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Flooded phone, how to save it?

Smartphones are very delicate devices and they do not tolerate contact with moisture and water. Not all phones are waterproof and in a situation where we have an accident and flood our device with liquid, it may be difficult to save it. But there are ways that can help prevent the worst.



Of course, we don't want our phone to be flooded with a drink, dropped into the washbasin, toilet, puddle, snow or fall out of the pocket by the lake or the seaside, but as we know such situations, unfortunately, for a while, inattention sometimes happens.


What damage will flooding cause?


The biggest threats to smartphones are juices, other sweet drinks, salt sea water, alcohol and water.


Tap water, rain, and snow will cause corrosion to the metal, e.g. on the main board of the device.

Salt (sea) water, due to its salt content, contains a greater amount of ions in the solution and is an excellent conductor of electricity, therefore it accelerates the electrolysis phenomenon. Salt water causes corrosion much faster.


Due to the high sugar content, sweet drinks and alcohol (juice, coffee, cola, beer, wine) are sticky and therefore more difficult to dry and remove from the phone. The acids in the juices react with the electronics and damage them.


Corrosion and electrolysis destroy components and cause corrosion of individual electronic components, copper connections, and metal parts.


Such an event does not necessarily mean that we will lose our data and the device will be destroyed. There is a good chance to save our smartphone.


How will the smartphone behave after flooding?


It may happen that at the beginning our phone will work normally. This situation can confuse us and we may not react properly in time to save the phone. The copper connections or the battery socket are the most vulnerable to damage. The phone memory, SIM cards and the additional memory card are also at risk of damage.


The most common symptoms of phone flooding:


- system and application freezes;

- slow phone operation;

- incorrect operation of buttons;

- smartphone not responding or responding slowly to touch;

- turning off or resetting the device;

- battery discharge;

- phone overheating.


What should not be done?


First, after flooding the phone, turn off the phone quickly. It shouldn't be turned on. The device must dry out to avoid a short circuit or battery explosion.


If the smartphone, apart from being flooded, has been additionally damaged, the screen or housing has broken, there is an even greater risk of the battery exploding. Take the device to the service center as soon as possible.


Do not put a flooded phone in uncooked rice. The reason is the risk of rice dust and particles getting inside the device, although in fact, rice grains have hygroscopic properties (ability to absorb moisture).


Similarly, do not dry the smartphone with a hairdryer or radiator, it could harm the device even more - the resulting water vapor will penetrate further into the device.


What, then, can we do to save our smartphone?


After taking the phone out of the water, first, check if the housing or screen is damaged. If so, let's go to the site immediately. If this happens, the battery may explode.


Second, turn off your phone immediately. Electronics of this type must "rest". In such a situation, you cannot try to recover and copy data.


The third step is to remove the cover or case so that the phone has access to air and can dry out.


You also need to remove the SIM card (s), memory card, and any movable parts. If it is possible, let's remove the battery from the phone. Dry them with a paper towel.


A flooded phone must not be connected to charging or to any other device, e.g. a computer.


If we were able to open the phone and remove the movable parts, and we see improvement after 24 hours of drying, we can try to assemble the phone and try to start it. Note, at this stage, we do not insert a SIM card. If there are no disturbing symptoms, we can connect the phone to charging. Only after that, we can insert cards into the device.


Certainly, the quick response of the website will help to recover data and maybe even save the equipment. Comprehensive drying of the phone costs about PLN 50-100. If the phone needs to be cleaned of corrosion, this service will cost about PLN 200-400. If, on the other hand, there is damage to the phone on the motherboard, the repair may amount to from 500 to even 1000 PLN.


And in the second part, we will suggest how we can protect the phone against the effects of flooding.


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