Smartphones are fragile items that can really hurt to lose. So can a water-damaged phone be fixed? Here’s how to know for sure.
You’ve been out having a great day with your friends. You’ve taken a ton of fantastic photos and captured some truly treasured memories. Then, disaster strikes. Your phone has ended up drenched, and you panic.
It’s a situation that fills us all with a pang of fear. None of us want to lose our phones to something as innocuous as a spill or a drop in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If this has recently happened to you, you might be wondering, “can a water-damaged phone be fixed?” Keep reading this article to find out.
Can a Water-Damaged Phone Be Fixed?
The short answer to this question is yes. But it depends on a few things. First, it depends on how much water got into the phone and which components it managed to wreck.
Most phones now come with a degree of waterproofing that allows them to remain functional, or at least fixable, if disaster strikes and the phone gets wet. Even if it seems that your phone is damaged beyond repair, you should be able to take it to a cell phone repair shop and get it fixed for a fee.
Places that fix iPhones and other popular smartphones are experienced and knowledgeable in how to save a water-damaged phone.
What You Should Do
Before you go charging headfirst into a repair shop to ask them to fix your water-damaged phone, there are a few things you can do at home to potentially salvage the situation.
Here’s what to do if your phone gets wet.
Remove the Phone From the Liquid
The obvious place to start is by removing your phone from the source of the liquid as soon as you can.
If something has been spilled on your phone, then remove the phone from the liquid straight away and give it a quick wipe down with a towel or piece of cloth. If you’ve dropped your phone into a body of water (like the toilet), then you need to fish it out as soon as possible.
The longer the phone sits in the liquid, the worse the damage will be.
Turn the Phone Off
Electricity and liquids do not mix well. To minimize the risk to yourself while you’re trying to fix the phone, you need to turn it off as quickly as possible.
You also want to turn it off to preserve the best chance of fixing the phone. Electricity is flowing around the phone’s circuits when it is on, and if these come into contact with the water, it will fry them.
Remove the Case
If you have a case on your phone, you’ll need to remove it.
You need to do this for two reasons. Firstly, a case can trap the water in the phone where it can have as long as it needs to wreak any havoc it wants to. Secondly, you’ll need to remove the case for ease of access for some of the other repairs you’ll need to do.
Remove the Battery
If you can, remove the battery and other removable components from the phone.
You want to remove the battery to minimize the risk of it coming into contact with the water and being damaged. You’ll also want to make sure and remove the SIM card from the slot as well. SIM cards have their own circuitry that can be fried by coming into contact with water.
Dry It Out
Once you’ve removed everything you need to and you’re sure that the phone is off, you can begin drying it out.
Start by wiping it down with a linen cloth and getting most of the outside moisture off of the phone. Make sure and get every nook and cranny of the phone, including the headphone jack, SIM port, and camera lens.
Once you’ve done this, put the phone in a sealable bag and let it air out for 24 hours. You can also pop a bit of paper towel in the bag to soak up any excess moisture.
What You Should Not Do
If you follow the above steps, you may save your phone without needing to take it in for repairs.
There are still some myths and misconceptions flying around about how to fix a water-damaged phone. Let’s take a look at what you should not do.
Don’t Use Rice
Whenever your phone is water-damaged, someone will weigh in to say that you should pop your phone in a bag of uncooked rice to remove the excess moisture. This is a myth.
While the rice can absorb excess moisture on the outside of the phone, it will do nothing to help the electronics inside the phone. In fact, residue from the uncooked (and therefore unwashed) rice can get into headphone and charging ports and cause more damage. It’s just not worth doing.
Don’t Use Heat
You might be tempted to run a blow-dryer over the phone or even put it in the oven to attempt to dry it out.
While this will indeed dry the phone out, it will also completely fry any of the electronics inside the phone that you’re trying to fix in the first place.
Don’t Turn It Back on Too Soon
You need to leave the phone off for at least 24 hours. Don’t try to turn it back on to see if it’s working, and definitely don’t try to put it on charge.
The circuits need time to dry out so that they can work again. If you turn the phone on too soon and the inside is still wet, you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
Don’t Mash the Buttons
When a phone breaks, it’s always tempting to try and mash all the buttons until something happens. This rarely works, and you should especially avoid doing it for water-damaged phones as it can further damage the device.
The Important Thing Is to Not Panic
So, can a water-damaged phone be fixed? Absolutely. You need to follow the tips set out in this article to give yourself the best chance of fixing it. It’s hard just to leave a phone switched off for an extended period of time, but it’s the main thing you can do to avoid making the water damage that much worse.
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