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  1. McCracken's Avatar
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    Default How to Deal with a BlackBerry thats Gotten Wet--THE RIGHT WAY

    DISCLAIMER: YOUR PHONE MIGHT ALREADY BE GORKED. THIS IS JUST AN ATTEMPT TO GIVE YOU THE BEST ADVICE POSSIBLE TO FIX YOUR PHONE. IF THIS DOES NOT FIX YOUR PHONE, IT ISN'T MY FAULT. YOU'RE THE ONE WHO PIDDLED ON IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. NO, I DON'T NEED YOUR STORY ABOUT HOW RICE SAVED YOUR LIFE. I DON'T CARE THAT SOME COINCIDENCE HELPED. THIS IS THE PROPER PROCEDURE. LIVE WITH IT.

    Many of us have experienced the dreaded moment where our BlackBerry has met H2O up close and personal. Many of us have managed to salvage our devices too, sometimes with luck, sometimes with skill, sometimes purely on accident.

    There are many ideas out there on what to do: rice, water, alcohol, desiccant, etc. But the trouble is we don't know why those reasons have worked for people, or if they have at all.

    Many here and all over the internet swear by using rice to draw out the moisture. While people have claimed to have great success with this method, there is no proof it is actually saving their device. How do we know that the phone didn't just dry out on its own, given the proper time? The prinicipal behind rice is that it "draws" out the moisture. While yes, rice does absorb a great deal of moisture, its drawing power is very limited. There are no rice gnomes that sneak out of the rice and bring the moisture back for the rice gods.

    This leads us to Silica Desiccant. These are the little packets found in your shoe boxes, pill bottles, and many other packing materials. Obviously that tiny pack isn't going to help, but you can get desiccant pouches at gun shops and craft stores sell loose desiccant used to dry flowers(it may just be labeled for such, not as desiccant). Silica desiccants do draw out moisture with great success. Far superior to rice, and best of all can be recharged in the oven on low-slow heat. Trouble is they only adsorb the water--not the crap the water brought with it.

    Often I have found that many people recommend rinsing with distilled water. The idea being that you are rinsing the impurities. While this is a good "idea", you could just force more water into places we don't want it! I think we forget that even though the phone was submerged water may not have made its way all the way into the phone and main board. You have then made a situation that would have dried out all on its own far worse.

    So... It takes a little thought on how to do this best. Despite all of the "this is what worked for me" stories, not ALL situations are the same. This might take a little critical thinking, and if you aren't capable, just go ahead and call up Assurion and file your insurance claim. (PS, there is no guarantee you CAN salvage your phone, but these steps are your best bet).

    Step ONE:
    Expose your phone to water/liquid. Could be pee, could be a bottle of beer, could be both.


    Step TWO:

    Immediately remove battery. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. Do yourself a favor, take the battery, put it in a drawer and forget about it for a few days. The battery door can go with it, too.

    Step THREE:
    Using a soft towel pat the phone face down onto it. The keyboard is the major source for water entry into the phone. Allow gravity to work. Don't try to turn it on now. Whatever you do, do NOT TRY TO TURN IT ON!

    Step FOUR:
    Go to the drug store and buy 100% rubbing alcohol(likely 91% might be the best you can find). Go to a well ventilated area with no spark risk. Away from your computer and tv too. Fill a bowl with enough alcohol(do not use liquor. do not use anything with coloring. THink about this... 80 proof liquor is only 40% alc, and has loads of other "stuff" in it. The very stuff we are trying to remove.) Take your phone, place gently in bowl, and lightly swish. Very gently . Remove from the bowl and repeat step THREE. Here it is in case your up arrow is broken:

    Step THREE:
    Using a soft towel pat the phone face down onto it. The keyboard is the major source for water entry into the phone. Allow gravity to work. Don't try to turn it on now. Whatever you do, do NOT TRY TO TURN IT ON!
    Step FIVE:
    This is the tough one. Wait. Wait until you think it is dry, then wait 2 more days. The alcohol that you rinsed your phone with displaced the water, now it must evaporate. There are risks to long term alcohol exposure for your phone--it can break seals(just like in people...) and break glue bonds. I've done this to 5 phones(not all mine, but for family/friends) and never experienced any alcohol related failures(the same can't be said for their owners). I recommend waiting at least 4 days. 5 is better. I know, you can't live without your phone for that long... but this is an attempt to save you some cash. Live with it.

    Step FIVE 1/2:
    Drying location. Some swear by rice. I wouldn't put my phone it it. Short of a vacuum rice isn't going to draw from the phone any more than it would the air. I find the best location is NEXT to an air conditioning vent or dehumidifier. Not on top of, not directly in line. We don't want any forced air action, but the passive effects are great. If you must, you can use desiccant pouches. If you use loose, put it in a sock, and the phone in a sock, then put in the same close ziplock with the air sucked out. I would still allow the phone 24 hours to dry open air before giving it the desiccant treatment.


    Step SIX!!!!

    Put battery in. Watch closely to see if anything is different that before. Flashing, smoking, flames, and booms are all bad things. Normal is good. If it turns on completely, check EVERY button so you don't have a surprise. If there is moisture under the screen, use DESICCANT from the gun shop/sporting goods store/craft store to draw it out. Follow instructions in Step Five using a ziplock bag--make sure to suck air out(or even better, a vaccuum packing machine). Test out your salvaged phone. If it works, rejoice!
    Alcohol is particularly helpful when the liquid was NOT water. It removes the sticky icky from your phone. That sticky icky really kills your keyboard. There is no guarantee you will save your phone this way, but this is the way I have saved 5 so far. This is also what we used in electronics assembly to clean delicate electronics for THESE signs. Some phones are beyond saving. This is a risk you take when you decide to attempt to save your piddle paddle phone. Live with it.


    Good luck. There are a million stories on the web about how to do this, but I promise you I have researched and have the electronics experience to do this the right way.

    Good Luck!


    Other Important TIPS:

    1Backup your data/3rd party apps, and do it OFTEN.
    http://forums.crackberry.com/f3/upda...updated-53201/
    2 Keep your phone in a case such as the Seido Innocase or better yet and Otterbox to protect it from drops and such.
    3 BACK UP YOUR DATA/3RD PARTY APPS. OFTEN.
    Last edited by McCracken; 09-20-2009 at 01:18 AM.
    Thanked by 5:
    BaranE (01-12-2013),  Bobert_123 (07-06-2012),  bpunkert (02-26-2013),  ComputerJAM (12-06-2010),  K9kazoo (01-08-2011) 
    wu-wei, Graheem, BaranE and 6 others like this.
  2. JustinD2473#IM's Avatar
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    good write up.....and yes 4-5 days would KILL me without my BB, lol. I'd have to use an LG Chocolate as a back up .. OUCH!
  3. Zach7's Avatar
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    This is a great piece of information. I have seen many tricks and tips, but this is very complete. Thank you!
  4. Black Ice's Avatar
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    I would not use rice but instead wood dried pulp along and maybe with your alcohol idea.
    There is another chemical known as tuner cleaner it used to be used for TV tuners the old kind ya turn that would probably work better it evaporates very very rapid.
  5. Fandysilalahi's Avatar
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    Thank you for the write up, it's very informative
  6. McCracken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Ice View Post
    I would not use rice but instead wood dried pulp along and maybe with your alcohol idea.
    There is another chemical known as tuner cleaner it used to be used for TV tuners the old kind ya turn that would probably work better it evaporates very very rapid.
    TV tuner that I know of is a spray. It won't work to displace like submerging would. It is well designed for the purpose of cleaning parts, so it is worth a shot. The only place I have seen it lately is Walmart. I would use silica desiccant, not wood pulp...
  7. Radius's Avatar
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    Personally I'll take the housing off and just use alcohol and a brush, but I have the facilities and tools for this. If you take the housing off and use the alcohol you can have it powered back on a couple minutes after cleaning it. But letting it sit as you suggest works too.

    Depending on the circumstances though it may be best to take it apart. Fully submerged is one of those times for sure. And I think it's worth pointing out that if the moisture is salt water, it will almost certainly require being taken apart and thoroughly cleaned.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  8. Card Storm's Avatar
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    But I like leaking on my BB. Especially .230. Good right up though.
    Last edited by Card Storm; 09-20-2009 at 04:01 PM.
  9. barbwyr's Avatar
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    Good write up. I think something else to point out is while spilling water on or dropping your phone in a puddle can result in damage, it's much less likely provided you pull the battery ASAP. There was a video posted of a Blackberry being placed in water and actually being operated periodically over a 2 minute period. So a quick dip is very saveable.
    However, if you leave your BB in your pocket or bathing suit top and go swimming for half an hour as my sister did..lol...don't expect any advise to work. Just be pleasantly surprised if it does.
  10. gmkahuna's Avatar
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    So more water to wash the other water out is a bad thing I guess lol.

    Good write up. I haven't been faced with this but if I am I was already on the dessicant and alcohol bandwagon.
    "If god dropped acid, would he see people?"
  11. JoeyMoose's Avatar
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    My Wife's BB fell into a stream, took about 2 minutes to get it out. Pulled the battery, left it on my nightstand for 2 days and everything worked perfect after that.

    And yes the BB was fully submerged.

    Rice is corrosive to electronics so don't use it.
    {+_+} Droid... 2.1/Rooted

    If you can't "Contribute" to a thread, Don't Post!
  12. McCracken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyMoose View Post
    My Wife's BB fell into a stream, took about 2 minutes to get it out. Pulled the battery, left it on my nightstand for 2 days and everything worked perfect after that.

    And yes the BB was fully submerged.

    Rice is corrosive to electronics so don't use it.

    Glad you had good luck. The trouble is when all we do is let it dry out, we are going purely on luck. Then again, if you save your phone from the drink, luck must be on your side.
  13. Hankster's Avatar
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    Detailed write up. Or, someone could do this:

    1. Remove battery and all removable parts.
    2. Dry off any excess wet areas with paper towel.
    3. Place on dry surface at room temperature for 4-5 days.
    4. Put back together and start BB.
    5. Try alcohol as a last resort, most times you won't need it.

    Simple. To the point Also, agree that rice is a bad idea. Room temperature is fine.

    Present: iPhone 4, 9700 Bold, PlayBook
    Priors: Curve 8700, Flip 8220, Curve 8900, Tour 9630, iPhone 3GS.
    Logical reasoning beats ignorance.
    I'd agree with you but then I'd be wrong.
  14. McCracken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hankster View Post
    Detailed write up. Or, someone could do this:

    1. Remove battery and all removable parts.
    2. Dry off any excess wet areas with paper towel.
    3. Place on dry surface at room temperature for 4-5 days.
    4. Put back together and start BB.
    5. Try alcohol as a last resort, most times you won't need it.

    Simple. To the point Also, agree that rice is a bad idea. Room temperature is fine.
    While I agree, the trouble is people will always say "this (insert stupid thing worked) for me, it has to be right". This Gives a little information on each step and why some methods aren't preferred.
  15. barbwyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hankster View Post
    Detailed write up. Or, someone could do this:

    1. Remove battery and all removable parts.
    2. Dry off any excess wet areas with paper towel.
    3. Place on dry surface at room temperature for 4-5 days.
    4. Put back together and start BB.
    5. Try alcohol as a last resort, most times you won't need it.

    Simple. To the point Also, agree that rice is a bad idea. Room temperature is fine.
    The problem with this simple method is that the percentage of phones dropped in a mountain spring is rare. Most water damage comes from toilets, pools, muddy rain puddles, drinks and the dreaded salt water. In these cases simply drying the device will leave behind residue that will adversly affect the companants of your device. Tap water alone contains enough minerals that when left behind can create a conductive bridge allowing for a short circuit. Salt water will carrode parts, and drinks can just gum the heck out of your buttons. And then there are the things in the toilet that we won't discuss. So, I think this write up is a great tutorial for water damaged phones.
  16. McCracken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbwyr View Post
    The problem with this simple method is that the percentage of phones dropped in a mountain spring is rare. Most water damage comes from toilets, pools, muddy rain puddles, drinks and the dreaded salt water. In these cases simply drying the device will leave behind residue that will adversly affect the companants of your device. Tap water alone contains enough minerals that when left behind can create a conductive bridge allowing for a short circuit. Salt water will carrode parts, and drinks can just gum the heck out of your buttons. And then there are the things in the toilet that we won't discuss. So, I think this write up is a great tutorial for water damaged phones.
    I agree. This thread should replace the foolish post in the Faqs section. That advice could further damage a device in a heartbeat.
  17. luvitlo's Avatar
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    Only good fix is to take any electronic devise apart if it is submerged and clean all components, boards, etc with alcohol let dry for half an hour re assemble and boot up
    My step dad in law was an electronics repair tech major, he even bought a new netbook and had to take the whole thing apart to max his ram.
    His motto, "somebody put it together, so it can be taken apart" gotta love the in laws.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  18. McCracken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvitlo View Post
    Only good fix is to take any electronic devise apart if it is submerged and clean all components, boards, etc with alcohol let dry for half an hour re assemble and boot up
    My step dad in law was an electronics repair tech major, he even bought a new netbook and had to take the whole thing apart to max his ram.
    His motto, "somebody put it together, so it can be taken apart" gotta love the in laws.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com

    Neat story. "he even bought a new netbook and had to take the whole thing apart to max his ram" WTF does that have to do with anything?

    I don't recomend taking apart the phone to the average lay person. Many people are more likely to screw it up. Submerging in alcohol will likely cover all the places necessary...

    And electronics repair tech major? WTF is that....

    This is the method we USED in electronics assembly. KTXHBAI.
  19. luvitlo's Avatar
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    He went to school to work on electronics, that was his major! He repairs all kind of stuff from O2 meters to computers. And I have learned a lot from him and yes we took my pearl 8130 apart when it got wet and he helped me clean it and fix it. It acted tIp 2 weeks later and I slipped it threw under waranty since only the indicator under the trackball turned colors.
    You must be one of those who is afraid to try anything. The phone just got wet, warranty void, if at worst you can't get it back together say you lost it and insurance covers that too!
    I guess you take your car to the shop to get the battery and spark plugs changed too huh!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  20. barbwyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvitlo View Post
    You must be one of those who is afraid to try anything. The phone just got wet, warranty void, if at worst you can't get it back together say you lost it and insurance covers that too!
    I guess you take your car to the shop to get the battery and spark plugs changed too huh!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I am betting if he changes his own battery and he fries his electrical system that he doesn't report it stolen to his insurance company and expect them to replace it.

    Wow...To suggest someone commit insurance fraud because they were not able to fix their device is NOT COOL.
  21. Iphonejackson's Avatar
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    i have used rice on many occasions with my music equipment. example being, a couple guitar pedals got wet. I just tossed them in a cup of rice for a day or so, and now they work like new.
    i would imagine it would have the same outcome with my BB.
  22. barbwyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbjackson View Post
    i have used rice on many occasions with my music equipment. example being, a couple guitar pedals got wet. I just tossed them in a cup of rice for a day or so, and now they work like new.
    i would imagine it would have the same outcome with my BB.
    Not quite...if I am not mistaken your pedal don't have an integrated power source so the rice would only slightly accelerate what would have been a successful result anyways. That's kinda what the people who speak against the rice myth are reffering to. Without a source of power to short out an electrical componant it's the same as soaking a rock in water. Once it's dry, it's still a rock.

    Now, if your pedals have a power source that was active when you got them wet, then you got very lucky..lol.

    A better example here would be to place 2 BBs in a tank of water. One turned on the other with out a battery and leave them for 1 hour. Then using rice to dry them out, wait 2 weeks. Then insert a battery into each and try to power them on. The one without the battery will fire right up as there was never a short circuit created. The one that was powered on will be dead because it's componants were shorted out.
    Last edited by barbwyr; 09-22-2009 at 01:53 AM.
  23. luvitlo's Avatar
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    Barbwyr,
    First up it is not insurance fraud cause your berry would be "lost" no one would ever use it again anyway.
    Second you may blow up a battery but you are not going to fry your electrical system by changing your battery, you may burn your car to the ground if you cross some wires or at worst melt aome wires together,
    But that kind of stuff usually happens when morons who know nothing about electrical yet to wire in their own equipment(like radio, fog lights, etc....)
    And yeah if I accidentlt (just for the sake of argument since I install and do mods all the time with no bad results)
    Burned my car to the ground, I would call my insurance company and tell them it burned while I was rewiring it, the joy of full coverage insiance' it covers dumb mistakes, that would be no different than you talking on your phone and rearending a little old lady driving slow in the fast lane!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  24. barbwyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvitlo View Post
    Barbwyr,
    First up it is not insurance fraud cause your berry would be "lost" no one would ever use it again anyway.
    Second you may blow up a battery but you are not going to fry your electrical system by changing your battery, you may burn your car to the ground if you cross some wires or at worst melt aome wires together,
    But that kind of stuff usually happens when morons who know nothing about electrical yet to wire in their own equipment(like radio, fog lights, etc....)
    And yeah if I accidentlt (just for the sake of argument since I install and do mods all the time with no bad results)
    Burned my car to the ground, I would call my insurance company and tell them it burned while I was rewiring it, the joy of full coverage insiance' it covers dumb mistakes, that would be no different than you talking on your phone and rearending a little old lady driving slow in the fast lane!


    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Actaully, reporting to your insurance carrier that your phone is LOST even though it is not and you are only saying that because you broke it IS insurance fraud because your insurance on your phone does not cover breakage.
    Yes, with full coverage, calling your insurance company and saying you burned your car to the ground may cover your loss less the appropriate deductable, however if your policy does not cover loss do to negligance or fire then telling them it was stolen(lost) to force a coverage situation would be the same type of insurance fraud.
    The proof of this is try calling your carrier to report an insurance claim on your phone because you fried it and see what it gets you.

    Oh, and you can fry your electrical system by installing your own battery. All it takes it putting the cables on backwards and you have instant BBQed wireharness.
    Last edited by barbwyr; 09-22-2009 at 06:42 PM.
  25. luvitlo's Avatar
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    You insurance doesn't cover breakage, what a rip off, I was just saying to say it lost because it would be embarrasing to carry your berry to the cell store in pieces. And my car insurance does cover neglect, natural disasters, and everything else I could think of making sure was covered when I got full coverage! First vehicle in a long time I had that was worth having full coverage on, believe it or not they will not allow you to get full coverage on extremely altered vehicles!
    But I thought phone insurance covers everything the warranty doesn't, that what they told me when I got it anyway. I really didn't want it but the guy said "what if you have an issue that warranty won't cover, that's were insurance takes effect"
    Now that you said this I think I will drop that 6 bucks a month cause damage and breakage is all that is left for warranty not to cover!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
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