Saturday, 08 January 2011 16:29

How to Fix Water Damaged Phones Featured

Written by  Brittany Trumble

Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced it before, leaving your cell phone on a wet countertop, spilling a drink on it, dropping your phone in the pool, or better yet the toilet (you’d be surprised how often it happens). Inevitably, lots of cell phones suffer accidental water damage, and for those of you that don’t already know, cell phone water damage requires immediate attention!

If you wait too long, the damage may be too severe to be repaired. Since are Iphone’s, smart phones, and blackberry’s are our lifelines, and because are cell phones are NOT covered under warranty for any kind of water damage. You are going to want to read over these 10 useful tips on what to do when dealing with water damaged electronics –you never know when it may come in handy!

Cell phone water damage of any kind can be extremely destructive to your phone. Why is water damage so serious? Water contact of any kind can be detrimental to your phone, as it can short circuit or erode your phone's electronic components and interior functions. Believe it or not you are better off dropping your phone in the toilet then in the pool or hot tub (I am guilty of this one). The reason why is due to corrosive chemicals that can vastly harm your cell phone.

Highly Corrosive Damage:

Salt water pools and ocean water contains a great amount of salt, which makes it highly corrosive. Due to this corrosivity, damage happens very quickly when your phone comes into contact with salt water.

Chlorine pool water and bromyime (hot tub water) contains a high amount of chemicals, which are also very corrosive. Chlorine and other pool chemicals quickly destroy your phone's electronic components and can cause irreparable damage if not treated immediately.

Believe it or not, tap water can sometimes be fairly corrosive because it still contains chemicals (such as mineral deposits and other substances) that can be dangerous to your phone. Although the chemicals are only minorly corosive, are minimal and do not deteriorate your phone as quickly as others.

However, in whichever way your phone receives water damage, water damage to your cell phone can sometimes be unrepairable. A very scary thiought. Although it sometimes can be repaired and taken care of (or at least with minimal damage) if it is treated urgently and by following these ten simple tips…

1. DO NOT turn on your device! And Remove The Battery Immediately!

Do NOT turn your water damaged cell phone on! This will cause it to circulate, short out, and could cause permanent irreversable damage. Naturally, in a sudden urgent state of panic most people tend to do this to see if their phone is still functioning –this is a big mistake! No matter what you do, do not turn on your phone because it will wet and fry the circuit board and you will just have lost what little hope was left in recovering the device. Removing the battery immediately will ensure that there is no source of power for the cell phone and can hopefully prevent damage from following through the circuits.

2. Let The Device Air Dry

Not only will removing your battery reduce the chances of damaging the devices circuits, it also allows the water within the phones interior to evaporate and hopefully get rid of any hidden water out from the little nooks and crannies. Remember to seperate your battery from your phone and let it dry seperately, also remove your memory card and SIM and lay them out as well. These cell phone sidekicks should NOT be in your phone while its drying.

CAUTION: Do NOT use a heated blow dryer, or any source of extreme heat! Let’s face it –extreme heat damages electronics. Adding heat to a water damaged cell phone can only increase the damage and corrosion. And although your phone may seem to be dry, the inside circuit board may still be wet. You can however select 'cool' mode on your dryer, this way heat will not damage your phone.


3. Use Air To Force Out Water

Ideally you want to remove as much water as possible from inside the phones shell. Buy a pressurized air-can from walmart or use an air-pressure machine and try to blow out the internal water out of the phone. It saves time, and it’s a good way to get as much water out faster. Another way to air dry is to put your phone on the ACC and let it air dry for about a day or two. Any cool vent that doesn't produce alot of heat is acceptable.

 

4. Use Rice or a Bheestie Bag To Absorb The Moisture

Water damaged phones are such a common problem that there are products available specifically designed to help dry all sorts of electronics damaged by water. Products like the Bheestie Bag promise to dry out any electronic device, however they aren’t all that cheap, and there is no gaurentee your phone will work properly. But, in comparison to buying a new mobile phone it could be money very well spent. There are plenty of electronic retailers and online stores that sell Bheestie Bags, look it up to fiind out.

Now, a cheaper way of doing this is using dry rice. Since rice absorbs moisture, placing a water damaged device  in a sealed zip lock bag with dry rice will allow the moisture to be absorbed, it will be drawn out from the phone and absorbed by the surrounding rice (you should leave the phone in the rice bag overnight to give it enough time to absorb the moisture, if not longer, because you want to be safe). Silica gel can also do the same trick (you’ll usually find them in the pockets of new purses and bags), however it’s highly unlikely you’ll have enough stashed away somewhere for a electronic emergency. So your best bet is sticking to rice.

 

5. Be Patient With The Drying Process

You are going to have to wait awhile. When something is wet, it seems logical that heat would dry it. After all, isn’t this the principle we follow with our clothing, our hair etc? Well, that rule doesn’t apply to electronics so keep the hair dryer away from your mobile. The oven or dryer are not good options either, just in case you were thinking of those alternatives. Heat damages electronics – end of story!

 

6. Put It Back Together -Give It A Try!

If you’ve tried any or all of the above tips for drying out your water damaged phone, put the components back together and give it a try. Remember to test out the phone’s functions. Just because it’s turned on doesn’t mean it’s fully operational. If your phone still isn’t working to your satisfaction, try the tips below.

 

7. Find Replacement Parts

If only parts of the phone have suffered water damage, either your phone provider or a private electronic supplier might be able to identify and sell the parts required to get the mobile working again. I suggest to google small electronic stores in your area, they usually will try to repair it for half the price. Sending your phone in to the provider could take over a month to get fixed.

 

8. Send It To The Manufacturer

If you’ve tried everything else and your phone still just won’t work, put the wet cell phone in a ziplock bag and send it back to your cell phone manufacturer. Many devices have at least a one year manufacture warranty on them. However, don’t get your hopes up because electronic warranty is usually determinated by water damage. If you actually look inside your cell phone, there should be a water damaged sticker that turns red when tampered by liquid, so they will know. Yet, they might be able to take a look at it and give you a better idea of how damaged the device is, and whether it is worth repairing. Many times they can repair it by replacing parts or working their magic, but expect to get a fairly hefty bill for their repair work, you just might be better off buying a brand new phone. Repairs can get expensive!

 

9. Dry It With Alcohol

This is one hypothesis that you should try only as a very last resort. One desperate method is to drench a swab in alcohol and mop it around your device. You should only do this with rubbing alcohol (not the drinking type) to help remove any water that might have found its way into hidden spots on the phone that air drying might not reach. Let’s make this COMPLETELY clear: this is a risky option that has the potential to ruin your phone, but if you have nothing else to loose then give it a go. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Therefore, Only attempt this if you have no other option, have a backup of your data and do not care if the phone is permanently damaged! I have never tried it myself and don’t think I ever would. But it is a theory I came across.

 

10. Buy A New Phone

Sorry, but when all else fails, get a new phone. If you’re on a term contract, try and negotiate with your cell phone provider and see if you might be eligible for a plan renewal or any discounts or upgrades. Even if you are not eligible for an upgrade, threaten to leave them for another service provider, be smart! You’ll be surprised how easily they can adjust the system. If you’re not willing to do that, Ebay and other online electronic retailers have a lot of decent deals on electronics.

 

Now obviously these devices do not come cheap and they really are our lifelines when used for business and personal enjoyment. You should try to get into the habit of backing up your phone on a monthly basis. Remember to get a screen protector, case, and phone skin for your cell phone as they help protect your phone's shell. Of course, your best option for preventing water damage is to prevent it from happening altogether, but seeing as we can’t turn back time I hope you find these tips useful. If I had done research on this topic sooner I may have saved myself a couple of cell phones over the years. Be smart with your smart phone. Remember to try to always keep your phone far away from liquid and water. Don’t leave it beside your drink, or beside the ledge of the pool, and always check for wet counter tops because accidents happen. But when they do, hold on to your nerves, and remember these steps to get that device dried out!

Last modified on Sunday, 14 August 2011 20:05

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1 Comment

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:03 posted by Erika Henderson

    Hello, I think your http://tech-er.com website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, superb blog!

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