Monday, May 30, 2011

Dropped Your Phone In Water?

Have you dropped your cell phone in water?   The toilet? (a multitude of people) A rain puddle? (my son) A beer vendor's ice chest with more water than ice? (my friend Tim) or a fish bucket as you are skinning fish in Louisiana? (my Godfather). No problem, all is not lost.  Here is what you do - if you don't want to go to the cell phone store and eat crow and pay for a new one:  [disclaimer, I am NOT responsible if you blow up your home, melt your phone, your phone begins getting calls from Satan, or any other mishaps.  You CAN thank me, when this remediation method works for you]

1) Remove phone from any case it has
2) Take out battery, and set battery aside
3) Remove SIM chip, if it has one
4) pre-heat oven to 150F
5) get an oven-safe casserole dish
6) get some uncooked white or brown rice
7) coat bottom of dish with about 1/4 inch of rice
8) place water-encountered phone flatly in dish on rice, and cover with rice. Do not cover the casserole dish.
9) once over has reached 150F, bake for 2 to 4  hours, on a middle rack, center of oven.
10) after baking for 2 to 4 hours in the pre-heated oven, turn oven off.
11) leave oven closed, and let it cool, until you can take the casserole dish out without burning your hand.  Most human hands burn above 120F, and your oven (depending on how old or new it is, and what the ambient conditions are outside the oven) may take from 1 hour to 8 hours to cool off.
12) remove phone from rice, and reassemble phone.  Discard rice.  Wash casserole dish.
13) enjoy your revived phone.  The display should be "like new" or "almost like new" depending on how long the phone as submerged, and how much water leaked its way onto the charged circuit boards. 

How do I know this works?  Because I've revived my son's phone, my Uncle Joe's android phone, and I watched my electrical engineering friend and fellow alumnus Tim fix his iPhone the same way.  Will it work for every phone under every circumstance?  Probably not, I cannot guarantee your results, I just know it worked for me.

The rice acts as desiccant, to help draw out the moisture.  It's probably over-kill, but it doesn't hurt.  If you are traveling, and without an oven or uncooked rice, use the sunny dash board of rental car as your "solar oven".  Remember, your phone was designed to work in Saudi Arabia, where it can get to 45 degrees C (113F) in the summer time.  Most electronics are baked in the assembly plant to drive off any residual volatile organics compounds (toluene, benzene, tri-chloro-ethane, tri-methyl-amine) [VOCs] that are in the glues, potting materials, solders, and cleaning solvents (CFCs like Freon) off the electronics and into the oven before they are final assembled.  I spent many a night in Martinsville Indiana in a Facilities Engineering previous job crawling through baking ovens where JBL and Infinti speakers were being baked when we had an oven conveyor crash - and got huge head aches afterward from the fumes bouncing around my brain. 

Again, no liability is implied or given here. Attempt this at your own risk, or don't attempt it, and take your phone to the Verizon store and explain to them how you dropped it in a toilet / fish bucket / swimming pool... good luck with that.

1 comment:

  1. My previous phone, a nokia, went through a wash cycle in a front-loading washer. To dry it I baked it in the oven (no rice), but it inadvertantly got baked at much higher than 150F. Worked fine once it cooled off, though.


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