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Old 06-26-2009, 05:27 PM
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Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

Don't know if this has been covered on this board but I found this on FiscalGeek.com. I have heard of these methods actually work for some people so I thought I would share:

Time Tested Fix

This technique is my go to for waterlogged devices.
  1. Remove the battery from the device. This is critical, and do it as soon as possible, even if you are not going to follow this technique, this is your best chance for device survival.
  2. Find a container slightly larger than the device that will hold liquid.
  3. Remove battery covers and other compartments so you can be sure to get into all areas of the device.
  4. Place the device in the container and fill with Alcohol completely submerging the device. The alcohol will displace any water left in your device. Jiggle the container around a bit to make sure the alcohol is able to drive out the water droplets in your device. You may need to weight your device to keep it under the water. I would suggest a 5 minute period of soaking, you can vary the time based on your results and optionally repeat this step if you are not successful.
  5. Remove the device and put it somewhere to dry for an hour or two. The alcohol will evaporate very quickly but be sure itís really dry. Q-tips are helpful as well to make sure youíve got the item clean.
  6. Reassemble your device and hopefully you are good to go. If not you can repeat this step or try the Alternate Fix.
Alternate Fixes

These are longer term fixes that take some time but also have been used successfully by many people me included in a pinch. Give any or all of these a try if you are unsuccessful with the Alcohol Fix.
  1. Put the electronic device in a large Ziploc bag filled with dry rice. The rice acts as a desiccant to remove water from the air and aids in drying your device out quicker. The timeframe for this would be more like overnight than a few minutes.
  2. Put the electronic device in a sealed container with a Dri-Z-Air unit. These are used often in RVís and damp areas and are available at the hardware store. They are essentially a plastic container that holds their special desiccant. It will remove a tremendous amount of moisture.
  3. The old hair dryer technique, just be sure not to get it to close and melt any components.
  4. Smash it with a hammer and buy a new device. This one works every time.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:50 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

wow, that seems like it might be crazy enough to work....
but never thought about resubmerging it in liquid when you're trying to get it to work again. haha. Thanks for the post though, hopefully it will help out some people in the future. w
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:10 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmanc View Post
Smash it with a hammer and buy a new device. This one works every time.
This is about the only one that I have seen. Electronics just don't like water.

I did hear that if you put a penny in your mouth, you can pass a blood alcohol test...
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:17 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

I have heard about the rice technique for electronics, never tried it though And no the penny thing doesn't work, asked my husband out of curiosity myself one time (I wasn't Drinking and Driving, I am just curious LOL)
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:28 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlaDarla View Post
And no the penny thing doesn't work,
No, it doesn't.

I owned a biker bar for 20 years (my business partner was a Hells Angel). We had a very cool cop that used to hang out there & drink/party with us. One night, another customer asked the cop if one of those "home brew" DUI remedies actually worked.

He told us he wasn't sure really but why don't we try it out. The guy who tried it still registered way above the legal limit on his Breathalyzer. We tried that & a bunch of other thing that people had "heard was supposed to work". None of the "fixes' really did much & certainly wouldn't have stopped you getting arrested........

~John
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:28 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

I had a friend who claims to have done the alcohol dip and get his phone back up. Trick I was told that it has to be 90% alcohol but it wasn't noted in this article. Supposedly the alcohol will cause the water to evaporate much faster and will not leave any residue on the components.
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:08 AM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanmanc View Post
I had a friend who claims to have done the alcohol dip and get his phone back up. Trick I was told that it has to be 90% alcohol but it wasn't noted in this article. Supposedly the alcohol will cause the water to evaporate much faster and will not leave any residue on the components.
The alcohol does act as a dispersion agent for the water...and yes, it really does work, but its critical that you waste no time in doing this honestly. The reason being is if you wait a day or two, you risk certain components oxidizing or even rusting a bit....
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:52 AM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

If the electronic device is turned off at the time it gets dunked these methods actually stand a decent shot. If it was on at the time, hydrostatic shock might have already killed the device even if you can get all the water out of it. As far as the penny thingie goes forget about it. My uncle is a retired NYC cop. He tells me that he would usually just dip the probe in the bottle of Gin. It would come back positive every time. Not just over the limit, way over the limit.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:33 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

hmm, I can't believe this is the first time the alcohol fix entered my head.. lol..
btw, 90% will still leave a residue, but it's still better than 50 or 70%.
when I was doing fiber work we used 99%, I still have a bottle I keep on hand for cleaning electronics.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:22 PM
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Re: Revive your Cell Phone or Electronic Devices from Water Damage

I've done the alcohol bit... it often works... the downside, besides having to find that much pure alcohol (I wouldn't use anything less than 90% EtOH) is that the alcohol is also a solvent and will dissolve a lot of inks, etc. It generally doesn't affect paint or plastics, unlike acetone which otherwise would be just as good or better. But it will remove labels, printed circuit board markings, etc. I don't understand the "residue" warning... there should be no residue as long as you are using lab grade 90% EtOH (the 10% is water). Now if you are using 180 proof Vodka or something...

Just yesterday my son ran his phone through the wash. Rather than try the alcohol trick, I simply removed the battery and then baked the phone in the toaster oven at VERY low setting, probably around 150-180deg F, for about 15 minutes. It worked!

But if the phone was doused with Coke or something like that, then I would definitely do the alcohol. For relatively clean water, baking (wrap the phone in a dry paper towel or similar) can also work...
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