You never want to see your phone fall off your hands and end up in a pool or in the toilet sink. Even if only for a second, you know it won’t lead to anything positive. Between finding out if it’s still working, contacting insurance or your operator to find out if you are eligible for a new phone or the worst outcome, have to fork out more money for a new one out of pocket, you know it won’t be good.
But there are options. You might wonder what happens to your IPhone when it is exposed to water. What parts of the product get damaged? You should know that most phones have even the most simple protections to keep water out of touch with the metal parts. And there are people that can fix it.
There is a resistance standard called Ingress Protection Ratings (or International Protection Ratings) or IP and you may have seen it thrown around by now: but what does IP67, IP68 and IPX8 mean?
Well, the first number in the rating code represents the degree of protection provided against the entry of foreign solid objects, such as fingers or dust. These protection levels range from 0 to 6.
The second number represents the degree of protection against the entry of moisture or liquid, with protection levels ranging from 0 through 8.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max, for example, has an IP68 rating, meaning it’s protected from dust getting inside and can withstand being submerged in water. But it’s important to check the fine print and see exactly what your phone offers. And it’s better not to go swimming with your phone. These are electronic parts we are talking about.
Most common ways smartphones get damaged
Around 45% of cell phone owners will damage their phones accidentally. You’re most likely to harm your cell phone at home watching TV, cooking, or even in the toilet. The most common ways a smartphone gets damaged are:
- Dropped on a hard surface: 68%
- Dropped in toilet bowl: 17%
- Dropped in a pool: 10%
- Dropped in a bathtub: 7%
- Dropped in a dishwasher: 5%
Dropping on a hard surface
You can potentially damage your smartphone’s internal components if you drop it onto a hard surface. While you may walk away from an incident without cracks in the screen, you may end up damaging the logic board, which has several connectors and other components attached to it. After a significant collision, one of these components may become dislodged, which may result in several difficulties with your device, depending on the conditions of your accident.
Manufacturers are now developing phones that can withstand water damage. Manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei make phones that can withstand being submerged for extended periods using strict manufacturing procedures and port plugs. Surprisingly, even phones that aren’t designated as water-resistant can typically survive submersion if dried out quickly.
Unfortunately, prolonged submersion can destroy most cellphones, including those rated as resistant. Checking your pockets before entering a pool is the best way to avoid water damage.
According to a study conducted in 2011, 39% of adults admitted to using their cellphone in the toilet. According to the survey, one-fifth of those polled admitted dropping their phone in the bathroom at least once. Increasingly people are using their phones behind locked doors while on social media.
So a phone can wind up in a toilet bowl for various reasons, such as being in the user’s back pocket or being dropped from the sink. But however nasty your phone gets, there’s help.
What parts of a phone are harmed by water?
The problem with cell phone water damage stems from the phone’s electronic components. In order to prevent damage to internal components caused by short circuits, before turning your device back on, unplug it and turn it off for an extended period.
Some people recommend putting your phone in a bag of rice if it has been damaged by water, but the rice will not speed up the drying process and may cause dust problems.
For starters, water enters your phone through the SIM and SD card slots, headphone connectors, charging connections, and microphone holes. Water that enters through these holes goes straight to the phone’s internal electronic components.
And speaking of “essential components,” it need not be the motherboard at first. Liquid damage can disable your phone’s charging port (very darn common) or cause it to shut down completely. The mainboard may have been impacted by water or moisture, resulting in a phone that won’t turn on.
In most circumstances, you can save your phone or have minimal concerns by rescuing it as soon as possible. Your chances of recovering your phone are better the faster you act.
How to dry and fix a damaged phone
1. Rescue the phone as fast as you can
The first step in repairing a water-damaged phone is to remove it from the water as quickly as possible.
After rescuing the phone, switch it off and, if feasible, remove the battery. Even if your phone has a fixed cover and battery, try to remove it.
· Try not to turn on the phone.
· Don’t charge it.
· Don’t press any buttons.
· Don’t shake or swing the phone to dry it. It harms more than helps. After these, consider the fixes below.
2. Remove all you can
After saving the phone, detach whatever you can from it. These include the phone cover, SIM and SD cards, and detachable battery. This keeps the phone free and prevents SIM and SD card spoilage.
But proceed with caution. Avoid tilting and shaking the phone to prevent water spread.
3. Dry the phone
The last thing you want to do while fixing a water-damaged phone is dry it out. First, remove any remaining water from the phone’s back and front. You can wear soft cloth to clean water. To avoid spreading the water, do not shake or tilt the phone violently.
After finishing the outside, use a vacuum cleaner to remove water from the phone (if you can). Do it gently using a mild vacuum cleaner and settings.
Once done, you must not use your phone for a specified amount of time, usually two days or more! So, remove all SIM cards and other cards (as said before!) and dry the phone. Place it in front of a fan, not in the sun. Using a heater or hair drier to dry the water can damage the screen and other internal components.
How local cell phone repair stores make money from repairing and drying phones.
Phone repair stores are growing in popularity worldwide, with many people looking for a place to fix their phones and not have to buy a new one for every small little problem.
Phone repair stores like uBreakIFix, Techy (old Dr. PhoneFix) can fix pretty any phone damage. They can also dry out wet phones that have been submerged in water or spilled coffee on their screen.
Phone repair stores usually offer various services for different types of phone damages. One of these services for water-damaged phones is replacing the corrosion, which is done by adding chemicals to the device. The store will put your device in an airtight container with silica-gel packets or rice, both absorbent materials that absorb moisture from surrounding areas then switch a few of the electronic parts affected by water. To a certain point because most phones when it comes to replacing parts make it quite hard to do.
I recently brought my Samsung S7 Active from 2016 to a Techy store in South Florida, to replace the charger connector that wasn;t working anymore. The internal piece where you connect the charger had gotten wet and stopped conducting electricity. Because that phone doesn’t have a detachable battery, it had to be opened through the front by removing the touch screen. By doing that, the touch screen would break on these “Active” models that are quite waterproof. Because it’s a more expensive phone and more rugged, they charged for the service provided but replaced the broken screen too. Another phone repair provider I took it to refused to do the service alleging they don’t work on those phones because they would have to break the screen.
When you need service for your iPhone or Droid, make sure to find someone that solves a problem. The shop that fixed mine did.
Here a few other stores that solves the problem of fixing wet and broken smartphones (Apple iPhones, Droids, Google Pixels, Samsung Galaxies, etc…):
- uBreakIFix: offers 24 hour service at some locations.
- Techy (old Dr. PhoneFix): this is the one that SOLVED my problem with a Samsung Active
- iFixandRepair: another franchise in available in different states
- Also support local small stores usually found in neighborhood plazas, such as: Pronto Fix, Computer Repair and Phone Stores, Simple Mobile. You can find these stores close to you on Google Maps and Facebook for example.
Products and Tools That Can Help You Save Your Phone
Dry kits to dry out your phone when it gets wet
1. PackFreshUSA: Nine Lives Wet Phone Fix – Water Damage Repair
PackFreshUSA advanced drying technology absorbs water deep inside the device, meaning you can get back to life ASAP. And with PackFreshUSA patented method of drinking water, your item is completely safe for use. Say goodbye to rice, clay desiccants, or silica gel for good!
Using it frequently can help extend the life of your devices by absorbing moisture from sweat, humidity, shower steam, and even rain and snow that can damage them.
It can extract a teaspoon of water in under two hours, thanks to this system! Water is permanently absorbed. Other types of desiccants can leak water or leave dust inside your gadget under certain conditions.
Take advantage of the wide range of devices that are compatible with MP3 players… PackFreshUSA is compatible with any device. H: 6.5 inches; W: 3.75 inches; D: .75 inches.
In case your phone gets wet, the iRecovery Cell Phone Drying Kit can help. The resealable silica gel packet included several gel beads to aid your electronics to reactivate after being submerged in water.
Using the iRecovery Kit after your phone has been submerged in water will help you quickly get it back up and running. To use, be sure to immediately switch off your device, remove the battery, SIM card, and SD card (if applicable). Dry the air as best you can. Seal the iRecovery bag after adding all of the components. Turning the device on will only cause more damage and render your phone worthless.
Recheck the gadget in 72 hours. After 24 hours, if the device is still damp, place it back into the bag and seal it. Drying agents such as silica gel desiccant are environmentally friendly because they are non-toxic, non-flammable, and chemically inactive. Millions of surface pores in each gel bead allow it to absorb water vapor miraculously. The beads can absorb moisture from the air and produce a dry, protected environment, extending the life of your item by a significant amount.
With iRecovery Cell Phone Drying Kit, you can genuinely rescue your smartphone back to life.
If you want to adventure yourself and fix your own phone
SHARDEN Precision Screwdriver Set-Professional Repair Tool Kit
This package comprises 120 high-quality CRV steel precision bits to fulfill all of your repair needs. Other than that, it’s fully equipped to handle any electronic repair work. An oxford storage bag is included in the toolset box for organization and portability.
For increased magnetic strength, SHARDEN Precision Screwdriver Set comes with a magnetizer. An all-in-one professional repair kit is perfect for fixing various electronic devices such as an iPhone, Android Cell Phones, iPad, Macbook, PC, laptop, and gaming console.
You can easily hold on to the handle since it is non-slip. The tail may be rotated 360 degrees for maximum thrust and precision turning. Precision bits are kept stable by the magnetic head for smooth and steady working. In addition to being durable, the packaging also makes the tools easy to use and carry.
It also places a high priority on customer service. Due to their philosophy of not compromising on quality, their products are incredibly durable, which results in an overall feeling of satisfaction when using this toolkit.
These days, people’s lives cannot function without their cell phones. Modern technology has helped make them a vital part of your day-to-day activities. Therefore, finding out they have been damaged can be frustrating. However, it can fix mobile phone issues.
By keeping these causes in mind, you may be able to resolve some of these issues yourself. It will allow you to know when you need professional phone repair assistance.