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Help! My Cell Phone Got Wet!

By Edited Sep 29, 2016 0 0

We have all done this at one time or another, dropped a cell phone into water.  Be it a lake, swimming pool, or the dog's water dish, it's not a good thing!  In this article you will learn 5 easy steps you can take to hopefully save your phone.

1. Get the phone out of the water as quickly as you can!  If it falls in to a cup of coffee or bowl of water, this is not too hard.  A major safety concern however would be if you had the phone plugged in to the charger when the submersion took place.  In this case, STOP and call a qualified electrician.  Never grab any electronic device that is hooked to a power source and submerged in a liquid, as sever shock or death could result.

2. Immediately turn the phone off.  In most cases the quickest way to do this is to disconnect the battery.  Turning the phone off quickly will hopefully prevent any short circuiting from happening causing further damage to the phone.  Water conducts electricity, so if it bridges a gap between two pins (on a microchip) that are not supposed to be connected or otherwise make a connection that is not supposed to happen, damage could occur.  The thought of this step is if the submersion was a quick one (dropped in a cup of coffee) vs a longer submersion (like going through the wash in a pants pocket) you can stop a short circuit from happening if you act quickly.  That is if water or liquid did  not actually penetrate down to the inner circuit boards yet.  Today's phones have tight-fitting covers, so it is possible you might have a few precious seconds to take quick action and save your phone.

3. Take the phone apart.  I'm not talking about breaking out the screwdrivers just yet.  Just the outer pieces like covers, the battery and  the SIM card.  Take the SIM card and pat it dry then lay it on something absorbent like a towel or paper towel.  

Next, you have two options.  You can either use compressed air to blow out the water or use a Shop-Vac to suck out excess water.  What you want to do is at every opening or port suck (or blow) out the water before it has a chance to evaporate.  Take some time to do this so you can be sure you got as much of the water out as possible. (See video below for an idea of how to do this.)

After you have done either of the methods above you could place the phone in such a way that a fan blows across it.  This will help push out excess water that did not make it out already.  This way you can walk away and just let the phone sit there for a while.  

Under no circumstances should you use a hair dryer to try to dry out a cell phone.  First of all, phones should not be exposed to direct sunlight or left in hot cars.  These are sensitive devices and heat is not good for them.  Applying heat would make the water evaporate, but when it does it could leave behind minerals and deposits which could cause shorts.  Sucking or blowing the air out forces the water to leave the inside of the cell phone, not evaporate.

Secondly, the heat can loosen adhesives that are used to hold parts of the phone together.

4. Once your sure all the water that can be forced out is gone, place the cell phone in uncooked rice.  The rice will draw any remaining moisture out.  Leave it in the rice overnight (8-10 hours). If possible, rotate the phone every few hours.  This way if there happens to be water droplets still deep in the recesses of the phone they can make their way out and be absorbed by the rice.  

Another thing you could try is to place your phone in a sealable bag with some  of those silica gel packets that come in new clothes or shoes.  These little fellas also absorb moisture.  Be sure you leave the phone in for 8-10 hours or overnight.

5. Be very patient.  do each of these steps in order and be very meticulous about step 3.  Try to remove as much of the water as you can before placing the phone in the bowl of rice.  This will make sure that it doesn't leave behind minerals and deposits. Lastly don't try to turn your phone on until you have completed this process.  Doing so could negate all the hard work you just did.

Good Luck!

Here is how to use a vacuum to suck the water out

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