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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Water damage to mobile

Water Damage

What if you phone or tablet gets wet.
Most manufacturers don't cover water damage under the warranty.
Most phones have a little indicator inside, a white square, that will turn pink or red or something else
to indicate water damage, so you can't fool the dealer if you take it back. I didn't see any indicator
on my Galaxy Tab which got wet.
It's a mater of luck whether or not you can recover. Some people have let their phones dry for a
couple of days and they worked. I dropped a blackberry in water and even though I took everything
apart right away it never worked.
The general consensus is you have a 50/50 chance of saving it.
It may take several months for corrosion on the circuit board to build up and cause a failure
according to one forum post.
1. Dry
Don't push any buttons
Dry it with anything (wipe it on your shirt)
2. Disassemble or turn off
Remove your phone from any protective case.
If you you can, take it apart as much as possible, take out the battery, memory cards,
and SIM card (If you have GSM [AT&T or T-Mobile] ). Water can cause a short on your circuit
board, so removing the battery will help.
If it's an iPhone, iPad, ... which won't come apart, turn it off . Don't turn it on if it is off.
If it has salt water, soda or beer on it rinse it with distilled water.
3. Put it in a bag or container with a desiccant (Something to absorb moisture) for 2 days (48 hrs)
and put the bag in a warm spot. If it was in the water for a minute or more you may have to leave
it in the bag for a week.
Bag with silica packets. Those little packets that come in some vitamins or other
products that need to stay dry, and say "do not eat".
Use a bag designed for this purpose. e.g. Thirsty Bag $7 from iFixit, Xentris Dry-All
$20 Radio Shack or a Dry-1-1 Emergency Rescue bag $20
Leave it on something that is warm, e.g. your computer for a few days.
Don't put it in the oven or use a hair dryer.
A Popular Mechanics article says, The first step: Immediately cut the power by removing the
battery. I know it's tempting, but resist the urge to power up your phone to see if it works--just
turning it on can short out the circuits.
The most important thing to remember is to avoid heat. That means no hair dryers, ovens,
microwaves or extended periods in direct sunlight.
Forced air
Avoid hair dryers, too much heat is bad and it can blow water further into the electronics.
A Popular Mechanics article says, "But don't use a hair dryer--its heat can fry your phone's
insides. Instead, opt for a can of compressed air, an air compressor set to a low psi or a vacuum
cleaner (a wet/dry Shop-Vac would be perfect). The idea is to use air to push or pull moisture out
through the same channels it entered.
Heat could also warp components and melt adhesives."
Water is conductive and can cause corrosion to the main board. Even if you soak it in rice issues
can occur down the line. Within days or months due to corrosion.
Use a desiccant
Rice or Silica Gel Silica Gel used for drying flowers or the packets of silica gel that often come
stuffed in the pockets of new clothes.
One person reported, "took out battery, all cards and put it in a container with water absorbing
crystals. next morning turned it on and worked perfectly. has not missed a beat since."
Another said, "I would suggest leave it in rice or silica crystals for at least a week - if not two.
Don't turn it on in the meantime."
Alcohol or Circuit board cleaner
A post in Android Forums says,
take your phone and dip it into a bowl of 99% isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). It will displace the
water and not cause corrosion. It takes about a day or two max sitting in the open to dry. And I
do mean max. if you take a fan onto it after it speeds it up a lot as well. You would only want to
dip the phone in for a few seconds and shake it around to make sure the iso mixes with all the
water and once it has the concentration of iso will clear up the water damage.
(I had to go to an electronics store to get 90%, the drug store stuff is 70%) of course.
Radio Shack(TM) Precision Electronics Cleaner that contains Isohexane, Difluoroethane & Ethanol.
This type of cleaner eliminates any corrosion, evaporates, and provides a layer of protection.
A Popular Mechanics article says, "you'll want to avoid dunking the phone in rubbing alcohol (A
prescribed tip on the Web). Alcohol is a solvent and can dissolve the internal adhesives. "
According to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (P.L. 93-637) (1975)
The federal minimum standards for full warranties are waived if the warrantor can show that the
problem associated with a warranted consumer product was caused by damage while in the
possession of the consumer, or by unreasonable use, including a failure to provide reasonable and
necessary maintenance.
Replacement android: (My story)
I got my Samsung Galaxy Wet (it was in a box on my car seat which also had a thermos of tea
which spilled). It was on and the power switch and touch screen stopped working, I kept trying the
power switch which was probably only doing more damage by activating wet circuits. I did several
other bad things, 1. blew some hot air (only briefly) thru the SD card slot to try and force the
water down and out the 30-pin connector on the bottom. I also dipped briefly in some isopropyl
alcohol. It started to work briefly the next day, but stopped. I took it to the Verizon store where I
got it and admitted I spilled some tea on it. They said they couldn't see any evidence of water
damage and sent in a request for a replacement and gave it back to me. I then put it in a bag
with some silica gel for several days. Several days later I got a box with a return label from
Verizon, but it started working again as I was getting ready to ship it back, so I kept it. The only
problem seemed to be some discoloration on the screen, but it did not block the display.
However it stopped again a day later. The note with the return box said they would look at it and
if they determined I had damaged it they would return the original tablet.
So, I decided to use the above instructions to open it and see if there was corrosion or something
I could fix. I got it open, but there was something gluing the back on 3/4 inch down from the top
that I had difficulty releasing. The instructions at iFixIt didn't say anything about that. The battery
was also connected differently than the example at iFixIt. I couldn't find all the screws either so
stopped trying to dissemble it any further. However there was no evidence of water damage at
that point.
I sent it back in the box Verizon sent me with a note admitting what I had done. About a week
later I got a refurbished tablet from Verizon.
Initializing a replacement tablet: The instructions with the replacement gave me an 877 number
to call and enter my order #. It told me to to use VZ access manager to set it up. There was no
VZ access manager on my tablet, but when I turned it on, it put me into a setup wizard. I put in
my Google account information and when I was finished, my calendar and contact list were
I could go to Market and click click the menu key, select MyApps and scroll down to see apps I
had downloaded from the android market, which I needed to download again.
Avoiding Water Damage:
Aquapac makes waterproof clear plastic bags that allow you to take good pictures right thru the
An invisible vapor coating for electronic and other devices to prevent water damage was
announced by HzO at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) . It coats useful electronic
components at the molecular or nano-scale level.
See Invisible Vapor Coating For Electronic And Other Devices To Prevent Water Damage | inQuid
Researchers in Korea have now gone one step further and made water resistance a feature of the
device itself by incorporating nonwetting, superhydrophobic components into the electronic device.
Reader Comments:
Lenny wrote:
I got water into one of my palm's while over zealously cleaning the screen of some mess one of
my little friends put on it.Ê Water / liquid got in and seemed to just stay.Ê Seems like the
damage varies with the unit and depends on how well the components are sealed and how much
water gets left in even after vigorous drying.Ê My nephews once over flowed a toilet on top of my
workstation in the basement.Ê No one bother to turn the monitor off or shut down the system.Ê
When I got home turned things off and turned the monitor upside down to drain the water.Ê Let
the monitor sit for 3 days- the air conditioning kept the air pretty dry though.Ê and on the 4th day
everything worked fine.
Ê My suggestion would have been not to put the components in the sun.Ê Even indirect sun light
can cause trouble to some things.Ê I might have tried a hair dryer on low and far enough away
that the unit wasn't heating up but just exposed to the dry air.Ê I guess even a fan could do some
of the same, but just let it air out for awhile at least an hour or two depending on how well you
have the internal component exposed.Ê Even one drop of water in the wrong place while doing a
premature test could a short. Ê Of course this is a lot of speculation based on how much your
components were like the ones I was playing with.

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