Dealing with static electricity

This was discussed briefly a couple of years ago.
I usually touch my desk’s leg to discharge, but my small vga display doesn’t like that. Keyboard sometimes hangs if I forget. I know these events can weaken components that can fail later.

Any suggestions other than:

  • humidifier
  • sprays work okay when my dress is clinging to my slip, but choke you to death if you fog a room.1


1. Just kidding about the slip. No one wears slips anymore.


I touch the radiator in my office to discharge on static days. I usually grab my metal bottle opener on my keychain and touch that to it to avoid the pain (dry in CO - so shocks hurt).


Can’t you touch the Mac itself? It should discharge straight to ground shouldn’t it?

I remember in the early 90s the place I worked required the use of this little mat that was under the keyboard. We had to touch that mat before touching either of our office computers.

You could, but that’s bad.
It’s like a small lightning strike.
Static electricity is weird too. It can sit in “pools” on your desk, and other strange things.
That’s why when I touch my desk leg, my external monitor freaks out.
Definitely not good. And I wouldn’t want to zap my iMac Pro.

Good to know. Back when I used to live in a place that was a problem, I would always touch the screw on the light switch, but if I forgot I would touch the Mac’s case. :open_mouth:

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How about an ESD mat? For the floor, or desk, or both?

Lots of sizes, color options, many can be trimmed to fit to configuration.

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Is there an electric outlet within easy reach? If wired correctly the cover screw of a 110 outlet is a ground. You could add a wrist strap or just tap it with a finger.


This is my pet peeve. You’ve been warned.

This started when I was forced to watch silly, scary videos at work, created by companies that sell anti-static products. Thing is, not once in my 20-odd career in I.T. did I ever have to replace a part due to static discharge. I even worked with a dude who claimed he had problems with static all the time, constantly shocking himself everywhere. Never saw a single part failure.

If you are experiencing a problem with your monitor, you should inspect your cabling and power outlets.

My takeaway is this: If you work in an electronics manufacturing environment, or a clean room, yeah, sure. Ground everything to the nth degree. Otherwise, you are being OCD about an infintesimally small risk.

I discharge myself here and there for one purpose only - to minimize any painful shock I might personally experience at my fingertips. Any other reason is overkill.

IMHO and YMMV, of course.

Or if you don’t want to explain to a couple hundred people, and your boss, how you zapped all the phones at the call center. :grinning:

Well, I seem to have killed one of my drives.
It was in a metal external drive case sitting on the far end of the tray under my desk - the same tray I’ve been discharging my static to when I sit down. :worried:
Parts ordered yesterday for countermeasures, but a bit too late.