Did I kill my cell phone (it got rained on.)

Yesterday afternoon I was working in the garden and inadvertently left my LG Android smartphone out there. For hours, during which we had two brief but heavy downpours. Went hunting for it late last night and found it in the damp grass. The battery had gone dead.

Here’s where I think I may have screwed up - instead of taking the battery out and drying it right away, I plugged in into the charger then powered it up to see if it was still working. So I checked messages, then left it on the charger and went to google what to do next.

Turns out the absolutely wrong and bad thing to do was charge it up and turn it on while still wet because that can cause short-circuits. :smack: So I took it apart, plunged everything in a large jar of rice to dry overnight…today it’s working except the voice recorder isn’t working (both on speaker and normally.) Took it to the phone guy, who played with it for a couple of hours and said not fixable, although putting it back in the jar of rice again until tomorrow might resolve the problem.

I have a bad feeling I’ll be buying a new phone tomorrow, though. :frowning:

Mainly, could I have prevented this had I dismantled it and dried it before charging it up and turning it back on? In all my years of owning mobile devices and in my defense, I’ve never gotten one wet.

The damage was done when you turned it on. Drying it out at this point isn’t likely to have any benefits.

Possibly. Probably? Water doesn’t kill electronics; water plus electricity does.

Water damage is unpredictable. I’ve seen phones go through a full wash cycle and work better than before. I’ve also seen phones get splashed with water and never work again.

In this case not dumping it in rice right away didn’t help although the rice trick isn’t 100% effective. Usually it just gives you a few more weeks before you need to replace it.

When you say the voice recorder doesn’t work - do you mean it doesn’t record your voice? If you place a call, can the person on the other end hear you?

Regardless…it’s unlikely to get better at this point. Depending on the model of the phone and what actually failed, there may be ways of fixing it, regardless of what you were told. But they may not be practical to someone outside of the company that made it. That’s why, back when I worked in the industry, I suggested that all my friends carry phones that I made.

Do you mean the microphone isn’t working? This may be obvious, but check and make sure there’s nothing stuck in the hole for it (like grass, dirt, or rice). It’s the same mic whether you’re using speaker or not. Do you have a headset for the phone you can make calls on? That has a separate mic, see if that works.

Thanks guys - well now I know. Do not turn on and attempt to use a wet cell phone!*

Digital - the person on the other end (or voice recognition, etc) does not hear my voice. It’s an LG Esteem, so a decent device but being a couple of years old, probably a dinosaur. I doubt it will emerge from the jar of rice tomorrow in perfect working order, so I’ll be getting a new cell phone.

*I know that some electronics can tolerate getting soaked and work fine once dried out. Twice I’ve submerged desktop keyboards in hot soapy water, scrubbed and rinsed them completely clean - after air drying for a week or two, they work just fine. The one I’m typing on right now was soaked and scrubbed a few months ago.

ETA - SeaDragonTattoo - I don’t have headphones with a separate mic. The tech at the store suggested that might work - he took the phone apart and dried it with compressed air so pretty sure nothing is stuck anywhere.

Update, phone is working normally this morning. It’s been back in the jar of rice since 2 pm yesterday. Yay!

Still going to get a new phone, I think. I’ve had this since November 2012, and as stated upthread I may well have done some damage that can cause future weirdness.

At least you can take your time now. Sucks when the phone’s totally kaput until the replacement, so at least there’s some breathing room. Friend of mine got stuck in a rainstorm Saturday while out running and fried her phone, too.

Glad it’s working! Thanks for mentioning the problem (and thanks to others for the advice). I learned something myself for the future.

Good! I sorta intended this to be a cautionary tale (do not turn on a device if it’s gotten wet. Just, don’t.)

The phone worked fine this morning but I made several calls later in the day and the audio was fading in and out. Also it turns out I had lost most of my photos and videos. Thankfully most were already transferred to my PC, but still.

I bought a new cell phone today. Back everything up! Don’t try to turn on and use a wet device! Really especially sucks when one’s only mode of phone/mobile communication is a single device. I do have a back-up phone but almost all of my contact information was stored on the one that got wet, so I got panicky without that.

I’m definitely going to be more diligent about making a copy of my contacts for when the shit hits the fan.