An incredible 97% of Americans own some type of cellphone. Of these, around 85% are smartphones, and most people will tell you they don’t know what they’d do without them. But, unfortunately, cell phones can be susceptible to various types of damage that puts them out of commission until repaired or requires a new phone.
One common problem that arises is water damage. Continue reading to learn how to tell if your phone has water damage and how you can prevent this specific type of damage in the future.
How To Tell If Your Phone Has Water Damage
Did your phone fall into a puddle or get wet when left on the sink? You may wonder if the phone has been damaged by moisture since it isn’t always easy to spot immediately. Thankfully, there are a few signs of water damage you can look for.
Moisture Under The Display Screen
One of the more obvious signs your water has suffered water damage is moisture under the display screen. This might look like water droplets that don’t go away if you wipe your phone screen. It can also look like a warped phone screen or damage alongside the phone.
Your phone’s ports can easily be damaged by water, although it may not be immediately obvious unless the ports have stopped working altogether. Look for loose or wiggly phone ports and signs of rust or corrosion along the outer portions. Water damage can also cause the edges of your phone’s ports to bend.
Most phones have a built-in Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI). You can access this by carefully removing the sim card, which is usually located on the right side of your phone. Next, point a bright light into the slot left after removing your sim card and look inside.
If you see red, this means water has gotten inside your phone. If you see silver (or any other color besides red), your phone’s LCI hasn’t been activated, and you likely don’t have water damage.
Liquid Detection Alert
Some newer phones have an alert system built into them that tells you when water is detected inside. But, of course, there are some drawbacks to this method of detection. For example, if your phone has sustained enough water damage to stop turning on, the alert system can’t let you know that liquid was detected.
If your phone has water damage, you may be able to repair it. However, your water-damaged phone may need to be replaced. To learn how you can prevent water damage moving forward, read more now below.
Fixing Water Damage in a Phone
Sometimes, a water-damaged phone can’t be fixed. For example, if you dropped your phone into a swimming pool and now it looks warped and won’t turn on, chances are high you’ll need to replace it. However, small amounts of water damage can usually be fixed.
The best option is to get your phone professionally fixed. Phone repair shops will have special tools and techniques to help repair a phone you wouldn’t be able to at home. However, not everyone is willing (or able) to get a professional repair immediately.
One option at home is to use rice. To do this:
- Make sure the phone is turned off
- Take the phone apart as much as possible
- Place these parts into a bowl of rice
- Add rice to fully cover all the parts
- Allow the phone parts to stay in the rice for at least one full day (but two is preferred)
After a day or two, you can put the phone back together and try starting it. If it starts up fine and doesn’t appear to be otherwise damaged, you should be good to go. However, if it doesn’t turn back on or shows obvious signs of water damage, you may want to take it to a repair shop.
Preventing Water Damage In The Future
The best way to “fix” water damage is never to have it happen in the first place. You can save yourself a lot of stress and money by taking all possible steps to prevent water damage moving forward. A few of these preventative steps include:
- Never take your phone near the swimming pool, hot tub, or beach
- If you do have to take your phone with you near water, use a protective covering (like a plastic zippered bag)
- Don’t take your phone into the shower or bathtub with you
- Don’t place your phone on the sink when washing your hands, washing the dishes, or brushing your teeth
- Don’t let small children play with your phone
- If you do let small children use your phone, make sure they’re seated and always supervise them
- Fix any cracks in the screen or phone as soon as possible since these can let in moisture that otherwise wouldn’t be a problem
- Avoid taking your phone on boats whenever possible
If you follow these simple safety tips, you should be able to prevent most water damage from happening in the future. Of course, accidents do happen. When they do, you can follow the helpful information above on how to check for and fix water damage.
Have More Questions About a Damaged Phone?
Do you still have questions about a potentially damaged phone or how to prevent it? Then, feel free to browse our other blog posts. You’ll find plenty of information on how to tell if your phone has water damage and related topics to help you expand your knowledge base.