Does ESD go away by itself

limboy777

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Sorry its dumb question...

My 6 year old likes helping me clean my computers and consoles, however the other day he started cleaning quite high end graphics card in my main PC with a microfibre cloth! (I was cleaning the fans int he PC).

Ive not turned it on since but was wondering if there is a risk of ESD and whether the longer I leave it the more likely it is it will dissipate (or does it not work like that?)
 

Merlin

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If the PC has been left plugged in but not switched on, then the static will have drained to earth via the case. You should be OK now. Static can have a long decay time but only within insulating materials. The components on the card will have provided a path for the charge to drain away.
 

Bryce

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ESD happens and causes the damage within nano-seconds, but as Merlin stated, if the card was earthed, there's very little chance of damage having happened. Either it happened while he was doing the cleaning or it didn't happen at all, waiting won't make a difference other than to the point in time that you find out.

Bryce.
 

limboy777

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If the PC has been left plugged in but not switched on, then the static will have drained to earth via the case. You should be OK now. Static can have a long decay time but only within insulating materials. The components on the card will have provided a path for the charge to drain away.

Thanks chaps for your response. Ive not actually left it plugged into the mains. Ive connected everything else such as the speakers, usb keyboard etc but didnt realise that keeping it plugged in but not switched on was a good thing.

If I clean eveything with isoprpyl alcohol, how long should I wait (the microfibre cloth he used had other cleaning chemicals which im paranoid may have left some traces and therefore I am assmming I need to use isopropyl alcohol to clean everything?)

- - - Updated - - -

ESD happens and causes the damage within nano-seconds, but as Merlin stated, if the card was earthed, there's very little chance of damage having happened. Either it happened while he was doing the cleaning or it didn't happen at all, waiting won't make a difference other than to the point in time that you find out.

Bryce.

IM scared to switch it on now!
 

Bryce

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Just turn it on. If it broke, then it's already broken and anything you do now won't change that.

Bryce.
 

Merlin

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Where I work, we make pigment dusts that are based on resins not unlike Formica (melamine/formaldehyde resin) and these can hold static charges up to 200,000 volts and retain that charge for hours. We take a LOT of precautions to prevent the build up of static charge and all staff wear anti-static footwear and overalls to prevent charge from building up on them that could get transferred to the equipment and cause a dust explosion.

In your case, the isopropanol has long gone and as it's an alcohol, it's actually a slight conductor, due to the -OH group on the end, so although it's flammable, it would help to carry the charge away.

Switch it on - there's two choices, yes and no as to if it's damaged or not. My guess is that it's fine.
 

EFTPOTRM

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Did I just spot Schrödinger's cat in a real life situation? :blink: I hope it works out fine, limboy777! :-D
 

limboy777

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Did I just spot Schrödinger's cat in a real life situation? :blink: I hope it works out fine, limboy777! :-D

Yes my son is like a naughty cat!

I should have updated the thread to say that the computer is working fine. I turned it on and its all working 100%
 
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