This article will discuss what to do if your phone has accidentally fallen in the water, the fixes to restore it, and the repair costs.
Also, we will look at if it is worth the money to get a water-damaged phone repaired, restored from the service center, and what you must consider before going for a repair.
What to Do if your phone has fallen in the water?
First of all, many new flagship mobiles come with IP67 or IP68 ratings. These phones will not have any issues even if they fall in the water, sink, toilet, or swimming pool.
These phones are waterproof and will work as it is once you take them out of the water.
You can dry the phone by keeping it under a fan or using a hairdryer or a blower, using cold or warm air.
If your phone doesn’t have an IP rating, the first thing you need to do is turn it off, as the water inside the mobile can fry the electronics.
The water takes some time to reach the electronics and damage them, so it is best to turn off the device as soon as you can.
Don’t try to turn it On or use it!
Clean it properly with a dry towel and then make it stand vertically, the speaker side down, so that the water can come out of the speaker or the bottom charging port.
Please don’t put it on charging or try to turn it on!
Now you can blow-dry the device using a hairdryer or a blower – but make sure you are not moving it much and don’t overheat the device as it has an explosive battery.
For completely drying the phone, go and buy Silica Gel packs. Then open the packets, take out the silica gel and cover the phone using these (as shown in the below image).
The Silica Gel balls can absorb the moisture from inside your phone.
Fixing a Water Damage Mobile
Better keep the phone and the Silica Gel packs inside an air-tight box or an air-tight polythene bag.
You will have to leave it like this for at least 24 hours to remove the moisture from the phone.
If you don’t have the Silica Gel packs, you can place the phone in rice with a similar effect.
What To Do if It was Fully Submerged in Water?
If your phone was fully submerged in water and you think it has taken in a lot of water. Then I recommend taking it to a nearby shop after drying it for a day using rice or silica gels.
Ask the shopkeeper to open it, blow dry it for some time, and then try to start it.
Also, if he has Isopropyl alcohol, can ask him to clean the insides with it before turning the device on. You can also buy 99.9% IsoPropyl alcohol to clean the phone. Using it removes any water minerals or residues left.
After cleaning, you can try to start the mobile, and if it turns on, the chances are that you have got saved from a costly repair.
What if your phone was not fully submerged in water?
If your phone just got wet in the rain or by a splash of water, it is unlikely to become nonfunctional.
You will have to follow the same steps of drying the device for 24 hours (in silica gel) and then can again blow dry it a bit more using the hairdryer before turning it on.
If you are lucky, the device will turn on and work as it was working before the incident.
What to do if your water-damaged Smartphone is not turning On?
Suppose your phone was fully submerged in water and was turned on when it fell and has later stopped working. The chances are that the water has seeped inside and has damaged the motherboard.
Also, the water may have reached the display panel and camera modules and could have damaged these parts.
However, if the phone is not turning on, don’t try to charge it. You can take the phone to a nearby service center or to a mobile repair shop that can open the device and check if the water has fried the motherboard.
Trying different hacks is going to make matters worse. It is better to take it to a professional who has repaired such phones.
What is the Cost of Repairs and Restoring a Water Damaged Smartphone?
If your mobile is in warranty and comes with an IP rating, then the chances are that the service center may not ask for repair costs and do it for free.
But if the phone is either out of warranty or doesn’t come with an IP rating, you are in for an expensive repair.
The first thing that must be changed is the motherboard and chipset. The cost of the motherboard and chipset depends on which phone you are using. A budget phone running on low-cost Snapdragon 450 or similar processors can cost less than Rs. 5000, for phones using high-end Snapdragon processors, the cost can be eye-watering.
, for example, POCO F1 running SD 845 (3 years old) costs Rs. 8399 ($110) (8 GB + 128 GB), and for an Asus ROG Phone 3, it can cost as much as Rs. 37,128 ($550). (The Prices are from the official website).
For an iPhone, it can be as expensive as the Asus Rog Phone 3, depending on the iPhone model that you have.
But the problem with water damage is that we don’t know what other parts need replacement apart from the mainboard.
The water can also damage the display panel, camera lens, and other parts too.
Should You get your Water Damaged Phone Repaired? Is it worth it?
I had a POCO F1 that fell in the water, taking it to the service center. First, the service center informed us that the motherboard was damaged, and we got that replaced. After repair, we realized that the rear camera lens also had water, which was impossible to clean.
The display also started showing some dried watermarks that were also cleanable.
Overall the phone was unusable, and the repair cost was the same as buying a new one. Many used POCO F1 was available 50% cheaper than the repair cost.
The service center never told us that the water damage could be on other parts before changing the motherboard.
However, we have to reach out to the company to ask them not to repair the phone. I was unwilling to spend more money replacing the display and camera module. After a long fight, they refunded the money for the motherboard repair and took back the board that they had fitted.
You will need to have a clear discussion with the service center before going for a repair. If everything works, then only you will pay for the repairs.
I suggest that you decide not to go for repairs if your phone is too old and not worth the repair cost. Sometimes, it is better to accept the loss and get a new device rather than spend a lot on an old phone.
Another thing to note here is that even if your phone is old and depreciated, the spare parts are new and will cost a fortune.
Additionally, you will have to pay for the labor cost, GST, or other taxes apart from the price of the damaged part.
So, sometimes we have to let go and leave the water-damage phone as it is and not go for repairs. You can sell it on OLX or other used part websites or to a retailer so they can use the working parts.