Protecting Equipment from ESD Damage

Do you and how do you protect your equipment from Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) damage? Have you damaged any equipment from ESD? Seen a few posts on protecting from power surge and dips, but nothing on protecting from our own ESD. This past winter in the normally humid NW we had some dry low humidity days and walking across the carpet to equipment can generate a significant charge. I had an incident where I touched my rack and it resulted in D/A going berserk resulting in fried ribbons in tweeters and amplifier fuse being taken out. My heart skipped a beat when I turned on my Simaudio Moon W-7 amp and nothing happened. Fortunate it was just the fuse. If you can feel the discharge that is between 2 and 3 thousand volts and on this day it was a strong discharge, likely lifting the entire ground plane, causing the PS Audio Perfectwave DAC to go nuclear (output noise full voltage provided at output). I since put a wire to a plate (copper terminal) that goes through 30M ohm of resistance to ground on my equipment rack. I touch the plate first before touching equipment. The 30M ohms of resistance limits the current so discharge is stretched out in time. So far so good, have not had any repeats of incident, and I don’t feel the shock. Have not heard this topic discussed, did not see a commercial solution other then putting an ESD strap on or touching one, which would look funky on rack and is impractical. So how do you deal with ESD and have you had equipment damaged from?


I had a discharge take out my Monster surge protection device. One time use, it was fried. I touch my rack now to discharge, not sure how grounding that way got to your gear unless it was a metal rack and your gear was touching it. 

No need to worry about ESD at equipment level. Only power surges and lightning strikes 

No need to worry about ESD at equipment level. 

Except for my Monster power supply..... actually no worries, it don't work no more, lol. 

Honestly my solution to this has been to use a remote all the time. 🤣 Having a discharge point is a good idea, but since you are not actually energized, 10k-30K is probably just fine as a resistance to ground.  I might suggest otherwise if you were actually working on the guts of equipment which was energized by wall AC. 

No need to worry about ESD at equipment level. Only power surges and lightning strikes

I agee, that is my understanding also, that the cover would act as a faraday cage and current would take least path of resistance and go to ground. With digital devices and the ground plane of device also being attached to case I believe that is where the logic of 0V being suddently raised resulted in DAC going crazy and that is what actually caused the damage to my equipment as it went beyond full volume with something like white noise being output. So ancillary to ESD, but damage none the same. Happy with my solution, but I do concur that this is likely a solution for a non-existant problem for most. Did order two sets of spare ribbons as when this happened they were backordered two months. Fortunalely I had a one set spared. If I had to go two months without my two channel rig, I would be like Kurtz in Apocalypse Now "the horror... the horror".



Um, guys, no, ESD discharge and potential damage is real.  The amount of exposure to this damage varies from each piece of kit.

If your gear suddenly changes behavior when you touch it you could eventually damage it.  In the case of my DAC the problem was most likely due to the metal control knob, or the entire DAC really, not being grounded.  Since I'm using an external 12V supply the ground on the IEC the only path to ground from my DAC's case is through the signal cable.

I think a lot of you have gotten spoiled, ESD damage to ICs is a lot better now, in part due to better manufacturing of the ICs themselves.

ESD does knock out one of my DACs. The first time I thought it was a goner but apparently it has a reset that comes back online in 30 seconds. I have a outlet strip on the shelf and I made a ground strap for touch that plugs into an outlet. Problem solved.

 I take off my shoes and walk in my bare feet when the humidity drops. Problem solved.


Same here...

Bare feet or worn out Chuck Taylor's as slippers.

Ditched a nice pair of pressed boiled wool slippers due to static.

Humidity can drop to 20% here when we are experiencing high/low desert/Santa Ana winds.

Fortunately we usually get a marine layer in the evening (West Hollywood, CA).