard drives, and graphics cards.
Your laptop has probably cost a lot of money, and you wouldn’t want to damage it just because of a mishap, would you? Therefore, you should pay extra attention to your laptop when working on it. Even though it is unlikely that static electricity would harm your computer, there are some precautions that you can take to avoid accidental damaging of any component.
But do you know how to ground yourself when working on a laptop?
Don’t worry, in this article we are going to explain what precautions you need to take to protect your laptop’s internal components from electrostatic discharge. Even we will share how you can prevent electrostatic discharge.
So, without further a talk, let’s get started.
It is very essential to ground yourself before you start working on your laptop. Because, without grounding, you may damage your laptop’s sensitive components or get electric shocks due to static electricity discharge. In order to truly understand the importance of grounding, we need to discuss a little bit of science first.
Humans are positively charged while electronic components are negatively charged. When a negatively charged electric component is touched by a human, electrons are transferred between them. Due to this, static electricity builds up, which can damage the electric components.
By grounding yourself, you discharge the static electricity by touching something durable and with a more positive charge, like bare metal. Thus, there is no danger of damaging a component by mistake. Therefore, you should always ground yourself when working with electronic components.
How to prepare the work surface?
Before we teach you how to ground yourself when repairing or upgrading your laptop, you should know how to prepare the work surface first. So, follow the steps below.
1. Find a hard enough surface
The most essential thing that you should do is to find a hard surface where you can place or take apart your laptop. It will minimize the static electricity buildup and keep your laptop steady when working.
It is important that you never place your laptop on a carpet, towel, or blanket when taking any action which involves grounding. Also, you should avoid placing your laptop on a tilted surface. I would recommend you place your laptop on the countertop, wooden table, or wooden floor.
2. Clean The surface properly
After finding a hard enough surface, the first thing you need to do is clean the surface properly. In order to minimize static electricity, make sure your workspace is static electricity-free. Rolling desks, chairs, and cats can all cause static charges. Even a small mistake can have serious consequences.
Also, you need to make sure that there is no dirt on the surface. You can use a floor cleaner to clean the surface properly and let it dry.
3. Don't wear static-friendly clothes
If you don’t know, clothes can also cause static electricity. Fabrics like wool and some synthetics are particularly good at gathering static electricity. So, you should avoid wearing these static-friendly clothes when working on your laptop.
On the other hand, cotton fabrics don’t gather static electricity, so you can use them rather than other types of fabrics. However, if you don’t have any cotton clothes then you should wear your clothes after washing them by using a dryer sheet. It will decrease the static electricity of your clothes.
4. Stand barefoot on a hard floor
You may know that standing or sitting in carpets or with socks can give you a charge. And it can cause problems when you are working on your laptop. Therefore, it is recommended that you stand on wood, tile, or other hard floors instead barefooted.
However, if there is no hard surface in your workstation where you can stand, then every two to three minutes, walk barefoot on the floor or wear rubber slippers to avoid contacting the carpet with your feet. The soles of your slippers should be thick enough to prevent your foot from touching the carpet.
5. Remove The Battery
Before you start working on your laptop, you should remove the battery in order to avoid accidents. Also, make sure the laptop is turned off and there is no power supply connected to the laptop. You should take this common-sense precaution before working on your laptop.
6. Use Anti-Static Bags
In case you don’t know, anti-static bags are used to protect sensitive electronic components from static electricity damage. These bags are very useful when working with electric components.
So, in order to minimize the static electricity from your laptop components, you should keep them in anti-static bags. As long as the components are not ready for installation, you can store them in these bags. It will protect the components from static electricity discharge as well as keep your workstation clean.
How To Ground yourself when working on a laptop?
Now that you have prepared the work surface, and gathered all the necessary equipment, it is time to ground yourself. Here we will explain how you can ground yourself when working on a laptop.
1. Learn How Grounding Works
The first thing that you need to learn is how grounding works. You walk on a surface that is negatively charged and grounding leverages the negative electrical properties. Through grounding, excess electricity can be discharged.
The only way to prevent static electricity from damaging your sensitive laptop components is by discharging the static electricity into something more durable. In most cases, it is a durable metal object which meets the ground to discharge the static electricity.
2. Use the Case
It is one of the most popular techniques to ground yourself when working on a laptop. You can use the case to discharge the build-up static electricity. So, when working with something that can be harmed by electrostatic discharge like the hard drive, make sure you place your hand on the case.
However, if you want to be sure that static electricity won’t harm the internal components when you are working, make sure you lay your keep your one arm always on the metal part.
3. Wear an anti-static wristband
Wearing an anti-static wristband is another straightforward way to ground yourself. Wear the wristband in your hand and attach the dangling end of the wristband to a grounded metal object, like a screw.
There are two types of wristband ends: loop and clip. Wristbands with loops are easy to deal with than clips.
The best thing is, these wristbands are very cheap and easily available in the market. However, there are also some wireless anti-static wristbands on the market that I recommend you to buy because they don’t work properly.
4. Ground Yourself using a wire
The method involves tying a conductive wire, like copper, around your wrist and then tying the other end around a grounded, unpainted metal object. It is a very simple technique that can help you ground yourself when working on your laptop.
Grounding yourself is very important if you want to avoid electric shocks and damaging components when working on a laptop. It ensures that there is no static electricity buildup on your body. So, in order to avoid breaking any component accidentally, you should ground yourself before working on an electric device.
In this article, we have described how to ground yourself when working on a laptop. First of all, you should gather basic knowledge and learn how to handle different components. Follow the methods that we have mentioned above to avoid damaging your laptop components when working.
Hopefully, this article has answered all your questions. Thanks for being with us 🙂