Get 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. So grab your phone
quickly! If you can't get to it in time, your best bet is to remove the battery
while it is still under water. Water helps dissipate heat from shorts that can
damage the phone, so most damage occurs when the inside of the phone is merely
wet and there is a power source. This can go both ways. Being under water is
more likely to short the battery to even more sensitive contacts, so be careful.
Don't panic. Your phone
will probably not be too damaged if you take it out of the water right away.
Remove the battery. This is one of the
most important steps. Don't take time to think about it; electricity and
water do not mix. Cutting power to your phone is a crucial first step in saving
it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they
are not attached to a power source when wet.
If you have a GSM career, remove your SIM card. Some
or all of your valuable contacts (along with other data) could be stored on your
SIM. To some people this could be more worth saving than the phone itself. SIM
cards survive water damage well, but some of the following steps are unnecessary
i.e. don't heat it. Just pat it dry and leave it aside until you need to connect
your phone to your cellular network. (This step does not apply to CDMA carriers
such as Verizon, Alltel, US Cellular, Sprint, etc.)
Dry your phone. Obviously you need to
remove as much of the water as soon as possible, so you can save it from getting
into the phone. Shake it out without dropping it, then use a towel or paper
towel (ideally trying not to clog the wet paper in the gaps and grooves of the
phone) to gently remove as much of the remaining water as possible. Dry the
excess moisture by hand.
Remove any covers and external connectors
to open up as many gaps, slots, and crevices in the phone as possible.
Use a vacuum cleaner if possible. Do
not use a hair dryer (even on a "cold" mode) to dry out the phone, as this
may force moisture further into the small components, deep inside the phone. 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. Instead,
remove all residual moisture by drawing it away with a vacuum cleaner held over
the affected areas for up to 20 minutes in each accessible area. This is the
fastest method and can completely dry out your phone and get it working in
thirty minutes. Be careful not to hold the vacuum too close to the phone, as a
vacuum can create static electricity, which is even worse.
Use a substance with a high affinity for
water to help draw out moisture. Leave
the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. The rice would
absorb any remaining moisture. If available, it is preferable to use desiccant
instead. Desiccant will absorb moisture better than rice.
Let the phone sit on absorbent towels,
napkin, or other paper. Remember that the goal is to evacuate all the moisture and
humidity, not to trap it or add even more. Check the absorbent material every
hour for 4 to 6 hours. If moisture is evident, repeat the vacuuming step and
Test your phone. After you have waited
a day or so, make sure everything is clean and dry looking and re-attach the
battery to the phone and see if it works. If your phone does not work, try
plugging it into its charger without the battery. If this works, you need a new
battery. If not, try taking your cell phone to an authorized dealer. Sometimes
they can fix it. Don't try to hide the fact that it has been wet. There are
internal indicators that prove moisture.
Take the phone apart If your phone doesn't
turn on at all. Try taking it apart. First, make sure that you have ALL the
right parts and know exactly where they go. Be sure to put everything back in
its proper place once finished. As you're disassembling it, pat each individual
part dry with a small towel and use the vacuum cleaner once more on the
crevices. If this doesn't work go to the professionals.
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