How to Deal with a Droid thats Gotten Wet–THE RIGHT WAY

Discussion in 'Droid FAQ' started by medicTHREE, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. medicTHREE
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    medicTHREE New Member

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    From my blog How to Deal with a BlackBerry thats Gotten Wet–THE RIGHT WAY | Medic Three

    DISCLAIMER: YOUR PHONE MIGHT ALREADY BE GORKED. THIS IS JUST AN ATTEMPT TO GIVE YOU THE BEST ADVICE POSSIBLE TO FIX YOUR PHONE. IF THIS DOES NOT FIX YOUR PHONE, IT ISN’T MY FAULT. YOU’RE THE ONE WHO PIDDLED ON IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. NO, I DON’T NEED YOUR STORY ABOUT HOW RICE SAVED YOUR LIFE. I DON’T CARE THAT SOME COINCIDENCE HELPED. THIS IS THE PROPER PROCEDURE. LIVE WITH IT.

    Many of us have experienced the dreaded moment where our phone has met H2O up close and personal. Many of us have managed to salvage our devices too, sometimes with luck, sometimes with skill, sometimes purely on accident.

    There are many ideas out there on what to do: rice, water, alcohol, desiccant, etc. But the trouble is we don’t know why those reasons have worked for people, or if they have at all.

    Many here and all over the internet swear by using rice to draw out the moisture. While people have claimed to have great success with this method, there is no proof it is actually saving their device. How do we know that the phone didn’t just dry out on its own, given the proper time? The prinicipal behind rice is that it “draws” out the moisture. While yes, rice does absorb a great deal of moisture, its drawing power is very limited. There are no rice gnomes that sneak out of the rice and bring the moisture back for the rice gods.

    This leads us to Silica Desiccant. These are the little packets found in your shoe boxes, pill bottles, and many other packing materials. Obviously that tiny pack isn’t going to help, but you can get desiccant pouches at gun shops and craft stores sell loose desiccant used to dry flowers(it may just be labeled for such, not as desiccant). Silica desiccants do draw out moisture with great success. Far superior to rice, and best of all can be recharged in the oven on low-slow heat. Trouble is they only adsorb the water–not the crap the water brought with it.

    Often I have found that many people recommend rinsing with distilled water. The idea being that you are rinsing the impurities. While this is a good “idea”, you could just force more water into places we don’t want it! I think we forget that even though the phone was submerged water may not have made its way all the way into the phone and main board. You have then made a situation that would have dried out all on its own far worse.

    So… It takes a little thought on how to do this best. Despite all of the “this is what worked for me” stories, not ALL situations are the same. This might take a little critical thinking, and if you aren’t capable, just go ahead and call up Assurion and file your insurance claim. (PS, there is no guarantee you CAN salvage your phone, but these steps are your best bet).

    Step ONE:
    Expose your phone to water/liquid. Could be pee, could be a bottle of beer, could be both.


    Step TWO:
    Immediately remove battery. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. Do yourself a favor, take the battery, put it in a drawer and forget about it for a few days. The battery door can go with it, too.

    Step THREE:
    Using a soft towel pat the phone face down onto it. The keyboard is the major source for water entry into the phone. Allow gravity to work. Don’t try to turn it on now. Whatever you do, do NOT TRY TO TURN IT ON!

    Step FOUR:
    Go to the drug store and buy 100% rubbing alcohol(likely 91% might be the best you can find). Go to a well ventilated area with no spark risk. Away from your computer and tv too. Fill a bowl with enough alcohol(do not use liquor. do not use anything with coloring. THink about this… 80 proof liquor is only 40% alc, and has loads of other “stuff” in it. The very stuff we are trying to remove.) Take your phone, place gently in bowl, and lightly swish. Very gently . Remove from the bowl and repeat step THREE. Here it is in case your up arrow is broken:

    Quote:
    Step THREE:
    Using a soft towel pat the phone face down onto it. The keyboard is the major source for water entry into the phone. Allow gravity to work. Don’t try to turn it on now. Whatever you do, do NOT TRY TO TURN IT ON!
    Step FIVE:
    This is the tough one. Wait. Wait until you think it is dry, then wait 2 more days. The alcohol that you rinsed your phone with displaced the water, now it must evaporate. There are risks to long term alcohol exposure for your phone–it can break seals(just like in people…) and break glue bonds. I’ve done this to 5 phones(not all mine, but for family/friends) and never experienced any alcohol related failures(the same can’t be said for their owners). I recommend waiting at least 4 days. 5 is better. I know, you can’t live without your phone for that long… but this is an attempt to save you some cash. Live with it.

    Step FIVE 1/2:
    Drying location. Some swear by rice. I wouldn’t put my phone it it. Short of a vacuum rice isn’t going to draw from the phone any more than it would the air. I find the best location is NEXT to an air conditioning vent or dehumidifier. Not on top of, not directly in line. We don’t want any forced air action, but the passive effects are great. If you must, you can use desiccant pouches. If you use loose, put it in a sock, and the phone in a sock, then put in the same close ziplock with the air sucked out. I would still allow the phone 24 hours to dry open air before giving it the desiccant treatment.

    Step SIX!!!!

    Put battery in. Watch closely to see if anything is different that before. Flashing, smoking, flames, and booms are all bad things. Normal is good. If it turns on completely, check EVERY button so you don’t have a surprise. If there is moisture under the screen, use DESICCANT from the gun shop/sporting goods store/craft store to draw it out. Follow instructions in Step Five using a ziplock bag–make sure to suck air out(or even better, a vaccuum packing machine). Test out your salvaged phone. If it works, rejoice!
    Alcohol is particularly helpful when the liquid was NOT water. It removes the sticky icky from your phone. That sticky icky really kills your keyboard. There is no guarantee you will save your phone this way, but this is the way I have saved 5 so far. This is also what we used in electronics assembly to clean delicate electronics for THESE signs. Some phones are beyond saving. This is a risk you take when you decide to attempt to save your piddle paddle phone. Live with it.

    Good luck. There are a million stories on the web about how to do this, but I promise you I have researched and have the electronics experience to do this the right way.

    Good Luck!

    adapted from How to Deal with a BlackBerry thats Gotten Wet–THE RIGHT WAY | Medic Three

    =========================================================
    I have Moved this into the FAQ section where I think it now belongs.
    I will Leave it Open for comment as well.
    JimMariner
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2010
  2. bots
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    bots New Member

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    Sounds like good advice to me, hopefully I won't ever need to use it, though.
  3. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    Sticky this write-up.

    I know at least someone has already dropped their phone in a body of water. It might be too late for them, but this is great for users to see.
  4. spalding12
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    spalding12 New Member

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    1 more thing.....
    pay for the insurance on your phone....
    and keep it fully backed up often
    in case the above suggestion doesn't work

    there is no substitute for the inexpensive monthly insurance for your cell phone
  5. MannyPR
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    MannyPR New Member

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    Rice saved my life. :icon_ banana:
  6. P8ntballer789
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    P8ntballer789 New Member

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    Wow i would never think of doing that. Awesome right up and thanx for sharing :rating10:
  7. medicTHREE
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    medicTHREE New Member

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    I have seen it really gunk up devices too.
  8. JonKyu
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    JonKyu New Member

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    Great post and you should bold in addition to capital letter to NOT TURN ON THE DEVICE ever until it is completely dry.
  9. MInkyboi
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    MInkyboi New Member

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    just one thing, what's DESICCANT?

    great write up btw
  10. medicTHREE
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    medicTHREE New Member

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  11. RinTinTigger
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    RinTinTigger Premium Member Premium Member

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    MEdicThree, please add the following

    !Immediately remove SIM and SD Card, cause they can carry rest ammounts of power!

    Anyways REALLY good thread!
  12. Sex Cells
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    Sex Cells New Member

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    ive always just taken the battery out then washed them in distilled water.
  13. medicTHREE
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    medicTHREE New Member

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    So apparently no sticky love on this. Guess we'll deal with the numerous dumb posts that will come.
  14. xjman349
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    xjman349 New Member

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    I tell everyone I know that drops their phone in the toilet, or exposes to water and rice works almost every time. Considering I work for Verizon I hear about it a lot. Rice>ALL in my opinion.
  15. RinTinTigger
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    RinTinTigger Premium Member Premium Member

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    Stickied that one!
  16. Ohiomulchboy4
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    Ohiomulchboy4 New Member

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    Good write up, but no matter how many people read this there will still be some who try to bake it in the oven or use a blow dryer, all of which FAIL.

    A longggggg time ago I had a Nextel ( hahahaha ashamed to say that ) and it jumped out of my hand into the toilet.... Really it did! and I had read some where that along with the rice and such "drawing out" the moisture a Refrigerator would help in that process ( thats what a refrigerator does is draw out moisture when the door is sealed)

    So along with the removing the battery and drying it the best as i could with a towel I had placed it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and worked from then on as if nothing had ever occurred.
  17. Backnblack
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    Backnblack Premium Member Premium Member

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  18. sophiethebulldog
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    sophiethebulldog New Member

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    Thanks...I think this was great...hey btw DO NOT TURN ON heehee
  19. tranz
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    tranz New Member

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    you can't get the battery, AND SIMM, and SD card out too soon.

    And if you take notes or do anything with "local" files, keep them on yourSD, and back them up online daily.
  20. medicTHREE
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    medicTHREE New Member

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    Like I said in the disclaimer, I don't care if rice saved your life. I worked in electronics manufacturing and repair for a major LED Sign company and I assure you Rice was never used.

    There is more to consider than just drying it out. The minerals left behind do most of the damage. If it isn't just water you dropped it into, then it is even more important to displace the crud.
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