If you want to know how to ground your laptop, you must be tired of feeling tingly or even getting small shocks when using it.
There always seems to be a new problem with electricity and electronic devices, but this is your lucky day because grounding your laptop isn’t challenging, and it can quickly solve your problem.
Continue reading to find out what grounding is and how you can ground your laptop. You’ll also learn how to ground yourself when you need to repair your laptop.
Table of Contents
How To Ground A Laptop?
Some laptops have strong currents, and when you touch the exterior, the current goes through your body, which can’t be healthy.
Some old laptops even leak electricity to their external metal parts, like the USB ports, so they end up giving you a tiny shock whenever you touch them. Sometimes, cheap laptop chargers leak some current to the chassis of your laptop.
Read More: What Charger Does My Laptop Need?
Many laptops are grounded via their three-prong chargers, but even those could end up electrocuting you when you don’t plug them in. You could solve these problems by grounding your laptop using these three methods:
Method 1: Soil
This method is for those who only have access to simple tools.
It could also be helpful for those living in houses without three-prong outlets with grounding wires. You’ll need a simple wire and an aluminum or copper pole/plate.
- First, strip out both ends of the wire for a couple of inches.
- Then, tie one end of the wire around your laptop’s charger pin, where it goes into your laptop.
- Tie the other end around the aluminum pole or plate.
- If you live on the first floor, you can use a wire long enough to get the pole out of a window and into the ground.
- If not, use a plant pot filled with soil and insert the pole in there.
- Once you plug the charger pin into your laptop, it’ll be grounded.
Method 2: Grounded Adapters
If the outlets in your house have the third grounding prong, you can use grounded adapters that transform a two-prong laptop charger into a three-prong one. This way, your laptop will be grounded.
Here are two of the best-grounded adapters you can purchase:
1. OREI 3 Prong M8+ Grounded Adapter
- Safest World Travel Adapter Grounded by Orei 3 Prong Plug for Laptop, Chargers, USB Device, Cell Phones – M8 Plus
- The M8+ can accept grounded or ungrounded plugs with two or three prongs.
- It can work with dual voltage devices like laptops, digital cameras, camcorders, shavers, and so on.
- It has two USB ports that can charge phones, tablets, iPads, and other similar devices.
- You can use this adapter in the USA, UK, Europe, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Dubai.
- It’s a great companion for traveling.
2. Kensington Grounded 3 Prong Adapter
- Kensington International Grounded 3 Prong Travel Adapter with Dual 2.4A USB Ports, Black (K38238WW)
- This piece is an international 3-pole grounded adapter that’s compatible with both grounded and ungrounded plugs.
- You can use this adapter in more than 200 countries.
- It has a high power output plus two USB ports.
- It can also protect your laptop from unexpected power surges with its internal fuse.
Method 3: Grounding Cords
- Then again, if you have access to three-prong grounded outlets, you can use one of the three commercially made cords to ground your laptop.
- They have three prongs that plug into an outlet, and the other end connects to your laptop, computer, or other devices and ground them.
- You might ask yourself, why are there three prongs if you only need the grounding prong?
- The other two aren’t connected to the wire.
- They’re just there, so the plug sits firmly in the outlet while providing support.
Here are three types of grounding cords you can use:
1. USB Port
- The end of the cord that connects to your laptop is a USB.
- This USB Cord from the Intuition Physician website can solve your problem.
- Moreover, if you don’t want to sacrifice one of your USB ports, you can use the ElectraHealth USB Grounding Adapter.
- It has a male USB port on one end that goes into your computer and a female 3.0 USB terminal on the other end you can use to transfer data.
2. Ring Terminal
- This type of cord has a ring terminal on the other end.
- You can fit it in the upper portion of the USB port, the charger port, or any other place where it touches some metal on your laptop.
- The FilterEMF 6-foot long, 3-prong plug-to-ring terminal is a good product.
3. Alligator Clip-on
- The alligator clip-on might be a little hard to connect to your laptop, but you should make sure the clip touches a metal part.
- If your laptop has a metal chassis, clip it on there.
- The FilterEMF 12-foot long, 3-prong gator with a clip-on will work great.
How To Ground Yourself When Working With A Laptop?
Suppose you’re repairing or upgrading your laptop and dealing with sensitive pieces like microprocessors, memory chips, hard drives, or graphics cards.
In that case, you should ground yourself to prevent electrostatic discharge, which could damage them.
1. Grounded Metal Objects
- Many technicians believe that if you touch a grounded metal object every couple of minutes or before handling delicate electronics, you’ll be grounded and safe.
- For instance, if you have made your computer grounded with the methods mentioned in the previous section, you can touch the metal casing to ground yourself.
- Remember, if you use the computer’s three-prong charger to ground it, you should either switch off the PSU or the surge protector, so there’s no power in the system when you work on it.
- Another example of a grounded metal object is a radiator.
- You can also wrap a copper wire around your finger or toe and connect it to the metal object for constant grounding.
Note: The metal object shouldn’t have any paint on it.
2. Anti-Static Wrist Band
- Anti-static wrist bands are helpful and inexpensive gadgets.
- You wrap them around your wrist with the metal part touching your skin and clip the other end onto an unpainted metal object.
- You could clip them onto the grounding pins in outlets.
- However, you first need to make sure they’re grounding pins without electricity going through them, or else you could get electrocuted.
- The Arctic Eagle Anti-Static Wrist Strap has an adjustable strap, extendable long cord, and alligator clip.
- The iFixit Anti-Static Wrist Strap is also a good option with a coiled six-foot-long cord and an elastic adjustable band.
3. Anti-Static Mat
- This method is a bit extra for simple home projects.
- However, if you want to be extra careful, purchase an antistatic mat and put the laptop on it while working.
- When you ground the mat, it’ll protect the electronic pieces from ESD.
- Some mats even have a place for you to clip your wrist strap.
- The StarTech.com Anti-Static Mat is a top-rated product, big enough to fit a keyboard.
4. Other Pointers
- Avoid Carpets: Never put your computer components on a carpet. Working on a desk or another hard surface is necessary. Also, it’s best to put your bare feet on the hardwood floor while working. Avoid wearing socks on a carpet.
- Clear out Your Desk: Before you start, get rid of any source of static electricity around you. Plastic items, rolling desk chairs, and cats are some of the sources.
- Lose the Clothes: Take off any pieces of static-friendly clothes, including items made of wool. Wearing cotton clothing works the best.
- Use Anti-Static Bags: If you’re not working with any of the sensitive pieces, put them in an anti-static bag.
- Humidify: Since static electricity becomes more of an issue in dry environments, it’s a good idea to run a humidifier if you have one.
What Are Ground And Grounding?
- For the term “ground” to make sense, you should first know the basics of voltage.
- Working circuits and electronic devices have both currents and voltages.
- While the current is the rate of charge flowing past a given point in an electric circuit, voltage is a relative measurement.
- In other words, you need to measure the voltage of a certain point in a circuit compared to another reference point because, otherwise, it’ll be meaningless.
- The current is always trying to find a path with the least resistance to get back to its zero-reference level.
- This point is the base for all other voltage measurements, also known as the “ground.”
- Therefore, the ground is where the electrical current flows, and grounding is a connection between a circuit and the zero-volt reference point.
- For instance, in a simple circuit with a battery and some wire, the negative terminal on the battery becomes the ground.
- Another example is when lightning strikes the earth.
- The cloud suddenly discharges a significant amount of negative charge to the earth to balance its charge.
- In this case, the earth is the “ground.”
- As you can see, various grounding types exist, but the most common is earth grounding, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
- When the chassis of a device accidentally get connected to a live wire, electrical power flows through it.
- If you touch the chassis, the current flows through your body and into the ground.
- That can cause an annoying buzz or a life-threatening shock!
- If the chassis is connected to the ground with a low-resistance wire, the current chooses to flow through there instead of your body, preventing shock.
If you must have grounded yourself while working on the Laptop, you can. So, firstly, you should know everything it needs to be able to do and know the basics.
Additionally, you should know how to use the pieces of the machine. You must wear a wristband and keep it on your desk to use the ESD Mat.