How to Handle Water Damaged Personal Device

You might have dropped your phone into water or spilled liquid (coffee/ water) on your laptop, and might be wondering how you can save your device from damage.

Note: Be cautious when handling electronic equipment with water contact. These are only general guidelines that might help in dealing with water damage and not expert advice.

Listed here are some of the general steps you can take after the device is in contact with water to prevent damage:

  1. Turn off your phone/ laptop immediately
    • Pay attention to your personal safety first! Immediately power down your device. This will reduce the chances of any electronic components getting short-circuited.
    • For Laptops, while powering down a laptop, Don't attempt to pull any chargers out of the wall with your bare hands. Instead, turn off the power by flipping the corresponding switches in your circuit breaker before you unplug the charger.
       
  2. Open any visible slots
    • Use a pin or a SIM card removal tool to pop open the SIM tray and remove the SIM card. If there is any micro SD card slot, remove that.
    • If there are any visible water droplets, shed and clean the device with a cloth.
    • If the battery slot is accessible from the back of the device, open it and remove the battery.
       
  3. Dry up your device
    • As simple it might seem, there are different ways to dry up the device, but be cautious when following any trends. Listed below are some tips and warnings on using common methods.
      • Do not use excessive heating equipment e.g. hairdryer, microwave, etc. The added heat can cause corrosion if there is any water on your device's hardware or can catch fire.
      • Do not charge the device or turn it on until you are certain it’s dry. Charging/ Turning on a device with liquid still inside it can cause further damage.
      • Start with a soft, microfiber cloth to remove water. If you can remove the back panel of your phone/laptop, use a cloth to wipe down the components inside.
      • Use a compressed aerosol air duster to blow the water out if possible.
      • You can try leaving out the device in the open air to dissipate some amount of water or dry out the device (and especially the ports) in front of a fan.
      • Using a drying agent e.g. Silica gel might help in some instances. For more information on using different methods for drying up a device, and how effective each is refer to the video here.
      • For more information on handling water damage situations refer to the article Water Damage by IFixit Support.
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Article ID: 3147
Created
Tue 3/1/22 10:36 AM
Modified
Mon 6/3/24 10:18 AM