Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How to Fix a Wet Cell / Mobile Phone

by Dyfed Lloyd Evans

It's your worst nightmare, your phone has fallen from your pocket into a tub of water. You look on in horror and ask yourself if there's any way on earth you can fix a wet cell phone...

There are things you can do, but it all comes down to quick action. The plastic covers on most modern phones are fairly tight (indeed the phones are built to withstand showers) but over time water will enter the phone... So the quicker you get it out of the water the better. Unfortunately, the one section of the phone which isn't watertight is the battery compartment. After all it's intended to give you easy access to the battery and your SIM card.

As a result water will enter the battery compartment and it will short-out the battery. This is why you need to get the battery out as quickly as possible. Indeed, many circuits inside the phone will quite easily survive immersion in water as long as they are not attached to a power source. Also water is a very good conductor of heat. So even if you do have a short it may not necessarily damage the phone because of the water. This also means that the best thing you can do is to remove the battery whilst the phone is still under water and then bring the phone and the battery out of the water.

If your phone has dropped in the sea (or other salt water) then remove the phone's battery as above and immediately immerse the phone in fresh water or run it under a tap otherwise, as the salt water dries crystals of salt will form and these are sure to short-out your phone as soon as any power is applied.

Now remove your SIM card from the phone. If you phone is a GSM one then the chances are that you will have saved some (if not all) your contact details to the SIM card. Indeed, these data may be more valuable to you than the phone itself. SIM cards are solid state components and very resilient in general so the best thing for you to do is to pat it dry then place it somewhere safe to dry.

Now turn your attention back to the phone itself. What you need to do is to get the phone as dry as possible as quickly as possible. Use a towel, paper towels, tissue paper etc to blot away as much of the surface water as you can. Now you will need to get the remainder of the phone as dry as possible as quickly as possible.

What you can't do is so simply leave the phone to air-dry by itself as prolonged exposure to water will damage a number of the components and if the water itself isn't particularly clean, or you come from a hard water area mineral deposits left as the phone dries will cause even more damage.

Remove as many of the phone's covers as you can and open any slots so that air can pass through the phone. Now stand your phone next to a hairdryer. Set this on the lowest setting (or just blow air) and don't set it too close to the phone (too much heat will damage the phone's components just as surely as too much water will). Leave the phone for about 5 hours. Come back to the phone and prop it up on tissue paper so that one of the phones openings (speaker jack, charging port, data port etc) lies directly above the paper. Leave for a few minutes and check to see if any moisture has dripped out. If any moisture can be seen repeat the hair drying step. Continue this process until you see no more moisture.

Now comes the brave part. After you have left your phone for at least a day (longer might be better) re-attach the battery to see if it works. If your phone does not work remove the battery but plug the phone into the mains. If it works then you're in luck, but your battery is dead and you need a new one.

You should now take the phone to an authorized dealer. They may be able to fix it for you (though they may not). Tell the truth about what has happened to the phone and don't try and conceal the fact that the phone became wet (there are indicator strips inside the phone that change colour if it ever comes in contact with water). Sometimes they may be able to fix your phone, particularly if you have undertaken the steps above.

You can find even more tips and 'if all else' help plans at How to Rescue a Wet Mobile / Cell Phone. There are complete disassembly instructions for many brands and makes of mobile phones at Mobile Phone Disassembly Guides.

About the Author

Dyfed Lloyd Evans runs the Celtnet Mobiles site where you can get information about mobile/cellular phones. He also runs the Celtnet Arricles site where you can read or submit articles about mobile phones.


No comments: