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Prevent damage to electronics from water

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by itsakjt, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. itsakjt

    itsakjt

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    Hi everyone, this is an article to make you aware of what to do if your phone or laptop or any electronic equipment is spilled with water.
    The first thing you should do is remove the power source. Remove any battery or adapter and do not attempt to connect it until the set is ABSOLUTELY DRY. Remember water alone never damage electronics. It is water + electricity that damages it. So if you are quick enough to remove the power source of the device and manage to clean it perfectly, there is 99% chance that the electronic part of the device will remain absolutely as it was before the damage.

    The thing that may get immediately damaged is the LCD. But if you are careful, there are ways too. There are ways by which you can disassemble the layers of the LCD and wipe them off thus drying them which will make them almost good as new. I will write that tutorial later and images will be shown too.

    In the unlikely event that water enters a device and power is still there there is a 50-50 chance of the device being alive or not. Perhaps you notice the spilling 5 minutes after it is done and remove power. After drying the unit, you may find performance degradation, excessive battery drain and malfunction. Well if any major IC is damaged then you are out of luck because the cost for repairing the device will be almost enough to get you a new PCB or motherboard. The thing is sometimes, ICs remain intact. The thing which happens is sediments and minerals from water leave a residue on electrolysis not to mention oxidizes the metal also. For the oxidizing part, nothing needs to be done. But for the sediment and mineral part- If you ask me, they are enough to cause malfunction as they are fair conductors.

    Example of damage-
    [​IMG]

    As you can see in the perimeter of the connector, some white stuff is there. Those are nothing but sediments and minerals of water that are enough to cause short circuits.

    So the thing is clean the PCB with IsoPropyl alcohol and preferably have it reheated by a hot air gun(a local repair shop can do this for you).

    Hope this may be of some help.
    All the best. :)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  2. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    I run some Rc boats and we eventually got sick of the electronics getting damp and flakin out so I ended up coating all the pcb's with epoxy so that the water can never touch any of the IC's

    Why can't they do this with phones?


    But for your every day electronics that take a swim.
    Time is against you because electrolysis starts the moment It gets wet and gradually corrodes away the metal so the faster you dry it the less chance of damage.

    1. take the battery out !!! People with iPhones should go to a repair shop immediately as you cannot remove the battery without specialist tools.


    2. If you can strip it down open it up and dry it out properly before you put the battery back in and power it on. If you cannot strip it down take it to your local phone repair shop they should strip it down and dry it before they put the battery back
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
    itsakjt, erocker and Law-II say thanks.
  3. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    you could be prepared and get some Gardner Bender LTB-400 which drys like a rubber coating over the electronics.


    Yeah i use the above for RC cars same kinda rules really and you need to be careful what you cover as you need to allow some parts to keep cool.
  4. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Exactly. I've seen someone drop their phone into a puddle, pull it out, give it a shake, see it's still working and look at me like I'm nuts when I said he should remove the battery and thoroughly dry it out. Moron.

    It's also one of the many reasons why I despise Apple for intentionally limiting their products in so many ways. No easy way to remove that battery in the case of liquid spill, is there? By the time you've done it, the phone will be ruined from the electrolysis and also likely by your frantic efforts to pull it apart.
    Geofrancis says thanks.
  5. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    peh ive taken iphones apart completely and put them back together no issue


  6. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    But the battery was soldered in and glued down, no? That's not trivial.
  7. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    Yea the amount of people I meet that drop their phones down the toilet, stick it in a bag of rice for a few hours then when it doesn't come on right away they plug the charger in over night thinking the battery Has went flat.

    Then when that doesn't work they bring it to the shop where we remove the back and let the water pour out.
  8. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    if your stuff gets wet, get some distilled water and wash it throughly. then place it in a rice bag to dry. good as new.

    the distilled water will dilute away the salts.

    simple.

    Or just coat your stuff with a nice layer of enamel clear coat beforehand XD

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