Water Damage Responses For Technology
Most people know that water can be a death knell for some modern technology, but they do not realise that water is not always the end. In some circumstances it may be possible save your equipment from the scrap heap by practising prompt water damage response steps. Here are some of the things that you should do if you are concerned that water damage may have affected any of your modern technology:
Should I Try to Turn it on?
Whilst most people’s first reaction to water damage is to reach for the affected item and use it to see if it still works, most of the time this will actually do more harm than good. Resist temptation and do not switch the device on if it has gone off. When water enters anything electrical devices, it affects the way that electricity moves around the circuit, and can cause ‘misfires’ which may lead to the device short circuiting. Once this has happened, it may be impossible to restore the device without replacing major components which can end up costing more than the item is worth. If the device is already on, you need to limit the amount of times that the device is likely to do something active. If possible, turn off the device by doing a battery pull, because awakening it from sleep mode so that you can switch it off could trigger a fatal short circuit. If you cannot do a battery pull, you need to consider how often you are likely to receive messages, calls and notifications which would wake up the phone. If you are not expecting to receive anything, wait until the battery runs out, before doing anything with the device. If you think that the device will be triggered by an outside source, it may be best to wake it up so that you can avoid the future risk, although you should be aware that this could kill it.
To prevent water damage repair costs, it is important that you attempt to dry things out as soon as possible, using non-intensive methods. Do not use excessive heat (hairdryers etc) on electronic devices or you could end up heat damaging them instead. Wipe off excess water in the first instance. If you have been able to do a battery pull or if you can safely remove any other components then you should gently wipe these down with an absorbent cloth. If it is a device like a smartphone or tablet, gently shake it to try to dislodge trapped water.
In order to get the water out of the unreachable nooks and crannies, you will need to use a substance which is known for its absorbency. One commonly used trick is to put your phone into a jar of rice to help to dry it out, although this can take over 48 hours. Using silica gel sachets is another good idea. These are the small sachets that are often found in shoe boxes, new handbags and goods which are delivered from high humidity regions.