CAI Managed IT blog
Troubleshooting a Wet Cell Phone
Stories about smartphones getting wet usually have a funny twist to them, unless it is your own device, in which case the story is comparable to a Shakespearean tragedy. Whether your toddler threw your iPhone in the toilet, or your Galaxy S3 took up swimming, there are a few tricks you can try before dropping cash on a new device.
Here are some common Do's and Don'ts when troubleshooting your phones wetting problem. Please remember to tread carefully when attempting to fix a water-electricity problem. The device may look dead, but be warned: the battery can do a greater shock to your body than chugging the recommended limit of energy drinks.
Troubleshooting Wet Devices: Don'ts
- Do not try turning it on and off again. This tried and true method works for 99% of computer issues, but not wet devices. Switching the power on and off can force the water deeper into the phones circuitry.
- Do not take apart your phone. This will void the warranty and all the small pieces can be difficult to reassemble properly. Of course, if the warranty is not an issue and you are technically inclined then have at it, just remember to be safe and wear rubber gloves.
- Do not apply heat to the phone in an attempt to dry it out, extreme heat can turn the water into steam and further damage your device.
- Do not freeze your phone. This may feel counter intuitive, but this freezing solution is actually argued over the internet. We can only assume that the people suggesting you to place a wet phone in a freezer are the same people selling new cell phones. Think of the potholes ice creates on winter roads, ice can do the same damage to the inside of your phone.
Troubleshooting Wet Devices: Do's
- Dry off the phone immediately, preferably with a towel and without shaking it. You don't want to get any drops of water in deeper than they already are.
- Carefully remove the battery and SIM card from your phone to prevent a short circuit.
- One home remedy that has worked to dry out phones is to find an absorbent material, and put it in a sealed container or bag with your phone. Dry rice works surprisingly well for phone drying, and so do the small packets of silicon gel that you find in the inside of your new shoes, but you likely don't have enough of those lying around. Try to cover the device completely, and give it a full 24 hours to soak up everything.
Have you picked up any drying techniques that you have learned to do or not to do? Or do you have any hilarious stories to share about how your phone ended up in the pond? Feel free to share your stories and wisdom with us in the comments!