It is a consensus that water is an enemy of electronics just like heat. We even highlighted the fact that heat is one of the damaging factors in a computer’s component. You can take a look at how heat damages computer hard disk drive too. Although heat is a slower agent, water can be as quick as there is an electric flow in your electronic device. Read on to learn how water damage electronics.
How water damage electronics: Smartphone
In this article, we are going to choose one of the most frequent water damages victims as a case study ‘Your Mobile Phone‘. Although there are a few water resistant phones out there like the recent iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S series to mention a few, they are waterproof certified and very expensive as a consequence. Therefore, the majority of the mobile phones in the market still stand a very high chance of getting ruined just with a tiny drop of water.
Water does not damage your phone, guess who the culprit is…
You would be surprised to know that water does not damage your phone all by itself. It only carries the ‘damagist’ if there’s any word like that.
Here’s exactly what happens. Water with at least room temperature (i.e any water that hasn’t undergone any form of purification in the lab) houses microscopic impurities and ions in them. And by the reason of reactance, a bond is formed between ions and the impurities as well and this forms a chain with energy in it. Both ends of the chain can make a connection at different points on the phone and as soon as the device is powered up, this will send electric signals to where it ought not to. This will cause a short circuit and damage the device in the end.
Pure water is not so conductive
Here’s a little experiment you can try out:
Get a pure / distilled water and apply it to your electronic device, in this case maybe your mobile phone. I know you wouldn’t want to risk that but the surprise result you will get is that the device still works even after water has penetrated your phone. That is because the conductive element is actually missing in a completely pure water. The ions and impurities in water that can damage your phone have all been distilled out and we are left with nothing that can cause a short circuit in the device’s board.
So you can turn on your phone and it will still work. But when your device works after swimming in the water, you aren’t completely safe. You might still need to ;
Look out for corrosion
Just like rusting, corrosion is a change, a chemical reaction that results when the metal in the board comes in contact with external factors like water. A simpler type of corrosion everyone can relate to is rusting. When a metal is exposed to water and air, it rusts after some time. Something similar happens to the circuits inside your phone after being exposed to water, but it’s mostly just flaky crud that can easily be cleaned up for the most part.
How to prevent water from entering your phone.
We’ve highlighted a few tips on how water damage electronics, now, here’s also some tips to prevent your phone from falling into the water:
- Get a water-resistant device.
- Leave your phone out of any of your activities that involve water. Whether it is swimming or, dishwashing or laundry or cooking.
- Keeping your phone in the breast pocket can be so risky. Whether there is a large area of water in front of you or not, letting your phone fall off your breast pocket could be very risky. You could break your phone screen or allow a free fall into a water basin.
How to fix your phone when it drops into the water.
When water drops into your phone, you need to employ the ‘prevention is better than cure’ saying and put it to use. When your phone is exposed to water, you would want to avoid the complete damage rather than paying huge amounts for a repair/replacement.
Firstly, turn off the device as soon as you lay your hands on it. This is the first thing to do even though a lot of us don’t do this. If your phone doesn’t go off immediately, you think that’s all and you are safe without knowing the real danger is imminent. The more you continue to press and use your phone, the more water penetrates into deeper regions in your device; and as soon as there is a short circuit, that’s game over.
So here’s the deal. Put the phone off ASAP, pull the battery, the cover and strip the device off everything coverings that can prevent the escape of water until you damper can at least directly see the board, leave it out for like 5 or more hours to dry. When you are certain that it is completely dry, then you can power up. If you can’t complete all this process by yourself, just turn off the device and get it to a phone repairer in your environment and you should be fine.
That’s it, I hope you’ve learnt how water damage electronics, what to do when your phone falls into the water and how to prevent it.