Accidents happen; coffee cups get knocked over, glasses of orange juice or coke spilt; phones get dropped in puddles and, yes, even down the toilet. iPhone’s, iPods and iPads are all very expensive items, not ones we particularly want to see get waterlogged. Even your Applecare+ warranty wont cover you for liquid damage so what can you do to help save your device and what shouldn’t you do ?
First of all, let’s have a quick look at the different types of liquid damage. We’ve all heard of pH, it’s the common indicator for determining whether a liquid is neutral, acidic or alkaline. Water has a pH of 7 which is regarded as neutral. Anything over 7 is alkaline and anything under is acidic. For example, bleach has a pH of 12 which makes it highly alkaline and orange juice is 3.5, extremely acidic. Alkaline damage can be reversed in some cases whereas acid damage is hard to repair as the acid literally eats away at he electronics inside the device. So, if you must soak your phone in something make sure it is bleach!
Now for the Do’s and Don’ts :
- Do NOT place your water damaged device in rice. It is a common misconception that rice will soak the water out. Once the device has dried corrosion will set in and using rice just speeds up this process. Also it has a nasty habit of getting into any little nooks such as dock ports and usb drives and, if it works its way into the device it will swell up and cause problems.
- If you are taking it straight to a repair center, DO shake as much excess liquid out if it as you can and place it in a plastic bag.
- Do NOT use a hairdryer or a heat gun to try to dry out your device. Again it can speed up the corrosion process and cause more damage.
- Do NOT, under any circumstances plug your device into a charger. It’s a force of habit with all of us, especially if the device has a blank screen or will not switch on. Placing it on charge will not help to dry the device out and it will, more than likely sort circuit the electronics inside. If the damage is not severe enough to take it to a repair center do not place it on charge for at least 3 days, to allow it time to dry out fully and naturally.
- DO check the water sensors – all Apple devices have them. Check, with a torch, in the dock port and headphone jack to see if they have been set off or not. They should be white. If they are red, liquid has got into the port.
- Lithium-ion batteries and liquid are not a good combination and most repairers will replace the batteries for any liquid damaged device. If you know how to and you have the correct tools you can remove your Apple battery yourself but if you don’t feel confident do not touch it.
- Always take your device to a reputable repair centre, one who has experience at dealing with liquid damaged devices.
Of course, you could always have your device waterproofed. Liquipel, manufactured in California, is a revolutionary hydrophobic technology that uses nano particles to protect your device. When it is applied it soaks into the device and protects it from the inside out, repelling any liquid that touches it. Unfortunately it is not something you can do at home; you would have to send it off to Liquipel HQ along with a payment of $59 – for an iPhone – and they will do it for you. That is, if you think you can be parted with your device for long enough.