As summer gets into full swing, we all find ourselves near water much more often. Whether it’s sunbathing by the pool, splashing in the ocean, floating down the river, or getting stuck in the middle of a monsoon, our phones are exposed to copious amounts of water as we all look for fun ways to stay cool. Because of this, liquid damage to our phones becomes that more prevalent.
Here are some tips to limit the possibility of liquid damage this summer.
Phones and Other Electronic Devices Are Not Waterproof
The main issue that leads to extensive liquid damage is the belief that our phones are waterproof. They are not. Most phones are merely water-resistant, which can lead to major problems or damage when submerged long periods of time.
Why? What’s the Difference Between Waterproof, Water-Resistant, and Water-Repellant?
Being waterproof means that a material or device is impervious to water, no matter how long it is exposed. That’s simply not the case with most electronics.
Water-resistant and water-repellant are more equally aligned. Being resistant generally means a phone can survive limited exposure to submersion in water. Repellant means it can fight off some rain and minor splashes but will fail if submerged.
This is why phone companies list their products as water-resistant or water-repellant. When purchasing a new device, you may notice a small code with the letters “IP” followed by two numbers. This is the International (or Ingress) Protection certification that represents how easy or difficult it is for dust and water to penetrate the device.
An IP number of 00 means the device has no protection against dust or water while a 69 means it is fully protected from both. Most phones fall somewhere in between. Some newer phones claim to have an Ingress of IP67 or IP 68, which means they are impervious to dust (the first number), but may be able to withstand submersion for up to 30 minutes in 3 meters of water.
However, there are many other factors to consider. No matter the Ingress certification, the longer a phone is exposed to water, the more likely it is to sustain serious, long-term damage. Phones will also naturally lose their Ingress over time due to natural wear and tear. Are you willing to take that risk? (Please note: Ingress certifications are tested using fresh water. Salt water, chemically treated water, or other liquids could cause problems all their own. So, if you accidentally spill your beer all over it….)
How To Keep Your Phone Safe from Liquid Damage
Other than avoiding water altogether or leaving your phone somewhere dry when hanging out at the pool or going to the bathroom, the best thing you can do to help the Ingress of your phone is to purchase a strong, durable (and in some cases, waterproof) case or bag.
What To Do If Your Phone Is Exposed to Water
- Remove the phone from the water as quickly as possible.
- Immediately turn the phone off.
- Tip the phone side-to-side while holding it upright.
- Wipe away all moisture from the outside of the phone with a microfiber cloth.
- If possible, seal your phone in an airtight container with plenty of silica gel packets.
- If possible, remove the battery.
- Take your device to a professional repair shop to have it cleaned and dried properly.
What Not To Do If Your Phone Is Exposed to Water
- Place it in a bowl of rice. This is a myth. All it does is take away precious time to get the device cleaned properly and could lead to even more corrosion.
- Turn it on or plug it in. Water conducts electricity, so turning it on or charging it after being exposed to liquid could cause irreparable damage (and cause quite a shock).
- Use a hairdryer to dry your phone. The heat may warp or melt a lot of the smaller, finer components.
- Vigorously shake the device to remove the liquid.
- Open it without the aid of a professional.
It’s Okay. My Phone Is Under Warranty.
Just because you have a warranty doesn’t mean you have coverage for liquid damage. That’s okay. At All Mobile Matters, we can repair any type and amount of liquid damage for just $60. Just remember, as with any liquid damage repair service, the success rate is roughly 50%. When we are successful in getting the device to boot back up, there are a few cases when some features no longer work, which helps if your main goal is recovering the valuable data stored inside your device. If for any reason we are unsuccessful in fully recovering a device, you will only be charged a $15 diagnostic fee.
So, regardless of your warranty, if your phone decides to take a swim, bring it to us and catch a movie. By the end credits, there’s a good chance it will be back up and running as if nothing ever happened.