We see a lot of water damaged phones here at Origami Handcannon. Living in Florida, we tend to always be around water, both inside and outside. Whether you drop your phone in the toilet, the pool, or just spill some water on it, here are some tips for when you might have potential water damage to your device.
1. POWER OFF, DO NOT POWER ON, DO NOT PUT ON CHARGER
I cannot stress this point enough! If the device is still operable after the exposure to the water, turn the phone off. If the phone was disabled after the exposure, leave the phone off. DO NOT PLUG IT INTO THE CHARGER.
Think of it like throwing a toaster into a bathtub.
We want to minimize the damage to the motherboard, the last thing we’d want to do is short out the board by running power through it.
2. Remove User Accessible Components
At this point, we need to make sure this device is as dry as possible. Dependent on the phone, remove all the components that you can logically do. Such as the battery casing, the battery, etc. If you have a device that is not user accessible to any capacity, move to the next step.
3. Bowl of Rice….
I mean, if you really want to and it works for your own personal sanity I guess this would be okay? But to be honest, it doesn’t really work the way people believe it to work. Rice takes the moisture out of the air, but most devices are virtually air tight, so…. yeah. Both phones this week were left in a bowl of rice for a day or two, and both phones were soaking wet when I opened them up.
But hey, if it “works for you”, it wont really kill your device. Well in all reality, it is not the water that does it in, it is the impurities which cause the corrosion. So I guess in a sense, it could kill the phone.
The better option would be to open the phone up (if you are tech savvy) and let it air out after you force dry it with a paper towel, compressed air, etc. If this makes you uncomfortable, just let it air out and bring it to a shop as soon as you can.
Now, when I say time I don’t mean to leave it sitting on a window sill for a couple of days and/or weeks and then turn the sucker on. I mean, get the phone to a shop or do your own methods to the best of your ability as soon as possible. The faster we get the phone cleaned up, the better the chances of survival.
What we are trying to do here is minimize the amount of time the motherboard is exposed to water and lower the amount of corrosion that builds up on the board. What really needs to be done, and this is to be completed at your own risk, would be to remove the motherboard and scrub it with 99% ISO alcohol, which would disperse the water efficiently, clean the board relatively well, and evaporate quickly.
*Whenever you do anything with an electronic device that runs off a battery, would be remove the battery or the connection to the board
5. Okay, now what?
The best bet is to bring it to a repair shop. Let me tell you why. While cleaning the device with ISO Alcohol (99% preferred) will do a decent job dispersing the water, it WILL NOT get everything. In fact, you’ll need to remove the shields covering some of the components on the board and through it an ultra sonic cleaner, preferably one with a sweeping function.
The use of an ultrasonic cleaner in this process is essential. It will produce the necessary movements to clean under and around all the components the standard toothbrush would ever be capable of reaching. This offers a higher quality cleaning, leading to better results restoring the device.
This is something that we do in shop and provide to those with water damaged phones.
Here are some things you should know about water damage repairs:
Not all water damage is the same. When we offer customers water damage repair, we warn that not all repairs are successful.
The extent of the damage plays a large part in the success of the phone. That also means we can not guarantee the phone will continue to work after the “successful” repair. Your phone could work for the next hour, day, week, or month. There is really no telling when the phone could go out again, and if it will go out again. For that reason we do not offer a warranty with water damaged phones.
And just because a phone is “water proof” does not mean that you should submerge it in water.