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What exactly happens when your phone gets wet?

20 Aug 2015
Peter - amaysim blogger


amaysim's Head of IT Operations

If you own a smartphone there’s a good chance you’ve had at least one heart-stopping moment when your phone’s made a dive for a puddle or been on the receiving end of an unexpected splash.

How does the water enter your phone?

Every mobile has openings and ports that water (as well as dust and sand) can sneak their way into if you’re not careful. This includes the headphone jack, speakers, microphone andcharging port. Some handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and S6, have covers for charging docks but this doesn’t make them waterproof. If you’re walking through the rain or in a splash zone try to keep these openings and ports covered.

Where does the water go?

Once it’s infiltrated your phone, water usually causes the most damage when it reaches the internal circuitry. So it’s a good idea to turn your phone off and take out the removable battery (only if it’s removable...duh) and SIM card to cut the power off before water can make its way into your phone’s circuitry. At this stage it’s very important not to shake your phone or use a hair dryer in an attempt to get the water out – it may cause more damage to by overheating it or pushing the water further inside.

Leaving your soaked phone in the sun though isn’t the best solution either. Water can cause rust on the inside of your phone. The phone-in-rice trick won’t always fix this, and the damage won’t become visible overnight. It’s kind of like all those times you left your bike out in the rain when you were a kid – it took a while for rust to form, but when it did it wasn’t pretty. Your best bet is to get your phone repaired at a certified service centre – it might sound like your typical IT answer but it could save you a packet, especially if your own DIY attempts go wrong.

How to tell if your phone’s officially water-damaged

Most smartphones have a liquid contact indicator – that’s just a small sticker that changes colour when it comes in contact with water, and you can usually find it next to the SIM slot (iPhone) or underneath the battery (Samsung). A quick look should tell you whether your phone has been water-damaged if the colour of the sticker’s changed. If this has happened get in touch with a certified technician for your brand of phone - they probably see water-damaged phones every day and chances are they’ve picked up some handy tips and tricks along the way that won’t break the bank.

Luckily, if you don’t have a phone under contract it isnt going to be as costly. That's why signing up to an amaysim no-lock in contract plan is so easy!

Do you have any tips for what to do when your phone gets wet? Any other phone-related problems you’d like me to explain? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll have a look.

Peter – amaysim’s IT guy