swimming cell phones and tiny screwdrivers

Water and small electrical appliances don’t mix very well. I discovered this years ago when I jumped into a pool while still wearing a non water-resistant watch. More recently I was reminded of that fact when I accidentally put my cell phone through the washer and dryer. …yeah, wouldn’t recommend it.

Being a naturally curious fix-it guy, I decided to take the phone apart and see if I couldn’t revive it. I busted out my handy precision screwdriver set and went to town on the phone. I took it completely apart and let it dry out for a couple days. I put it back together hoping against hope that it would work, pushed the power button and… nothing happened. “Oh well,” I thought, “At least I tried.”

Later that day it occurred to me, “Ya know, maybe it’s just the battery,” so I plugged the charger into it (halfway hoping it wouldn’t completely fry the thing) and much to my surprise, the screen lit up like normal and said “charging battery!” What do ya know, the phone worked just fine after that.

So last weekend a friend of mine said her phone died because she dropped it in a glass of water. …brilliant.

As of today I am 2 & 0 for fixing drowned cell phones! Go me! =D So, next time you decide to take your phone for a swim, but sure to have your precision screwdrivers handy. These little puppies are a life saver!  I might even say they are on par with Duct Tape.  …now that’s huge.

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5 thoughts on “swimming cell phones and tiny screwdrivers

  1. Yeah, I know that routine. I also am 2 for 0 with cell phone recovery, as I think I’ve mentioned before. The last one must have been submerged for 6 or 7 hours in a rainwater stream.

    The full recomendation is to rip the battery out upon first contact with water. Submerge the phone in deionized water and agitate to dissolve the gunky bits that may have come from the initial submersion. Then bake the phone without the battery at 115 to 125 for a few hours to drive of the remaining water. (I found that the compressor on the back of my mini fridge was about the right temperature). After that, it should bounce back like a champ almost every time. Though there is a litmus paper dot on the back of the phone that changes color to betray it’s submersion to the phone company. So your out of luck if you want anything out of a warranty.

    I’ve probably told you this before, but I like the look of my own type, so humor me. =) And you still need to call me soon. Till later…

    ~JMP

  2. People told me that phones could dry out and be recharged after taking serious water damage, but after I went running in the rain with my cell phone a couple months ago, it was toast beyond toast, like two pieces of pure charcoal rising out of the toaster. Being a girl and one without a tiny screwdriver, I called Verizon and they told me to buy a new phone.

    Sad. :-(

  3. This message is brought to you courtesy of my newly revived phone. Three days ago it took a plunge. (The tiny screwdriver didn’t do the trick, though I tried and tried to unscrew that stubborn last one.) But after sitting on the dashboard in the full California sun for a few days, the screen was finally clear of water and the camera worked like new when I popped the battery back in.

    Three days without a cell phone though… I may never recover.

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