What You Need to Know About a Water Damaged Cell Phone

Woman under water with her cell phone and now it's damaged

Dropping a wireless device in water used to be an immediate death sentence. A lot has changed in the wireless industry, and so has the ability to reverse water damage. There are many different tools and solutions to help reverse water damage enough to either retrieve the data off of it or to bring it back to full operating potential. Every scenario is different for the simple fact that every make and model is built to withstand water resistance differently. Some better, some worse, as you can imagine. I do, however, see a trend of more water resistant devices being released as we saw with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 series. Both devices boast water resistance features beyond anyone’s imagination. Time will tell if these devices can stand up to the challenges they have in front of them.

It’s crucial that you understand what the device is meant to withstand. Commercials for the Samsung Galaxy S7 series give the impression you can shower with your phone or even take it for a swim. This all might be very possible but would you bet your new $750 phone on it?

Even with waterproof or water-resistant phones, I recommend keeping it in a water-resistant case or pouch. The reason I say that is because what is going happen when it’s water damaged? Do you think Samsung is just going to replace it for you? Highly doubtful, but I know your insurance company would LOVE to assist you and take your deductible to get you a new device. Bottom line: be wary of what is being advertised. Read the fine print, check the level of resistance your phone can withstand before it becomes susceptible to irreversible water damage.

NEED HELP? GET IN TOUCH WITH US NOW FOR A FREE QUOTE! Some things many people don’t take into consideration is that any device having water-resistant properties that are then repaired should no longer be considered water-resistant. There are seals that, when a phone is repaired or “torn down” (a fancy saying for taken apart), that become broken. Without having factory machinery and environment to create the factory seal again. Our techs always inform customers who bring in certain devices that boast that they are water resistant that after screen repair and certain other repairs the phone is no longer resistant to water. It’s important to be aware of that, especially come summer time when you are more likely getting your phone wet because of all that fun in the sun.

The 3rd most common repair that we see come through our door at Forever Wireless is water damage ones. Like I said earlier, every scenario is different, but there are a lot of options available to an experienced tech. The first thing we do during intake is assess the damage both physically and through a history given by the client which is crucial. You have to know what you are dealing with. If a phone has been sitting in water for a long period of time, chances are it is toast. However, those devices that have come in contact with water for a short period of time and have been in rice or attempted to be dried out is a much better scenario for a positive outcome.

After assessing the situation, it becomes a game of trial and error. On some devices its easy to replace certain components that might be affected by water damage. Other devices have all or most of their components on one main logic board which then needs to be scrubbed and put into a machine called an ultrasonic cleaner. The machine attempts to reverse the water damage by way of ultrasonic waves. After a nice bath in the proper chemical solution and thorough drying, the tech begins to replace all necessary components and reassemble the device. If all goes well, the device will turn back on and function how it should. If not, we are back to square one of trial and error to see what is preventing the device from functioning.

Water damage repairs can be tricky, as you can see, but they also may not be forever. Sometimes, repairs are attempted and successful only to have more problems and functionality issues down the road. It’s nearly impossible to predict all the problems that can result from water damage. However, if you use a respectful establishment like Forever Wireless and many others out there, they will do their best in deciding the best course of action to take. Our jobs as techs are not to be salespeople, but rather to be advocates for what’s best to do for our customers and their devices.


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