Accidents happen, and the feeling of panic can be overwhelming when it involves water and your precious phone. Water accidentally contacting your phone can cause damage, sometimes permanent. Even a few seconds submerged can cause extensive damage to the components and potentially render your device useless. Fortunately, there are steps you can take on how to repair a water-damaged phone.
Repairing a water-damaged phone is often possible if addressed quickly. However, it can involve dismantling the device to identify and replace specific parts, which many people feel are not capable of.
With this guide, we will outline some quick steps you can take right away, as well as discuss reliable resources for professional services that may be necessary to repair your damaged smartphone.
How to Check if Your Smartphone has Water Damage
Smartphones can be expensive, and replacing them after water damage is not always an option. Here are some tips to tell whether your device has water submersion damage.
The first method of checking for water damage is simply inspecting the outside of your phone visually. If you see any signs of moisture around the edges or seams where components are, then there’s a good chance that water went inside.
Furthermore, some phones have special open ports that show up under ultraviolet light. If these ports are pink or red instead of white, your phone has had moisture exposure.
A visual inspection is easy and only takes a few minutes, but it can help determine if you need further steps to check for internal water damage.
❗Check for Corrosion or Rust
Another way to determine whether your phone has water damage is to inspect the charging port, headphone jack, and camera lens. Look closely for any signs of corrosion or rust around the area where you typically plug in your charger. If you see any discoloration or rust, moisture will likely get into your device.
❗Inspect the SIM Card Slot
Check for water damage by taking out your SIM (if applicable) and inspecting the slot where it goes in. Any evidence of liquid on or around the slot could mean that moisture has made its way into your phone’s circuitry and caused corrosion over time. To avoid further harm, we recommend taking out your SIM as soon as possible and allowing it to dry before putting it back in again.
❗Note Any Discoloration on the Screen
Another sign of water damage is discoloration on the screen of your phone. It could be a yellowing or greenish tint on either part or all of the display. If this happens, it’s a good indicator that your smartphone got some liquid.
❗Look Out For Any Unusual Odors
If there is water damage, you may also notice an unusual smell from your phone. It could be anything from a musty odor to one similar to burnt electronics. You should not ignore it, as it indicates that something inside your device is not working correctly and needs to be addressed immediately.
❗Test Battery Life
Testing the battery life is another great way to check for water damage on your smartphone. Most phones will have a built-in feature that allows you to track how much battery power you have left after charging it up fully and using it throughout the day.
Notice that your battery life is significantly worse than usual. It could indicate that something inside has been damaged due to exposure to liquids like water or soda. In this case, it would be best to bring your device to a repair shop as soon as possible so they can diagnose the problem accurately and suggest potential solutions.
❗Test Your Device’s Performance
Vibration, audio, and touch sensitivity should all remain consistent when using your smartphone in normal conditions with no interference from moisture or other factors. If these features become sluggish or unresponsive without warning, then there’s likely an issue with internal components due to exposure to liquid.
It’s best to check out these functions as soon as possible to avoid further problems.
Consequences of Getting Your Phone Wet
We’ve all been there before. A spilled drink, a dip in the pool, or an unexpected downpour. These scenarios can lead to one unfortunate result: your phone gets wet. But what happens when your phone does get wet?
Water has two highly corrosive and conductive elements: hydrogen and oxygen. When these two elements come into contact with electrical components, such as the ones found inside most smartphones, they can cause short circuits or even physical damage. It is important to take immediate action if your phone has been exposed to water.
Let’s examine some potential repercussions of getting your device wet.
The most obvious consequence is permanent damage. If moisture has been allowed to seep into the phone’s internal components, it could cause irreparable damage, rendering your phone useless. It means you would need to replace it completely with a new one to regain full functionality.
Even if your phone survives after submerging in the water without suffering permanent damage, there may still be potential consequences. It may lead to reduced performance due to corrosion on internal components or cosmetic issues such as discoloration of plastic parts over time due to prolonged exposure to moisture.
These could also lead to slower response times, decreased battery life, and distorted audio or visuals. These issues can be traced back to water damage and must be addressed as soon as possible to restore full functionality.
?Rust and Corrosion
Water damage can lead to rusting if the internal components remain wet for too long. Rust and corrosion occur when metal parts come into contact with water and oxygen and begin to corrode. These corroded parts can interfere with an electronic device’s performance and cause permanent damage to the device itself.
When water comes into contact with any electrical component, it can cause a short circuit, which is when electricity is redirected from its intended path. It can cause serious damage to both the internal components as well as external components, such as speakers or headphones. Sometimes, it can even permanently disable certain features on your phone.
If moisture remains inside the device after submerging it in water, mold spores may begin to grow inside it. It can damage your phone and increase health risks associated with mold exposure over time. It’s important to take action immediately if you suspect any moisture has been trapped inside your device after getting it wet.
Why Water Damage Phone Repairs Usually Fail?
If you have experienced a water-damaged phone, you know how panic-inducing it can be. You may ask, “Will my phone work again?” or “Can I get it repaired?” Unfortunately, water damage repair is not always successful, and sometimes drastic measures are needed to save your device.
The number one reason water damage repairs usually fail due to the corrosion caused by the water. Corrosion occurs when metal components come into contact with moisture over time and start to break down. It can lead to short-circuiting, which causes an electrical current to be redirected from its intended path, leading to a malfunctioning device.
It’s also important to remember that water can seep into the tiniest of cracks and crevices, so it’s essential to inspect all components of your device thoroughly to locate any areas where water may have infiltrated.
Unfortunately, many people attempt DIY repairs on their water-damaged phones. While some people can open up their devices and dry out the components with relative success, many don’t have that kind of luck.
Due to its tiny components and fragile nature, it is difficult for everyday users to diagnose issues such as corrosion or short circuits inside a smartphone. Furthermore, attempting a DIY repair can also void your warranty, which means the manufacturers will no longer cover any future repairs.
How to Repair A Water Damaged Phone
We all dread when our phone dives into the toilet, pool, or ocean. But don’t give up hope just yet. There may be a way to save your water-damaged phone! But what do you do if this happens? Depending on the type of phone you have and how wet it gets, there are different steps you can take.
1️⃣Take Immediate Action
When you realize your phone has been dropped in water, immediately turn off the power and remove any external accessories such as cases, covers, and headphones. It will help prevent further damage from occurring. Do not attempt to turn on the phone until it has thoroughly dried out.
Even if it looks dry, there could still be moisture inside of it that could cause permanent damage if exposed to an electrical charge.
2️⃣Assess the Damage
Assess the extent of damage caused by water exposure. The longer an electronic device remains wet, the more likely permanent damage will occur. If your phone was only exposed to water for a brief moment, you have a better chance of repairing it than if it was submerged in liquid for an extended period.
Also, look for signs such as discoloration or corrosion on the device. It indicates that extensive internal damage may require professional assistance.
3️⃣Turn Off Your Phone
Once you’ve determined that you want to attempt to fix your phone, switch off your device as soon as possible and remove its battery if possible. It is done to prevent any further electrical current from traveling through the circuits and potentially causing more damage than necessary.
You should follow this step even if your phone appears unaffected because water may have seeped into its interior components without visible signs on its exterior case or screen.
4️⃣Remove the Battery, SIM Card, and Other Components Immediately
Remove all of your phone’s removable components as soon as possible. It includes a removable battery, SIM card, SD card if applicable, and other components such as headphones or charging cables. Removing these components will help prevent damage from occurring inside your device.
5️⃣Dry Your Phone Thoroughly
Once all the removable components are out of your device, the next step is to dry it off thoroughly. Make sure you don’t use heat sources such as blow dryers or microwaves because this can cause more damage to your device.
Instead, use an absorbent towel or cloth and gently dab the device until you remove water and all the moisture. You should also ensure that you don’t shake or tap your device too hard, as this could cause the liquid inside it to move around and cause further damage.
If you want to speed things up, gently vacuuming your device with a low-powered vacuum can help remove any remaining moisture.
6️⃣Clean Your Phone with Rice or Silica Gel Packets
One widely known method of drying a wet cell phone is submerging it in rice grains. However, this method may be ineffective as rice fails to absorb enough moisture inside a device’s circuitry boards (as opposed to silica gel packs).
Therefore, if you have access to silica gel packets, you should use them instead. Place it in an airtight container with your phone, and make sure the device is completely sealed. The silica gel will absorb any moisture inside the device, which can help prevent further damage.
If not, then place your phone in a bowl filled with uncooked white rice and leave it overnight. Although this method is outdated and unreliable compared to silica gel packs, it may still help absorb some moisture from within your device and potentially salvage it from destruction.
7️⃣Bring It To A Professional Mobile Technician
If none of the above steps seem to work, or if you have doubts about how much damage your phone has sustained, it’s best to bring it to a professional mobile technician. It is especially true if your device is submerged in water for an extended period.
Professional technicians have access to special tools and equipment that can help them better assess the damage and give you an accurate estimate of how much it’ll cost to repair your device. In some cases, they may even be able to get your phone back up and running in no time!
How to Prevent Water Damage and Keep Your Phone Dry
Water damage to your phone can be a costly mistake. Whether it’s an accidental drop, a spill, or a swim in the pool, water damage can ruin your phone and cost you hundreds of dollars. But how do you prevent water damage?
Let’s dive into how you can protect your phone from water damage.
?Use Waterproof Cases
Using a waterproof or water-resistant case is the most common way to keep water from your phone. These cases keep moisture out and protect your device from the elements. They are made of heavy-duty rubber, plastic, or metal and are often designed with sealable ports to prevent moisture from getting inside.
Additionally, some waterproof cases come with an IP rating which indicates how much protection they offer against dust and liquid ingress.
?Keep It Away From Water
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Try to keep your phone away from liquids as much as possible! It means be careful when taking it into the bathroom while showering or leaving it near an open window during rainstorms.
If you find yourself near water, ensure you have a tight grip on your device at all times. One slip could mean disaster for your phone!
?Be Careful With Charging Ports
Charging ports are one of the most common sources of water damage in phones because they are exposed to the elements when not in use. Ensure you always plug in your charger properly, so there isn’t any chance for the liquid to get into the port.
Moreover, if possible, avoid charging outdoors with an increased risk of exposure to rain or other forms of precipitation.
?Check Your Phone’s Warranty
Most phones come with a manufacturer’s warranty covering accidental water damage, so it’s worth checking yours before taking further steps. Depending on when and where you purchased your phone, you may be able to get it repaired (or replaced) for free by the manufacturer or an authorized service provider.
Ensure you read all the terms and conditions carefully, as different manufacturers have policies regarding this type of repair coverage.
?Regular Maintenance and Cleaning
You should also perform regular maintenance checks and cleanings on your phone. It means examining all ports and openings for signs of dust or dirt buildup, which could interfere with the seals. Make sure you tightly seal all caps, as this will help prevent any moisture from getting inside the device.
You should also use a soft cloth to wipe away any dust or debris that has accumulated around the edges of the ports and openings. It will ensure that no moisture can seep through and cause potential damage to your phone’s internal components.
?Dry Out Your Device Immediately After Exposure
If you get your device wet, ensure it gets dried out as quickly as possible! Use an absorbent cloth to pat down as much excess moisture as possible before placing it somewhere warm but not hot (avoid direct sunlight!) so it can dry completely without sustaining any damage from heat exposure.
If possible, remove any removable parts like batteries before attempting to dry out the device. It will allow more air circulation inside the device, which will speed up drying time significantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common causes of water damage to phones?
Water damage is a leading cause of phone destruction, but it doesn’t take an accident for your device to become water-logged. Exposure to water or humidity can wreak havoc on phones and other small technology devices. Vapor from boiling water, splashes in the sink, raindrops, and spills onto the countertop may seem harmless enough, but they can all lead to the corrosion of components and short circuits within the device.
Many people don’t think about how often their phones interact with moisture daily. It includes getting caught in a surprise shower, washing hands over the sink, and having flying droplets land on the screen. Even condensation on a hot summer day can do a number on your phone’s circuits.
How can I tell if my phone is waterproof?
Taking your phone into the pool or a lake is no longer out of the question. Getting familiar with water-resistant phones means that swimming and surfing with your phone are now possible. To find out if your phone is water-resistant, it is important to consult the manufacturer’s website first. The website should provide information on whether you can submerge the device in water.
Moreover, many smartphones come with an IP rating (ingress protection code) which will tell you how much protection from physical objects like dust and water the device has. These ratings give ratings from 0-6 for their water resistance, respectively. Knowing these features will help you determine whether your phone can survive a dip in the pool.
Is it better to fix my water-damaged smartphone?
Deciding whether to repair your phone after water damage can be difficult. On the other hand, repairs can be costly, and the outcome is not always how you would have hoped. On the other hand, having a working and functioning phone plays an important role in our day-to-day lives, keeping us connected with family and friends and providing entertainment.
It may be beneficial to attempt repairs if you do not want to buy a new device or cannot afford a new phone immediately. Doing so could extend the life of your device and save you money in the long run. However, weighing all the pros and cons before making your final decision is important.
What not to do after I dropped my phone in the water?
If you’ve had the misfortune of dropping your phone in the water, panic is likely the first thing you’ll experience. However, this is generally not recommended and can act as a hindrance in salvaging your device. First, don’t try to turn the phone on right away! It is a mistake that many of us make, as turning on the device could short-circuit any internal components.
Additionally, avoid the urge to blow-dry your phone as it can cause other damages to your device. Moreover, do not shake or tap the device to eliminate excess water. Never put it in a dryer or microwave. Taking these steps could cause serious harm to your phone’s circuitry.
Is it okay to use a cloth or paper towel to dry my wet phone?
Using a cloth or paper towel to dry your wet phone is not recommended, as these materials may be abrasive and cause permanent damage. Additionally, the fibers from the material may get trapped inside small crevices, which can create further problems down the road.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is best to leave your device in a safe place and let the water evaporate over time. In extreme cases, if you feel that drying your phone with a cloth or towel is necessary, be sure to dab lightly at the device rather than rub vigorously. Taking this precaution might save you some heartache in the future!
How do I know if my wet-damaged phone is beyond repair?
If the phone is wet for too long or you tried to turn it on immediately after taking it out of the water, you may find that even modern technology cannot rescue it from its ruined state. Too much water exposure can corrode delicate electrical components and permanently disable circuits, making them unrepairable.
The best way to know whether your wet-damaged phone is beyond repair is to take it to a trusted electronics repair shop that can accurately assess the damage and provide an honest opinion before any costly repairs.
If your phone ever dives into the pool, ocean, toilet, or any other body of water, don’t worry. There are steps you can take to fix it. Knowing how to repair a water-damaged phone is important, and taking the right steps in time may save you from spending money on buying a new device.
Remember to turn off your device immediately after getting too much water, avoid turning it back on until it’s completely dry, and take it to a trusted repair shop for assessment if you think the damage is too extensive. Doing these things will increase your chances of salvaging your beloved device.
Be sure to take extra precautions with your valuable tech investments by keeping them away from any possible sources of liquid damage.