By drsmartphoneth / Water damage repair / 0 Comments

It is almost Songkran festival in Thailand. The time when people throw water at each other, and their phones. If you are so unlucky to get your phone wet, here are some tips to save your device and data.

The first thing to do is turn your device off and do not try to charge it. This might short circuit the logic board and render it unrepairable. Shake off access water and leave the device to dry in the direct sunlight, or use a hair blower at low temperature. In case your device fell into the ocean, salt water will destroy the metal within a very short time. It might be wise to clean the phone with sweet water first and then dry it if you have no option to bring it in for cleaning within a day or 2. Again, it is very important not to turn the device on or try to charge it after a liquid spill.

Forget about rice for fixing a liquid damaged device. It works too slow for drying it and does not magically fix your phone. There has been a lot written online about rice as an aid to fix phones, it’s all nonsense. Also understand that just drying your phone will not fix it in the long term. As soon as metal parts get into contact with water, corrosion sets in. This corrosion will continue also after the phones was dried. The phone might work for days, weeks or even month, until the corrosion reaches a critical line or chip and it will stop working. What to do then? If you do not have the equipment, the best thing to do is to bring it in for professional cleaning. Below we will explain you in detail how Dr. Smartphone handles liquid damaged devices. IMG_0885

We start with opening the device and access the damage. For example in the image on the right, we can see that the dock connector is most likely OK. The display and camera are damaged severely and the motherboard might had some liquid on it as well. This means we need to remove it and clean it. To make sure the phone wll work we will have to disassemble the complete phone.

Ultrasonic cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning

If parts of the logic board are heavily corroded we use a special alkaline detergent to loosen the corrosion for about 10 minutes. After this we remove this soap with normal water. The next step is Ultra Sonic cleaning. It is important to use a high quality machine for this and not a cheap jewelry cleaner. Inside the Ultra Sonic cleaner you can use distilled water. We use a mix of distilled water with another type of alkaline cleaner. The logic board is placed in the ultrasonic cleaner for 2 minutes and then turned around for another 2 minutes so both sides of the board got their share of cleaning.

After the ultrasonic cleaning we clean the board again with water. The next step is to place the board in an alcohol bath. Not the sort of alcohol you would like to drink, you might not get up the next day:),  but special electronics cleaning fluid. The alcohol will replace all the water on the logic board and clean of the last remainders of dirt.Alcohol bath liquid damage cleaning

When this is done you can place the board in an oven at 100 degrees or alternatively use a heat gun at lower temperature to dry it. Pay special attention at the chips as liquid will stay under it for a long time if not dried well. When the board is all clean we place it back into the phone. All other parts like dock connector are cleaned manually with a toothbrush and alcohol. We will test the phone and inform the customer what parts might need replacement and then the customer can decide if they want to go ahead and receive back a properly cleaned phone.

With the above process we can fix about 70-80 % of all Smartphones and MacBooks. This is the only good way to get your phone cleaned and working for a longer period of time. We warrant our cleaning for 3 month. If your phone stops within 3 month, we clean it again free of charge or we credit back the money paid.

Of course the best thing to do is make sure this doesn’t happen at all. Get a proper waterproof bag for your phone in case you plan to take it with you during Songkran. Should an accident happen, now you know what to do! Contact Dr. Smartphone ASAP.

Happy Songkran!