Do Motherboard Screws need Washers? (Explained!)

Many peoples are confused about whether they should use washers with motherboard screws or not?

I did some research about motherboard screw washers and their efficacy, and after researching a lot, I am writing this article to inform you everything regarding this.

So, Do Motherboard Screws need Washers?

No! for most instances, the motherboard screws don’t require washers, but in very few cases, washers are needed to ensure proper insulation & for shock-absorbing purposes. 

I know that the short answer doesn’t satisfy you; therefore, I explained all the other facts regarding motherboard screws and washers this in the below section.

But before that, if you are looking for motherboard screws then check out the complete sets of motherboard screws for building or repairing PC – 502pc Motherboard Standoffs Screw Kit.

Screw Washers are Needed for Motherboards

In most instances, the motherboard screws don’t need washers because most computer motherboards use the mounting holes as ground points to the metal case. 

But there are exceptions to this, and sometimes washers become necessary for mainly two reasons-

The first reason is to ensure proper insulation, making a short less likely and secondly, they act as a rubber damper between the motherboard and the standoff nuts, which acts as a shock absorber when you move the PC. Basically, they allow a bit of bounce/ movement and stop the motherboard from rubbing on bare metal.

Checkout Motherboard Screw Washers on- Amazon.

As you can see that the motherboard screw washers are necessary; therefore, it is advised that, if you notice the motherboard had insulation washers when you removed it, then put them back. While, if a new motherboard comes with insulation washers, then use them.

Should You put Washers on Motherboards?

While building any PC system, people often wonder whether they should use the screw washers or not?

Some peoples also ask whether they need to put washers between the screws and the motherboards or not? They ask this question because each screw goes into a bit of metal stand, which is clipped onto a metallic case; now they think that if they don’t use washers, some bad issues will appear.

So, let’s straight come to the point, Should you Put Washers on Motherboards?

No! you should not include a washer. The screws peoples are talking about are supposed to make electrical contact with the metal on the motherboard, grounding the motherboard to the case. The multiple grounds improve the system’s stability (prevents voltage gradients) and reduce the chance of a spark happening between the motherboard & case or motherboard & PSU.

However, for some instances, if you are supposed to use the washers, then you have to make sure that it is in the proper size and is also conductive (non-insulating).

If the motherboard was not electrically connected to the case, there exists a chance for a voltage drop to occur between the case and the motherboard.

In summary, it has to be said that if you are using the washers, then you should not use the insulated or non-conductive washers.

Different Types of Washers for Motherboards

Motherboards and PC Cases come with different screws, and alongside that, they also come with various washers.

To protect the motherboards from short circuits and other damages, different washers are needed. Motherboards have different types of washers, such as plastic, paper, nylon, and fibre.

Here’s Why these different washers are used?

The fibre washers are necessary to space the motherboard up to the expansion slots, and connectors line up properly with the holes in the case. In other instances, there may be component leads protruding from the bottom of the motherboard, so a spacer is necessary to keep them from shortening out to the case.

The nylon washers are primarily used to hold the motherboard, and they are not always used for electrical insulation; they are mainly used to absorb the stresses through the standoffs.

Other washers almost have the same purpose; these washers allow you to cinch the board down snugly without pinching the board.

Also, they allow for a small amount of vibration to be absorbed without loosening the screws and decreasing the noise from the system.

Red Washers for Motherboards: Should You Use?

Different users come from different standpoints when using red motherboard washers, and there is such a long debate about using these red washers.

Some people say that these red washers are a must for both sides (1 on the top and 1 on underneath). Some people say that these red washers will not be in the package if they aren’t necessary.

Many users also said that these red washers are useless (just for tightening purposes or non-metallic holes in the motherboard). They also say that you should directly screw the bolts without using any washer; the purpose for that is grounding stuff.

So, Which of the above statement is true and whether you should use these washers or not?

Honestly, these red washers were necessary quite some time ago, but today they aren’t essential, so don’t worry about the red washers. 

However, for some reason, if you are attaching a motherboard that doesn’t have metal holes, then you might want to use this red washer. Other than that, you have the metal screw, the metal hole, and the metal standoff. It never touches the PCB.

Are Insulation Washers Necessary when installing Motherboard in Case?

If you look closely at the screw holes, you will notice that metal contacts are supposed to touch the standoffs. Those connect to your motherboard’s ground plane and ensure the case and motherboard ground plane are at the same potential.

Usually, you won’t need an insulation washer when attaching the motherboard to the case as the screws are intended to form an earth connection. 

However, the screws connecting the motherboard to the case offsets need to be conductive. They are attaching themselves to the computer case, which is grounded. This provides electrical stability to the overall system.

Will Metal Washers Shortcurcuit Motherboard?

Yes! in some instances, metal washers can shortcurcuit a motherboard and therefore metal washers are not recommended for use, especially when using a PC case made from metal.

Instead of metal washers it is recommended to use fibre, plastic or nylon washers.

Final Thoughts

So, after discussing everything regarding motherboard screws, it has to be said that the motherboard screws don’t require washers most of the time.

I hope this article is helpful for you and if you want to know more about the motherboards & their screws, computers, and other PC components, then keep following this blog regularly.


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