How to fix a wet cell phone and prevent water damage

Wet cell phoneOne day at the pool, the inevitable happens: you get thrown into the water by a bunch of your drunken buddies. In any case, the $300 cell phone that was in your pocket got wet. Unless you own a water proof cell phone, you’ll want to know exactly how to dry out a wet cell phone, because you might still be able to repair it.

1. Remove the battery. This is the most important part! Damage in wet electronic devices mostly comes from short circuits. Removing the battery quickly will prevent electricity from further damaging the phone. Resist the temptation to test the phone while it is still wet!

2. Remove the SIM card (if applicable). The SIM card should have survived, but make sure you don’t use it again until it has dried completely.

3. Disassemble the phone. Use the required screwdrivers to disassemble the phone as much as you can. Note that disassembling the phone will probably void your warranty, but then so will dropping the phone in water. You’ve got nothing to lose. The reason for the disassembly is simple: the phone will dry up much faster once it is disassembled. You could skip this step, but water can remain inside the phone for weeks if you don’t do it.

4. Dry the phone as much as possible using q-tips or paper towels or a similar material. This will prevent water from getting further into the phone. Two ideas to help with the drying:

  • Heat the phone. Heat will help water evaporate. Leaving the phone under a desk lamp for 24 or 48 hours might help. WARNING: Do not overheat! Just a little warmth is enough. Heating the phone too much can further increase the damage done to it.
  • Use a fan. Leave the phone under a desk fan for 24 or 48 hours.

5. Test the phone. After a few days (usually two or three), the phone should be clean and dry. Reassemble the phone and put the SIM card and battery pack back in. If it doesn’t work, there is a chance your battery has died from water damage. Try an alternative power source. You can get another battery for cheap if your phone still works.

As always, be very careful when disassembling electronic devices. Know you warranties and insurances well before attempting anything, and make sure you note how to reassemble the phone. Repair a wet cell phone at your own risks.

Hopefully, you will manage to save your wet cell phone from drowning!

 

{ 8 comments }

Aster April 16, 2007 at 3:02 am

You can also put the phone in a substance that will absorb the water.

I tried it with dry coffee grounds, but you can probably do it with oats, rice, or anything that will soak up water, even one of those “DO NOT EAT” packets. Check it out:
http://www.helium.com/tm/219364/phone-after-youve-dropped

Andy June 17, 2007 at 5:36 pm

I managed to rescue my wife’s Nokia phone after she accidentally dunked it in water.

I photographed the process and put together this step-by-step repair guide here:

http://www.thepriors.idps.co.uk/repair_wet_phone/repair_wet_phone.html

It worked for me!

luke September 14, 2007 at 6:02 am

I accidently drowned my N-gage to the water for nearly a second. I took it out, rub it with tissues. I thought it was okay. Everthing seemed fine. Then, suddenly I lost my signals, which rarely happens in my area. Plus, the phone didn’t even say that it couldn’t register my SIM card. What’s worst, the power button didn’t work, no matter how many times or how strong I pressed it. So, I took out the battery. I removed everything, the battery, case, SIM card, mem. card and I used hairdryer to try to dry the phone. AND. What’s weird, as I inserted my battery, the phone turned on by itself. Yet, the power button wasnt still working and so as the SIM card. I removed everything again, but this time I inserted a SIM card from another country which wouldn’t work here. This time, the phone said that it couldn’t register the SIM card. I inserted my original SIM card to another phone and it worked well.

So what’s wrong with my phone??! I really don’t know what to do. Please help! I beg you.

polaris_innocent@yahoo.com

franco November 23, 2007 at 11:30 am

my nokia 8800 gold secren is broken .can i fix it

Kyle July 28, 2008 at 8:25 am

i fell into a pool one day and my Samsung SGH-U900 SOUL was damged all over on the touch pad can i fix it ?

Kyle July 28, 2008 at 8:27 am

it also doesnt come back on and the cameras flash stays on what is up with it?

chris October 23, 2008 at 12:48 pm

hi my cell phone i broken my cell has phisical or liqued dameges i turns on and on and on

jade April 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm

hi i have the sony ericsson anio it has water damage and has ha dit about 2 weeks it is now sitting in a tub of rice does anyone have any surgestions many thanks

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