How to Save Water or Liquid Damaged Mobile Phones

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Mobile phones, like laptops and other electrical devices, are not resistant to water or any other liquid. If liquid comes into contact with the electronic board inside a phone, any metal components it touches will corrode and can cause short circuits on the board.

What to do after your phone comes into contact with liquid?

DO NOT TURN ON POWER! In doing so the board will be fried. If your phone is on switch it off immediately. Do not attempt to use even if it appears to be working and then follow the steps below:
  1. Get it out of the water as soon as possible. The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter the phone in a short period of time, perhaps only 20 seconds or less. So grab your phone quickly! If you can't get to it in time, your best bet is to remove the battery while it is still under water. Water helps dissipate heat from shorts that can damage the phone, so most damage occurs when the inside of the phone is merely wet and there is a power source.
  2. Remove the battery. This is one of the most important steps. Don't take time to think about it; electricity and water do not mix. Cutting power to your phone is a crucial first step in saving it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a power source when wet.
  3. Remove the memory card. This will ensure that un-necessary damage to your memory card is avoided
  4. Remove your SIM card. Some or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be stored on your SIM. To some people this could be more worth saving than the phone itself. SIM cards survive water damage well, but some of the following steps are unnecessary i.e. don't heat it. Just pat it dry and leave it aside until you need to connect your phone to your cellular network.
  5. Dry your phone. Obviously you need to remove as much of the water as soon as possible, so you can save it from getting into the phone. Shake it out without dropping it, then use a towel or paper towel to gently remove as much of the remaining water as possible. Dry the excess moisture by hand.
  6. Remove any covers and external connectors to open up as many gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone as possible.
  7. Use a vacuum if possible. Do not use a hair dryer (even on a "cold" mode) to dry out the phone, as this may force moisture further into the small components, deep inside the phone. If moisture is driven deeper inside, corrosion and oxidation may result when minerals from liquids are deposited on the circuitry. Using a hairdryer might be a temporary fix, but this will eventually cause component failure inside the phone. Instead, remove all residual moisture by drawing it away with a vacuum cleaner held over the affected areas for up to 20 minutes in each accessible area. This is the fastest method and can completely dry out your phone and get it working in thirty minutes. Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as a vacuum can create static electricity, which is even worse.
  8. Use a substance with a high affinity for water to help draw out moisture. Leave the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. The rice would absorb any remaining moisture. If available, it is preferable to use desiccant instead. Desiccant will absorb moisture better than rice. It may be found under a brand name such as "Damp Rid" or "Dry Right".
  9. Let the phone sit on absorbent towels, napkin, or other paper. Remember that the goal is to evacuate all the moisture and humidity, not to trap it or add even more. Check the absorbent material every hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming step and desiccant steps.
  10. Test your phone. After you have waited a day or so, make sure everything is clean and dry looking and re-attach the battery to the phone and see if it works. If your phone does not work, try plugging it into its charger without the battery, if this works, you need a new battery. If not, try taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes they can fix it. Don't try to hide the fact that it has been wet. There are internal indicators that prove moisture.

DO's & DONT's

DO's

  • Take battery out
  • Take sim card out
  • Take memory card out
  • Take any cover off i.e. Leather Pouch
  • Take face off if possible

DONT's

  • Don't attempt to use it even if it works
  • Don't attempt to charge it

What Can be Saved and What Can't?

What Can be Saved?

  • Dropped in a puddle
  • Spillage
  • Rained on or snowed on.
  • If a baby's put the phone in their mouth
  • Dog chews it
  • Dropped in toilet
  • Bath/condensation
  • Alcohol damage
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Cereal
  • Dropped in bucket of floor cleaner

What Can't be Saved?

  • Machine washed (unless for a few minutes)
  • Soaked in sea water
  • Taken swimming

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