How to Save a Wet Cell Phone?

Ever dropped your cell phone in the sink, or even worse, the toilet? Did you ever leave it in your pocket and run it through the washer? Did you ever swim with your cell phone in your pocket? Such accidents are not very uncommon. Since the warranty for most electronics, including cell phones, does not cover water damage, what can you do to rescue that wet gadget? The answer mainly depends on how fast you act. Let’s have a look at one of the most common methods we usually may use to save a wet cell phone.

If your cell phone dropped into water, don’t panic. Reach your cell phone and take it out of the water as soon as possible. The plastic covers on cell phones are fairly tight, but water can enter the phone in a short period of time, perhaps only 20 seconds or less. Never switch on the cell phone when it is wet since it may cause short circuit and damage the cell phone chip seriously.

remove-the-batter-of-cell-phoneThen remove the battery without hesitation. Many circuits inside the phone will survive provided they are not attached to a power source when wet. To find out if the phone is truly water damaged, check the corner near where the battery is – there should be a white square or circle, with or without red lines. If this is pink or red, your phone has water damage.

Next remove the SIM card if you have a GSM carrier (not apply to CDMA carries such as Verizon, Alltel, US Cellular, Sprint, etc.) since some of your contact information stored on your SIM card may be more valuable that your cell phone, especially for sales person who store much client information. So get it out, just pat it dry and leave it aside until you need to connect your phone to your cellular network.

Remove any covers and external connectors to open up as many gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone as possible. Then use a soft and dried towel to gently wipe off as much water as possible. Avoid shaking or moving the phone excessively, so as to avoid moving water through it.

Use a vacuum cleaner to draw the liquid and residual moisture out of the inner parts of cell phone for up to 20 minutes. Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as a vacuum can create static electricity, which is even worse for the phone.

Note: Contrary to common advice, it is not recommended that you use a hair dryer (not even on the “cold” mode) to dry out the phone. Using a hair dryer may force moisture further into the small components, deep inside the phone, as the air blows inward. And if it is too warm, it will likely melt them. If moisture is driven deeper inside, corrosion and oxidation may result when minerals from liquids are deposited on the circuitry. Using a hairdryer might be a temporary fix, but this will eventually cause component failure inside the phone.

Use a substance with a high affinity for water to help draw out moisture. The most convenient and accessible is a bowl of rice. Just slip the cell phone inside a bowl of raw and dried rice and then leave it overnight to allow rice to absorb the remaining moisture. It will be better to rotate the phone to a different position every hour until you go to sleep. This will allow any water left inside to run down and hopefully find an opening to escape.

Tips: If available, it is preferable to use desiccant instead. Desiccant will absorb moisture better than rice. But remember to place the cell phone and desiccant into a sealed container to avoid the desiccant to absorb air moisture.

Let the phone sit on absorbent towels, napkin, or other paper. After removing the phone from the rice or desiccant (or if you were not able to use either method), place the phone on absorbent material. Remember that the goal is to evacuate all of the moisture and humidity, not to trap it or add even more.

Note: Check the absorbent material every hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming step and desiccant steps.

Test your phone. After you have waited at least 24 hours, or longer if possible, check to see that everything on and in your cell phone is clean and looks dry. Re-attach the battery to the phone and try turning it on.

The tips mentioned above won’t work in every circumstance though, some liquids like salt water, sodas and soft drinks do too much damage to the innards of your phone or media device and like anything, prevention is far better than cure. Try out this technique and if it doesn’t work out, check out the great range of cell phones at the China electronics shop

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