You walk into the bathroom, your bladder is throbbing. You throw open the lid of the toilet, bend down, and before you have time to react you’re new iPhone 5 has fallen from your jacket and floats in a new resting place in the toilet bowl. Suddenly, relieving yourself has taken a backseat to retrieving and attempting to salvage your phone. Regardless of the brand and model of smartphone, the urgency to save your expensive technology is the same. The next time you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, keep in mind the following tips to rescue and resuscitate your fallen phone.
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Extract the Phone Immediately:
This should probably just go without saying since your instinctive reaction will likely be to thrust your hand into the toilet bowl and pull the phone out. If you already relieved yourself when the phone fell, your unfortunate situation just got a little more unfortunate — and interesting. The plastic on most smart phones is pretty tight, but you should assume it is waterlogged and make haste to pull it out.
Remove the Battery and Place on a Towel:
How long the phone was immersed in water will determine the damage. Sometimes if the phone was not in the water for too long, there will not be much damage. Instead of immediately patting the phone dry after taking it out, remove the battery cover and battery and place them on the towel.
This is essential to preserving the function of the phone since many electrical circuits in the phone will still function after immersion in water if they are unattached to a power source. You should also remove any covers or accessories from the phone. Taking out the SIM card is also a good idea since all of your contact data is stored here.
Dry the Phone Well:
Even a little bit of water still inside the phone can ruin it. Damaging the circuitry and corroding other essential components is possible with the presence of just a little water. Keep the phone still on a flat surface and gently wipe it with an absorbent cloth or towel. Try not to shake or move the phone around too much since this could spread water around inside. Often this is the last step to resolving the crisis. Once dry, turn the phone on and see if it works.
This is an additional step that may not be necessary after towel drying. Holding a vacuum cleaner suction tube over the phone to remove residual moisture can effectively dry your phone in a short time. Always hold the vacuum away from the phone to prevent static electricity from building up. After vacuuming, wait a couple of hours to turn your phone on, even if it appears dry. This will ensure proper evaporation of all of the components of the phone to prevent an electrical short.
Test the Phone:
After drying your phone using whatever means you have available, the final step is to turn the phone on and test it. Waiting until the phone is completely dried out is a good idea before turning it on. Of course, if the phone doesn’t even turn on, you’ve completed the test and it has failed — you either need a new battery, a charge, or need to consult a professional. Check the ports and crevasses for moisture, insert the battery, and power it on. Ensure the phone functions and that there are no strange noises. If all appears well, you’ve learned a valuable lesson and still have a functioning phone.
Ben Vaughn is a contributing writer for ACR Services. He writes on topics ranging from choosing a plumber and water conservation tips to saving your smartphone from a slow drowning death in the toilet.