A wet cell phone is something that every phone owner dreads. Getting caught out in the rain with no protection for your phone, or accidentally leaving your phone in a pair of jeans which is in the washing machine can be a nightmare.
What you do in the immediate aftermath of the mishap could decide whether your wet phone is functional in the near future or whether it needs to be sent in to a service centre where it can be repaired or replaced. Sometimes the damage might be irreparable but, by using the following steps, you could save your phone in the event it is exposed to water.
The first thing that you need to do when your cell phone gets wet is turn it off. The circuitry inside the cell phone can survive some time under water, but if the phone is on, or if the electrical functions are active anywhere in the phone, the likely outcome is the dreaded short-circuit.
A short circuit would require immediate repairing or replacement and cannot be done unless you have experience with phone hardware, or have completed a course in networking training. Try and switch your phone off, using the keys provided to do so, to minimize the damage.
If it was plugged in to any other electronic device or a wall mounted charger, then carefully turn off the mains in the whole room, and then extract the phone from the water and turn it off. The chances of a short circuit increase when live electricity is available, so by turning off the mains, you ensure that you don’t have to deal with problems bigger than phone damage.
Even if the phone seems to be working properly, switching it off is necessary, or the electrical in the phone face potential damage.
The longer the immersion in water, the greater the chances of the fluid seeping through into the internal sections of your phone, so if you have the opportunity to remove it immediately, doing so might help. Maintaining a level of calmness while dealing with a wet cell phone is of paramount importance, especially when retrieving your phone from water. Once you have removed the cell phone from the water, there are several ways in which you could resuscitate your phone.
Paper towels are absorbent in nature and can soak up huge quantities of water. Spread some paper towels on a flat surface and leave your phone covered completely in the aftermath of the incident. Once the exterior is dry, you need to open the phone and pull out the battery.
In phones that have a non-removable battery, you can avoid this step. Once the battery is out it needs to be wrapped just like the phone. Near the battery slot, there is usually a white square or circle which may or may not have white lines near it.
If this circle has begun turning to a shade of pink or red, then the phone has suffered some water damage.
SIM cards need to be removed as well.
SIM cards store most of your contacts and allow for your phone to connect wirelessly to a cellular network. Removing the SIM card will ensure that you can make calls using the same phone number without having to get a replacement. Any openings that are visible on the phone need to be exposed to the air immediately, to allow for evaporation or removal of the water from the phone.
The wet phone can now be wiped with a soft, absorbent and dry cloth but great care must be taken to avoid shaking it too much while cleaning as a single droplet on the inside can cause major damage. If the battery was pulled out before the indicators changed color, then using some rubbing alcohol and the cloth could mean that your phone will work perfectly well in the near future.
When dealing with a wet cell phone one always comes across suggestions to use a hair dryer to blow the water out. This is highly inadvisable as the air from the hair dryer could push water deeper into the interior of the phone and also aid in corrosion. If a vacuum cleaner is available, then gentle suction using the device for twenty minutes should help remove moisture.
Care must be taken to maintain a safe distance between the vacuum cleaner and the phone. Vacuum cleaners create static electricity which can cause far greater damage than water can. Desiccant gel packs, which are provided with some perishable goods like shoes and bags, will also suck out the moisture from the phone. Place the phone and desiccant gel in a sealed plastic bag for optimum effect.
A slightly less effective option would be to place the phone in a sealed bag with uncooked rice overnight, which will again absorb moisture. The wet phone must be rotated on an hourly basis to ensure that water escapes from the insides.
Finally, place the phone on an absorbent towel. A thick Turkish towel should work here. After four hours check the towel for signs of moisture. If the towel is wet, then the phone needs to be vacuumed and desiccant needs to be used again in a sealed plastic bag as the moisture has not gone yet.
After a minimum 24 hour wait period, your phone can be tested again to see if it is working. Each port and crevice on the phone needs to be inspected thoroughly for any signs of moisture. If the phone is devoid of moisture, then insert the battery in the device and start it.
This is the moment of truth, at this point observe the phone carefully to see if it is making any odd sounds or is vibrating in an odd manner.
If it is, turn it off immediately and head to the nearest service centre. If the phone has not come on, plug it into a charger without the battery and try to start it. If it does come on, it means your battery will need to be replaced.
If your phone has not come on after following all these steps, then a trip to an authorized dealer is required. Honesty is essential here as the person repairing the phone would be able to identify water damage easily.
Explain the situation in a clear and calm manner and the staff could prove to be helpful in bringing your phone to life. Wet cell phones can be repaired.
If you have followed the steps listed above then the chances of it working again are increased exponentially. Remember to not try and take the phone apart yourself. Doing so might cause further damage. Extensive repair work is best left to the professionals and might prevent any damage that you might cause unknowingly.