Four Tips To Prevent Static Damage When Working On Electronics

If you run an industrial facility, a manufacturing plant, or numerous other types of businesses, you likely have to deal with a lot of electronics and computer components as well as large machines. When dealing with electronics, you need to have a plan to protect those elements from static. Take a look at these tips.

These tips also work to protect home electronics from static, so you may want to check them out if you plan to do any computer DIY.

1. Be Aware of Current Differences

When you're working on electronics, typically you only have to worry about issues when you, the ground, or the electronics are operating at different voltages. To explain, imagine you are a higher voltage than the electronics you are working on.

When you touch the circuit board or any other part, the extra voltage from you flows into the electronics—it takes the path of least resistance, and ultimately, that delivers a high power charge that could damage your electronics.

To prevent that, everything needs to be on the same level. You can buy special string, wristbands, clips, and similar products designed to help. Essentially, you put on the bracelet, and you attach a wire to that. Then, you connect it to something connected to ground using a metal clip.  

In an electrical sense, ground is a connection to the earth or to the reference point of voltage in your situation. For instance, you could anchor these devices to a table which touches the floor which ultimately leads to the outlet. Alternatively, there are some anti-static bracelets that can be connected directly to outlets.

At the same time, you need to stabilize the voltage between you and the electronics or computer being worked on. Similar tools can help connect you and the ground to exposed metal on the computer.

2. Embrace Simple Solutions

The above tips ensure your electronics are protected, but there are also simpler options. For instance, don't wear wool socks and rub your feet against carpet before approaching the electronics. If you have the choice, always work on electronics in a room with a floor that has a hard surface.

To be on the safe side, touch another piece of metal before you start working on the electronics. That way, any built-up static electricity will be released on that metal, and you don't have to worry as much as about anything happening when you touch the electronics.

3. Consider a Sheet of Anti-Static Vinyl

You may also want to work on a sheet of anti-static vinyl. For instance, if you remove circuit boards from a piece of machinery, you may want to lay that equipment on an anti-static vinyl sheet, and then work on that. That subdues any potential static.

You may also be able to buy larger sheets of anti-static vinyl that you can use to cover whole worktables. That can make repairs or replacing parts easier and more convenient.

4. Wear Anti-Static Vinyl Gloves

Whether you're working on electronics that are still in the machine or outside of it, you may want to control static with gloves. Don't just wear latex gloves. They won't do anything to curb static, and the powders on these gloves can get on your electronics. Instead, buy anti-static vinyl gloves from a company that specializes in them.

These gloves will also prevent the oils from your fingers from getting on the electronics.

Remember, static electricity is high voltage, but it generally is a very small current. It can be especially dangerous to vulnerable parts of your electronics such as RAM sticks in computers. To be on the safe side, work with a professional or invest in anti-static products as needed.

For more information, contact local professionals like KNF FLEXPAK Corporation.