Liquid damage occurs when an electronic device comes into contact with liquid. You find a lot of misinformation online and in some repair shops about how to fix this. My goal here is to clarify this topic by outlining a couple common misconceptions and explaining some best practices.
WHAT ARE THE MISCONCEPTIONS?
1. Probably the biggest misconception is that simply drying the device will fix it.
Awhile ago I saw a add for a machine that is meant to dry your device and thus fix the liquid damage. The damage is not from the water itself but rather the impurities in the water. So simply drying the device doesn't remove these and damage will continue to occur similar to when a car starts to rust, and the only way to stop it is to cut it out and put new steel in place. This method also does not deal with components on the electrical board that have been damaged if the device has had any power flow through it.
2. The second misconception is that putting the device in a bowl of rice will fix it. No matter where I go I hear or read someone suggesting to use rice.
DON’T EVER USE RICE!
Drying a device using rice, cat litter, silica or simple heat leaves behind those impurities contained in the water. This causes damage, but it might take days or months for it to become apparent. One day you may wake up with no Wi-Fi, or the phone may not turn on, and if the damage is allowed to go unchecked it can become not economical to repair at all.
3. It can be deceiving when you drop liquid on your device clean it off and wow it still turns on. It may seem fine but its not and the impurities I spoke about earlier have started damaging your device from the inside and will continue to get worse until you bring it in. So remember time is of the essence here if you value your device or the data that is on it.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
1. You need to remove all electricity. This means disconnecting the battery. DO NOT plug in the charger, and if the device is already turned on,
TURN IT OFF!
This will prevent the electricity from interacting with those impurities and damaging your device further.
2. Take it to a QUALIFIED REPAIR CENTER - time is of the essence here the longer it takes the more damage happens. From there the technician will desolder any parts that prevent them from cleaning and testing your device to address any shorts, faulty components or any other issues. This whole process of disassembly, desoldering of protective shields, and testing the device needs to be done prior to turning the device on if you want to avoid further damage. This whole process can take days or weeks due to the complexity and how many other jobs the technician has in his queue. So if ANY shop tells you they can do this in under an hour, it is SIMPLY NOT BEING DONE CORRECTLY.
If you get liquid on your device and you follow the above instructions -- 1) remove the electricity and 2) take it to a qualified tech in a TIMELY mannor – your chances of getting your device repaired quickley with everything working properly are much higher.
**ANY shops that are doing these type of repairs without understanding how to really address and repair them. You are harming the repair industry, when you hand that customer back their device that is still faulty and it stops working for them a day later the chances of them trusting another independent repair center is less likely. Please make sure you think about this before accepting these type of repairs.