Jan 10 2011

Saving a wet mobile phone or iPod


Our family motto is ‘If it Ain’t Broke, it Ain’t Ours’.
It has also been very wet up here in the Northern Rivers this last month.

These two facts are bad news for mobile phones – we have acquired some expertise in drying them out.

Water is the natural enemy of electronic devices, and will generally void any warranty. (The manufactures put moisture detectors in the devices – they change colour when they get wet. This is the first thing a repairman will check, and will go no further if it shows a colour change).

Alex’s phone spent yesterday enjoying the summer rain. (Pant’s pockets in the washing machine have also been a good source for our experiments)

If your phone or ipod gets wet, Will the ‘electronic genius’ suggests you follow the same steps he does.

  1. Turn it off immediately. If it is off, do not turn it on to see if it works.Sometimes the phone will work when it first gets wet, but the moisture insidiously damages the insides over the next few days. 
  2. Open the case, remove the battery, if you can (which you can’t on an iPod or iPhone) 
  3. Blow the air from a hot hair dryer over the phone, battery and cover till there are no signs of moisture, and then some extra. This takes 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Make a ‘phone paella’. Put some dry, uncooked rice in a bowl and bury your phone and battery under the rice. (Rice is hygroscopic – which if I remember my chemistry correctly means it absorbs moisture from the surroundings)  
  5. Leave in the rice overnight, and check it all in the morning. 

Hopefully you won’t need this advice. Some phones will be so wet that they are unsalvageable. Others will take quite a bit of water without damage. There will be some ‘in-between’ occasions when this treatment may make a difference.

Have you any experience of wet phones? Let us know in the comments.

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