Repair water-damaged smartphone

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Have you ever dropped your expensive Android smartphone or iPhone in a pool of water accidentally? It can really be depressing when you think of the money wasted by that accident.

Repair water-damaged smartphone
Smartphone in Water

All hope is not lost actually. You can get your smartphone to work again even without having to take it to the technician to see if the phone can be brought back to life.

Though, in extreme cases where the phone was immersed in water for a long period, taking it to a competent technician is the only option. But even that won’t guarantee the phone would work again.

For now, we would deal with the sort of problem you can salvage. This is a situation where the immersion in water was not more than 30 second at worst.

Just follow these steps and get your phone back to life again.

1.The obvious first step is to get the phone out of the water immediately. And after getting it out of the water don’t even think of trying to switch it on or plugging it to the charger.

Repair water-damaged smartphone
Smartphone dropped in water

That is a sure way to compound a bad situation because powering it on might cause some components to short circuit; forever destroying them. In which case, you can kiss your phone good bye

2.Detach everything that you can safely remove from the phone. These include phone case, sim cards, battery, memory card.

This is to make sure all nooks and crannies that water could be lodged in are exposed.

Unfortunately, some phones these days come with non-detachable battery, so removing the battery could prove difficult (unless you have the know how). In this case you just have to leave the battery pack in the phone.

3.Wipe off the water you can see on the phone with a cloth. Then upend the phone and it shake it firmly but gently to remove the water in the ports and sockets of the phone.

4.This is the critical stage of the operation. The whole point of the exercise is to dry the phone so it starts to work again.

Don’t be tempted to use hot air from a hair dryer. These can damage some internal components of the phone.

Repair water-damaged smartphone
Phone and battery in Rice

Since you are at home, the best option  is to give the phone what I call the rice treatment. Yes, that ordinary rice you cook is the best option for drying the wet phone.

Raw rice is a good desiccant. That is a substance that adsorb moisture from its surroundings.

So go ahead to bury your phone in uncooked rice for at least 48 hours. You can just fetch enough of the rice in a bowl. Then completely bury the phone in the bowl of rice.

Leave it like that for at least 2 days.

Two days is enough for the rice to absorb all the moisture in the phone.

5. A better option than uncooked rice is to use actual desiccant. The most common is silica gel. This can be found stuffed in the cartons containing the new electronics we buy.

Repair water-damaged smartphone
Silica gel Covering phone

Another place to get them is to buy them from a laboratory supplies store. You’d have to buy enough of them to completely cover the phone if you decide to use them instead of rice.

After buying the silica gel, follow the same process like the rice. Completely cover the phone with silica gel and leave it for at least 2 days.

6.Give the battery the rice or silica treatment too at the same time with the phone.

7.After two days buried in the desiccant, your phone should be ready to be switched on.

Put the battery back and cover the phone like normal. Then cross your fingers and…. switch it on.

8. All tins being equal, the phone should come on.

It advisable to now back-up all files and data on your to another place like your PC for instance. The reason is simple. That your phone came back to life doesn’t mean it won’t stop working at any time.

The fact is, water sometime takes a while to really damage the phone. So while you are in the probation period of seeing if the phone is working perfectly, quickly back up your important files.


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