Consumer Electronics & Water Damage Information

By: Jim Corkern

One thing that most people who own a cell phone or a laptop are very concerned and careful of is spilling water or another liquid onto it.

It happens quite often and can easily put you out $100 and up, depending on what the liquid ruins. Maybe you like to drink a cup of coffee while you're working and you reach over for a pen and it topples onto your keyboard or maybe you've dropped your cell phone into the toilet or the bath tub.

No matter how the liquid came into contact with your electronic device, most of the time you assume that it's completely dead and there's nothing that you can do about it. Sometimes this really isn't the case.

Even if you completely submerse a CD player or other electronic device in water, if it's not powered on at the time, it can usually be saved if you allow it to dry out completely before trying to turn it on and use it.

One thing to worry about, though, is how long the object is allowed to stay in the water. Depending on what the inside is made out of, it may or may not absorb water and expand the longer it stays submerged. Wait at least a few days before trying to power on the device again and allow it to dry out naturally.

If you have a device that is powered on when it comes into contact with a liquid substance of any kind, unplug the device from the wall or from your car's cigarette lighter or whatever power source it happens to be using at that moment. Remove any batteries that could accidentally be instructed to supply power to the device by pressing a button.

If you have an item that has been water damaged by more than just spilling a cup of liquid on it or just dropping it in the toilet, it's best to consult a professional.

For example, a computer that has been submerged in flood waters for a period of time isn't that likely to be recovered, but with the right care and proper conditions, it can be done. It all depends on the circumstances of your situation, but whatever you do, don't try to power on the device or use it in any way before it's dry, no matter what size or kind of device it may be.

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