So you dropped your smartphone into the toilet, sink or pool. But resist the urge to panic, because you need to act fast to save your mobile from becoming water damaged. Here are the steps for how you can fix a phone dropped in water.
Remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible. The longer it stays there, the more water or liquid will seep through the cracks and openings of your phone. Once you've plucked it out, there are things that you should definitely do and things you should avoid doing to prevent water damage.
What not to do
- Do not turn it on or use it in any way.
- Do not press any buttons or keys.
- Do not shake, tap or bang the phone.
- Do not take the phone apart, this could void your warranty. Your device comes with a Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI) which, when activated, could void your warranty, and this could be triggered when you open your phone. If you absolutely need to take it apart, do this only if you have experience.
- Do not try to blow on it. This could send water into other internal parts of the phone that haven't been reached yet, causing more damage in the process.
- Do not apply heat of any kind, that includes using a blow dryer or microwaving it. Don’t do the opposite and stick it in the freezer either.
11 steps to save your water damaged phone
1. Turn it off if it isn’t already and keep it in an upright position.
2. Remove the protective casing if there is one and remove the microSD and SIM cards from their slots.
3. Open up the back and remove the battery if you are able to. This won't be possible with models where the battery isn’t removable, such as the HTC One (M8).
4. Use a cloth or paper towel to dab it dry. Avoid spreading the liquid around, because that could push it into more of the phone's openings.
5. If the water damage is more extensive, you can use a vacuum to carefully suck out water stuck from the cracks that are harder to get at.
6. Bury the phone in a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice. This may seem odd, but rice is great at absorbing liquid and this is actually a common method for drying smartphones and tablets. I've tried it before and it works.
7. If you have a phone drying pouch, use it! If you know you're rather clumsy, it might be worth buying one now, so you have it on hand, just in case. They are sold in most electronic or department stores.
8. Let it dry for a day or two and use another phone instead. If you have a SIM card, you could put it in an old phone, or ask a friend or family if they have a spare.
9. After a couple of days, you can insert the battery into the phone and turn it on. At this point, check if everything is working as it should be. Try playing some music to check the speakers and test out touch screen responsiveness.
10. If your phone doesn't turn on, try charging it to see if this will help. If it doesn't, the battery may be damaged. You might need to let it dry for longer or replace it. It's also possible that your phone might be damaged beyond repair. If you suspect that's the case, take your smartphone to a repair shop to be checked by a professional.
11. If your phone has turned on and it is running as it should, you should still keep a close eye on it for the next few days, to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
In the future, avoid taking the phone with you when you go to the pool, go to the bathroom or do the dishes.
Water resistant phones and cases
Hopefully these steps have helped your rescue your phone from an untimely death by drowning. If you want to protect your phone from water in future, you can also purchase a waterproof case. There are some good options available from brands such as Otterbox, Griffin Survivor and Catalyst.
Many phones are made watertight and dust-proof, such as the Sony Xperia Z3. These can go under water up to 1 m deep for up to 30 minutes. Other manufacturers make water-resistant phones, for example Samsung with the Galaxy S5 Active and Motorola with the second generation Moto G and Moto X. Even the Nexus 6 is water-resistant.
Do you have any other tips and tricks to suggest when it comes to saving a phone from water damage?