I have some tools for anti-static purposes for repairing a computer: an anti-static wrist strap, an anti-static mat, a grounding plug on which only the earth pin is metal (the hot and neutral are plastic), and a travel adaptor to connect the grounding plug to the powerboard (because the only available plugs on the market are for US sockets).

The environment is an apartment in a complex building.

The grounding plug is to be plugged into a multi-socket powerboard (with surge protection) via the travel adaptor. The anti-static mat and wrist strap are to be connected to the grounding plug. I then put my laptop on the mat and wear the wrist strap.

Because I’m a noob when it comes to electrics, can someone evaluate the danger in this setup in situations such as:

  1. Ground faults of other people’s appliances in other apartments in the building
  2. Power surge in other apartments in the building
  3. Power outage, and restoration
  4. Issues with phone/tablet adaptors plugged into the same powerboard
  5. Ground faults of appliances in my apartment which are plugged into other outlets

Lastly, what is the standard setup in, for instance, a computer repair shop on the street? Is this anything like theirs and is this setup generally safe in terms of not exposing humans to 230 V?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Any grounding for ESD protection should have a series resistance (nominally 1 megohm) to protect against the kinds of faults you're considering. This resistance is built into most commercial devices such as wrist straps and grounding mats. Check the datasheet to be sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Jul 22, 2022 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed thanks! I see that the wrist strap says 50 ohm on the packaging and the mat says 100000 ohm. The wrist strap and mat are from a reputable manufacturer so I figure these can be trusted. It looks like I should be connecting the wrist strap to the mat? \$\endgroup\$
    – Egoless
    Jul 22, 2022 at 12:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed However, the grounding plug is an unknown brand and the seller sent it to me in broken packaging. Is this still gonna be okay? (Assuming the plug is gonna have problems) \$\endgroup\$
    – Egoless
    Jul 22, 2022 at 12:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Will the computer parts placed on the mat be fried though, in any of the events mentioned above, even if the human is safe \$\endgroup\$
    – Egoless
    Jul 22, 2022 at 13:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Once the components are sitting on the anti-static mat, they will be safe. As every part of the mat will be at the same voltage, even if that voltage isn't 0V when compared with true ground. Provided that the user is also grounded to the mat, then they will still be safe even if touched. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Jul 22, 2022 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


The main advantage of an anti-static workstation is that it keeps everything at the same voltage. There's usually a conductive rubber mat and a wrist (or heel) strap for the operator.

The mat and the wrist strap should be connected through a cord with a high resistance (typically 1M ohm) built in. This guarantees that any static charge on the operator is dissipated before they touch anything.

Ideally, the mat should be at (true) ground potential, but it doesn't really matter that much. It's the static electicity discharge that kills components, not what arbitrary voltage the mat is at.

If there is a voltage surge in the ground line of the socket, every part of the mat is all still at the same voltage, and the operator is protected from electrocution by the high resistance of the leads.


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