Thursday, November 29, 2012

Liquid Damage and Cell Phones

This is a continuation on the subject of liquid damage and cell phones.  For more information please check out our previous article here:
Myth of drying your phone in rice

Liquid damage is one of the most common problems we see at Device Medics and we often receive questions about whether or not liquid damage phones can be repaired.
Yes they can be repaired.  But there are exceptions.  Not every phone we receive is repairable.  Others may only be partially repairable.

There are many variables that can affect the successful repair of a liquid damaged phone.  Here are just a few:
  • Type of liquid - For example: Salt water is much more corrosive than tap water, muddy water causes more damage than clean water, etc...
  • Length of exposure - the longer the phone is in the liquid, the more time the liquid has to infiltrate the electronics.
  • Time between exposure and repair - corrosion continues even after the phone has been removed from the liquid, so the longer the delay between exposure and repair, the more potential damage.
  • Whether the phone was on or off at the time of exposure - energized electronics are more likely to suffer electrical shorts as a result of the liquid making improper electrical connections.
  • Users attempting to repair the phone themselves - rice or other attempts at self-repair can cause additional damage.
  • Murphy's Law.

The Process

Liquid damage repair is a multi-step process.  Before the device can be fixed it must be carefully and properly cleaned in order to remove and corrosion or deposits left by the liquid.  The cause of the corrosion must then be neutralized to prevent it from spreading.  Next the phone must be inspected and tested.  If the device has been determined to be repairable, then repairs begin. 

The Outcome

Successful liquid damage repair is a combination of following the process and mitigating as many of the variables as possible.

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