Saving a Wet Cellphone

I have saved my cellphone three times from certain death and I wish to pass along the technique. I dropped it once into a puddle under a vacation home I had rented, a fluke happening as I was looking at the rainwater puddling under the home. Two other times I stupidly dropped the phone into the toilet because I bought the cheap belt holder and it flipped out as I stood up. You have to immediately pop the battery off of the phone, you have about 5 seconds before the water infiltrates the chip and fries the electronics.

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Practice this ahead of time so you know how to do it quickly. You now have some time to locate a hair dryer, after you kick yourself for being clumsy. Set the hair dryer on medium and proceed to dry the phone and battery for about 15 minutes. Relax and time your rescue and consider how much money you are saving, not to mention the hassle of going to the phone store and paying to replace the phone. If the phone is too hot to touch you are too close, you aren't trying to cook it, just dry it out, back off and turn the phone around every 30 seconds or so. After the 15 minutes, reattach the battery and you should be good to go.

There is a little white patch inside the battery compartment that turn colors if it gets wet. This alerts the phone company if you try to pass the phone off as faulty instead of admitting you accidentally dropped it in the toilet. This technique has not failed me yet. Good luck and buy the more expensive belt holder.

By Kenorri from MD

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September 26, 20080 found this helpful
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I have also heard that you can put a wet phone (with the battery off) and battery in a zipper bag with rice overnight. Apparently the rice absorbs the moisture. For those of us who don't own a hair dryer.

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful
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I dropped my phone in a full cup of Crystal Light just this week. I immediately opened it up and took the SIM card and battery out, and dried everything off as well as I could with a paper towel. We set the open phone and pieces in front of a fan for a full day and the next morning it was working fine. My husband says that it's very important not to try turning it back on too soon. It needs to be able to completely dry out first.

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful
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My husband owns a company refurbishing old cell phones to be brand new again. They obviously get a lot of phones with water damage. Something we found sometimes works is, if you can, take your phone apart (most phones have torx screws, you can find screw drivers at sears) and take the circuit board of the phone and and take a toothbrush with denatured alcohol (rubbing alcolhol is not the best but will do) and brush the whole board softly and put it in the toaster oven. Big refurbishing companies have a fancy technical version of it called a reflow oven. Anyway, put the board in there and put the oven on the lowest setting possible for about half an hour. what happens is the water and alcohol is evaporated and the solder is reheated so everything reconnects correctly.

Hope you have the best of luck with your phones.

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September 26, 20080 found this helpful

I have done that successfully, too - but the last time my husband's phone was beyond rescue. BUT I had SAVED the old phones we had before the phone plan upgraded ours, and the old one was re-activated at the phone store, and now my husband has a phone - but just not with all the bells and whistles on mine (which he doesn't use, anyway!)

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September 26, 20080 found this helpful

I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who has dropped a cell phone in the toilet! Mine had dropped in, and although I tried to dry it, it was ruined by the water. It did not operate correctly although it would power on, and the screen even had water marks inside it. The white label had not changed colors even though the phone was not operating correctly, but the company still sent it back unfixed after we got authorization for repair. Thinking my phone had nothing left to lose, my husband took his WD40 to it. He sprayed all the crevices he could find. He left it for a few hours. It dried up the water, and the phone began to operate correctly! It was good for almost 2 years after that until my cell provider was bought out by another company and I had to change phones.

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September 26, 20080 found this helpful

Me and my husband had dropped so many cell phones in the river and of course you don't have a blow dryer. We take the phone apart, take the battery out and let it sit in the sun on the front of the boat for a couple of hours. It's good to go. We had a friend's phone that was in the water for an hour. We did this and it worked.

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful

I have lost three cell phones in water related "accidents". It is so bad that when I take my kids to the neighborhood pool I put my phone in a ziploc bag! I will be keeping these tips in mind because I am sure that this will happen to me again some day.

Great post and comments!

http://www.savingspotpourri.blogspot.com/

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful

Wow. That was awesome. I worked in electronics repair for about 24 years. We didn't use blow dryers or anything that simple. It isn't just about the water damage, it is also about the mineral content that is left behind when the electronic piece dries. There is also something called ESD safety.

Nowdays, our electronics are composed of mostly ESD chips. ESD stands for "Electro-Static Discharge." These tiny chips can't take ESD very well. For these tiny chips, ESD is kind of like being struck by lightening. Electro-Static Discharge is what happens when you walk across carpeting, then touch another person or metal object, and feel a shock from it. These tiny chips can't handle it. Even though you dried your cell-phone, and God only knows what that heat damage is to the chips from a blow-dryer, the cell phone may work for awhile, but it will eventually give out.

My recommendation,(and I havent' worked in the field for a few years,) is to let the phone air dry. Then use a 99% isopropyl alchohol if you have to on the circuit board(s)to get all of the mineral deposits and other crud cleaned up, while you are "properly grounded." Not being properly grounded can cause more damage to the chips. The damage to the chips is not usually immediately noticeable, but it will show up as the electronic product begins to fail. Radio Shack sells a "grounding" wrist band at a cheap price. It "could" save you from having to have your electronic products serviced by a very expensive technician such as myself. The techniques are not that difficult, but you do need to know what you are doing.

My husband had a "boom-box" that he left outside while he grilled, and then it rained on his "boom-box." I just asked him to bring it inside and let it dry, then it worked again. He did this twice, and the "boom-box" still works fine.

Water conducts electricity--that is, water loves electricity. That is why the authorities are always telling people to stay out of floodwaters, etc.

If you get your cellphone/electronic device wet, it must be unplugged immediately because the device is full of tiny circuits that act like "roadways." Water is a conductive device that turns all of those "roadways" into one major electronic circuit mess. Water "floods" those "roadways" and makes them all short-circuit together.That causes the electronic device to "fry" or "short-circuit." Then it doesn't work anymore.

Water is not "bad," we should drink water everyday. Water cannot be allowed to mix with the tiny circuits of electronics. The tiny circuits of electronics have their own "roads" or "gates." Water is such a great conductor of electricity that it "floods" those "roadways" or "gates" in very tiny amounts that destroy the circuitry.

Electronics are very fragile and need to be cared for as such. Good Luck to all of you. Carol L.

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