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Good points of static grounding?

Can anyone suggest a good place to static ground myself when working with electronics? Next to my bench is a radiator with some bear metal, would that work?  If not can anyone suggest  any other places?

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NachoMahma7 years ago
.  The radiator should be a good ground, but, as others have pointed out, you  just can't be sure unless you test it. As a rough rule-of-humb, cold water pipes  make better grounds.
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.  You can also use the screw that holds on a receptacle cover or the ground of  the receptacle. The neutral should be grounded, but it's not considered good  practice to use it for a ground.
.  But even these need to be tested if grounding is important.
.
.  You will be "static safe" if you make sure your body is at the same potential as  the components you are working on. Touching the equipment chassis every  minute or two will usually do the job.
seandogue7 years ago
As Steve Strouk suggests, there's a distinct problem when using water lines as ground connections, because these days, so much plastic is used that water lines are no longer considered a safe ground connection without verifying that they are actually connected to the earth ground first. Unlike Mr Kiteman's claim, water itself is not a good earth ground.

If you cannot verify that the radiator is electrically connected to earth ground, either use the ground from the mains or you'll need to drive a grounding spike into the earth.
Minifig666 (author)  seandogue7 years ago
There is no plastic though because it is a 1930's house with a 2009 extension and I can run a current between radiators in each half (the radiator in the question in in the 09 part of the house)  
Minifig666 (author)  Minifig6667 years ago
 Also the cold water feed from the water mains is electricity connected to both the central heating flow and return at the boiler 
That is a bit better
It's naive to think that simply by checking for continuity between to parts of an internal system that you have connection to the exterior system.

Running a current from one radiator to another is not a valid verification of ground. That simply means the steam plant is self connected. And that is something of a no-brainer. Checking to see if the radiators are connected to earth ground is an entirely different question.
Domestic plumbing is usually copper and cross-connected for earthing purposes. Homes that don't have metal pipe connections to the ground have an earth-spike/rod instead. It's building reg's...

L
Domestic piping is not considered a valid ground connection unless such a connection has been verified. Assuming that it is is neither wise nor sound thinking.
Where your pipes are wired together, some approved electrician has (very most likely or why would anyone bother) ensured they are grounded - building reg's.

L
IF ...

That's all I'm saying. IF they are connected to ground. The author should simply perform the proper step and check that there is in fact a ground,. rather than assuming that the ground exists via plumbing because someone here says "aw, just use the plumbing, its earht ground", when in fact it is not always so for a variety of reasons whether by design (many homes are built these days using PVC or similar plastic/polymer tubing distribution, even if terminated at the fixtures in copper), by accident (a repair is made and a ground strap is left unconnected or a large PVC/etc replacement is used), or for whatever reason. If the author becomes comfortable with "using the plumbing", the author may end up connecting something with a bit more killing power than a static discharge mat. I doubt that author wants to jepardize his/her son, daughter, wife or husband just to be macho about it and assume. Common sense applies.

Earth ground is for saftey, not convenience. Simply ensure that it's the case before using it.
Well aye.
They should probably check that phase & neutral have been wired the right way around, but we were only talking about static.

L
Kiteman7 years ago
The best earth connects are cold-water pipes - even if there is plastic in the system somewhere, the water itself is a good enough conductor.

In the UK, you can also use the middle connector of a power socket, which is the earth, and never live.
WATER IS A POOR CONDUCTOR of electricity. In the south of England in hardwater areas, its MORE conductive than in the north, but it is never "conductive". The IET and BSI did extensive tests when revising the IET regs for electrical wiring, where bathroom earthing was changed.

Up here, in Lancashire, in the heart of the old cotton towns, water is so soft it etches metals, and has an almost electronic level of purity.

Steve
Minifig666 (author)  steveastrouk7 years ago
 You have to remember though that this is not tap water it is water that runs in a closed circuit and has fernox in it (Or something like fernox, it makes the water black and stays warmer longer.) 
The spring water in (the place I visit) Wales is that acidic the shower's gone blue / green already. We were discussing whether it'd be a good idea to buy another copper cylinder now before this one rots through like the last.

L
I didn't say "good", I said "good enough".
Its not good enough either.
Sorry.

Steve
If you say so.

I just know it works for me.
If in doubt, and following NachoMahma, why not cover a table with aluminium foil, or get a couple of cheap metal baking trays, bond yourself to them.

Frankly, if you can make sure the room humidity is > 75%, I doubt you'll have much problem.
lemonie7 years ago
I've never found a need, as illustrated here:<br /> <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Unbelievable-camera-service/">www.instructables.com/id/Unbelievable-camera-service/</a><br /> <br /> L<br />
A radiator is a good ground, provided it hasn't been plumbed with plastic somewhere.

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