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Friday, August 10, 2012

How to save your wet Mobile Phones

During a storm, having a cellphone can be very useful for staying in touch, especially when you get stranded. But what if your phone gets wet in the rain?

It's happened to the best of us. Apart from getting wet in a storm, phones have fallen in toilets, dropped in drinks, and forgotten in the laundry.

Many people who get their cellphones wet often panic and do all sorts of things, including some that won't work, or worse, are potentially dangerous.
First aid for wet phones

When trying to save a wet phone, the first thing to do is cut off the power supply. This means removing the battery. If you have a SIM card or memory card, you should also remove those from the phone before doing anything else, according to the Popular Mechanics website.

Steps for drying your phone
Reuters photo
1. Switch it off
2. Remove the battery, SIM card, and memory card
3. Rinse in running water (if it fell into dirty or salty water)
4. Air dry the phone or suck the water out with a vacuum cleaner
5. Leave it submerged overnight in a bowl of uncooked rice or silica gel to remove excess moisture

Source: Popular Mechanics

You may be tempted to try and turn on your phone to check if it's still working, but it's best to be patient and save that for later.
“You have to leave it off, then dry it up and have it checked. Turning it on destroys it when there's water inside,” said college student Jasmine Urquico, who was able to revive her phone after accidentally getting it wet.

In the meantime, focus on getting the phone completely dry. “Just make sure you act fast-- the longer the water sits inside, the greater the likelihood it will destroy the phone for good,” goes the advice from Popular Mechanics.

Urquico recalls that when she accidentally got her phone wet, the first thing she did was open the phone and remove the battery to see if any water got inside. "Then I had it checked in the cellphone repair shop. This is to ensure that there's no ground inside," she said, explaining that ground results in keyboard and LCD malfunction. Fortunately, her phone was still working, and the cellphone repair shop didn't charge her for the check-up.

Arya Lopez, who works at a call center, recalled how her phone “went silly” after she was thrown in a pool with her phone in her pocket.

”It started calling people on its own (in the middle of the night) and when I tried texting, hindi tama yung lumalabas. Like, I'd be texting ‘a’ and lalabas na letter ‘s’,” she shared.

Her solution for saving her Nokia 3310 was simple: she just opened it up, took it apart, and let it air dry. "Then it was a bit silly for a while, like a day or two, then it was back to normal. I like those old brick phones. My new touch screen qwerty is such a hassle. I can't text while walking, I need to have my full attention on it," she said.
Useful rice grains

Even newer models can still be saved, with a bit of luck and by following a few handy tips.
If your phone got sullied with dirty water, the advice is to place it under clean running water first to get rid of sediments. This is also advisable for phones that got wet in salt water. "When salt water evaporates, it leaves crystals that can damage a phone's fragile components. Just be sure to remove the battery before flooding the device," according to Popular Mechanics.

After that, you can use a vacuum cleaner to pull out moisture through the nooks and crannies.

The final step is to place the phone in a bowl with silica gel packets or uncooked rice overnight. In the same way that rice grains are placed in salt shakers to keep moisture away from the salt, the rice grains will also draw moisture out of your phone.
Urquico, who’s a scuba diver, said it’s best to use two Ziplock bags to protect your phone from splashes or if it accidentally falls in the water. “The water still goes in when you only use one Ziplock bag,” she said. If you can afford it, use underwater cases or dry bags.
What NOT to do
On the other hand, don't use a hair dryer, even on a very low setting, or put your phone in the microwave. Instead of drying your phone, these tricks could get the device fried instead.
“The most important thing is to avoid heat...while heat will certainly evaporate the moisture, it could also warp components and melt adhesives," Popular Mechanics said.

The site also advised against dunking the phone in rubbing alcohol, which can dissolve the internal adhesives. – YA, GMA News

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