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Phone dropped in water HELP

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR M' started by Scotty3.0, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Scotty3.0
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    Scotty3.0 New Member

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    Hey all, sorry if i sound like a real noob here but i didnt know where else to go.
    I dropped my phone in water and did the customary thing of putting it in rice to dry it out. Tried keeping it off to make sure no short occurred. Now that all the water is gone (or so I presume), I turned it on and it showed me the AP Flashboot screen and I figured I needed to flash JB back onto it using a utility. I was in the process of that and my terminal said "waiting for device" and it went black . Now it just tries to keep turning on and shuts off, turning on and shuts off, showing only the moto insignia before going black and trying to turn on again. Occasionally it does turn on and starts to charge, but it gets really hot and then just turns off again. It started receiving my missed calls and messages but the touchscreen was not responding. Any idea on what I should do?
    Thanks for anything and everything!
    Scott
  2. bweN diorD
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    bweN diorD Well-Known Member

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    you have to open the phone before putting it in rice for a good week and still then the possibility it will work for any period of time if even at all is very remote.
    a good dunk = death. it may be immediate, a week, or a month, but it will happen 99% of the time.

    sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
  3. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Scott,

    Unfortunately water - even the slightest bit of water such as that which might wick underneath and remain underneath a surface mounted chip, can cause shorts between pins on the chips or between traces on the board itself. Corrosion can set in as well, and create "shunts" (shorts) of conductive corrosion which are essentially permanent destruction. Since the voltages and amounts of current that run through those traces can vary depending on the specific chips' requirements, just one short within the miles of conductors both on the board and within those integrated circuits can cause irreparable harm.

    You did one thing right by dropping the phone into a bag of rice. The questions are as follows;

    Did you power the phone off immediately upon removing from water?
    Did you try to shake out as much of the water as you could initially?
    One method for removing water from inside these phones is to put it into a tube sock with the openings facing the toe area, and outside - where there's nothing to bang into, spin the tub sock around in a circle very quickly to create a centrifugal force and cause the water to squeeze out of the case.
    Since the battery isn't user-removable, or at least not easily there was no way for you to interrupt all power going to the board so that's a moot point.
    When you powered it back up, how long after placing it into the rice was this?

    At this point, the fact that it heats up when charging can be indication that there is still water trapped inside.
    The fact that the touch screen isn't functioning is also a possible indication that there's still water inside.

    I would go back to square one...first, power off the phone.
    Then try the sock method I described (invented by me).
    Then place it back into white rice, or better yet get a "DampRid" container or pouch, or Dry-It pouch (https://storeitdry.com/proddetail.php?prod=Dri-It Moisture Absorber Single Pouch Pack), place the pouch and the phone into a large ziplock bag or large sealable tupperware container (phone on top), and leave it in there for a minimum of 48 hours.

    There are other methods...some involve the highest purity alcohol, others mention placing the phone in a oven at a specific temperature (175 degrees seems to come to mind), though I will not recommend either of the preceding be tried by anyone though I might use those methods myself.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  4. sajokaz
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    sajokaz Active Member

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    My sister in law dropped her phone in the sink a while back. Did the phone in a bag of rice for three days and in the oven for a short time at a low temp. Didn't know about the tube sock centrifuge until just now....that's definitely a "keeper" idea (thanks FoxKat). Her phone worked good for about a month. Then the screen started dying little sections at a time until....nothing but an inch in the center & time for a new phone. They just don't seem to last long after a dunk, even with all of the drying tricks.
  5. Hiroller173
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    Hiroller173 New Member

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    I successfully used the high-proof alcohol method on a digital voltmeter that I soaked. I used 99.995% isopropyl (available on the internet) but I understand anything over 90% will work. Make sure all of the water is displaced by the alcohol and then place in the sun (if you have any) or a low-temp oven. The alcohol will quickly dry. Good Luck!
  6. Scotty3.0
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    Scotty3.0 New Member

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    Thanks all of you guys, I did the tube sock thing for about 10 minutes while watching TV and no water came out. Its in rice for longer now and I will check Friday morning. Does the phone have to be open to successfully remove all water? Or does it not really matter, and any water that has damaged the phone will have already damaged the phone? Thanks again,
    Scott
  7. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    The thing is, for a phone that is easy to open we would ALWAYS suggest that the battery be removed completely and IMMEDIATELY, and that the open phone ONLY is placed into the rice. In your case, the back isn't easy to remove, however if you wish to attempt to do so, use a plastic knife or other plastic straight edge to pry the case apart starting along a seam on one or the other side, being careful to not break off the "catches" along the inside edges of the case interior. Usually one catch will let go after significant manipulation, then you can simply slide the knife along the edge and the others let go rather easily.

    Note, there may be one or more "hidden" screws that are meant to thwart the easy and un-damaged removal of the phone back. Often these hidden screws are underneath a label or badge either on the phone back or just inside where the battery door (if it has one), is. If you find that you can easily open the sides but the center just won't let go, give serious consideration to the possibility that there are one or more of one of those hidden screws.

    If the battery's connections are easy to remove (i.e. clear connections that can be disconnected via a torx screw), then I would certainly suggest that those connections be interrupted. If the battery can come out of the phone entirely without too much disruption I would suggest that as well, however most phone today are laminated together like a multi-layer sandwich with double-sided tape between each layer. This makes for quite a messy dis-assembly and an even messier reassembly if you don't have brand new tapes to replace those damaged during the removal.

    The key here is to remove power if at all possible, but most importantly to get as much water completely out of the phone and away from all contacts/traces as quickly as possible. Any water left behind, even the slightest bit can begin the process of corrosion, and with active power corrosion happens even faster since the voltage acts as a catalyst in the corrosion process.
  8. FoxKat
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    FoxKat Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    You are 100% correct. Alcohol and water are capable of mixing easily (miscible - highly soluble - AKA "Hydrogen Bonding"), forming a homogeneous solution such that one ounce of alcohol and one ounce of water results in a 50% solution of water/alcohol (which interestingly by volume would equal just slightly less than 2 ounces in total volume, since molecules of alcohol and molecules of water are able to pack more densely together as a pair than they can by themselves). Methanol or Isopropanol (Methyl or Isopropyl alcohol, IPA) are most commonly used.

    Once alcohol comes in contact with ANY water in the interior it will quickly dilute the water in ratio to its volume. The greater purity the alcohol (i.e. 99.995% versus 90%), the more easily it displaces or dilutes water. Since alcohol has a significantly lower boiling temperature than water, it evaporates quicker at room temperature, which is why it feels cool when it evaporates from your hands. Since water can not be easily separated from alcohol (requiring repeated distillation), when the alcohol evaporates it accelerates the evaporation of the water and takes most of it away at the same time.

    The only issue I see with using alcohol as a method to remove water in electronics is where the display comes into play. Since the alcohol has a much lower viscosity than water, it will quickly seep into every crack and crevice, faster and more completely than water which is why it is a good way to find all the hidden water. However, this also means it will possibly seep into the display area and may leave "water marks" or "haze" (remnants of whatever went into solution while the alcohol/water was still liquid, and dries as a film on the glass when the solution evaporates), on the inside of the digitizer glass or the surface of the display
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  9. bigbadwulff
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    bigbadwulff Member

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    The absolute best phone drier is a dehumidifier.
  10. maryann.talbott.14
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    maryann.talbott.14 New Member

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    My boyfriends samsung gs4 was apparently left outside and was exposed to water and direct sun as well as cold night time temps, can those elements lead to screen cracking? He's insisting the cracking was due to sabotage


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. bigbadwulff
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    bigbadwulff Member

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    Direct sunlight, increasing temps and pressure on the screen by expanding the liquid in the liquid crystal display? Yeah, there's your answer.
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