Saving Electronics from a Watery Death

Saving Electronics from a Watery Death

May 1, 2007

We've never been happier to see this cute little guy on the wallpaper of our cell phone. You see, "he" took a swim in a local lake on Saturday when our canoe tipped and we all went in.

The saddest part of all is how we knew what to do to save this little guy--our iPod Nano went swimming a week ago in different waters, and in desperation we found what to do. Check out this page from Method Shop, and commit these to steps to memory, should you ever need them:

• Cut the power: the electrolytic activity rapidly increases corroding, and resist any urge to turn it on as long as possible, as in days of patience.

• Dry it out: blow compressed air into any crevices until it doesn't drip any more and put it in front of warm air, or at least moving air. Balance the need for warmer air with the fact that you can melt delicate pieces, so limit the amount of warm air used.

If it was immersed for a long time, consider taking it apart to really get the water out as we did because most, if not all warranties, will be voided at this point anyway. We used a shot glass to hold the little screws and tiny pieces that came apart during the process.

• For iPods: if you are having issues and the Folder icon or Sad Face is all you see, try to erase and restore it.

Our phone may not be perfect, but it's functioning, and holding some charge, so it's definitely easier than replacing (and I can get my address book off of it should I want to replace it), though the other phone that went in didn't suffer as positive a fate. The other phone was actually submersed for a solid 20 minutes, we didn't take it apart as much, and my friend didn't have the patience to wait to turn it on, so it no longer registers a battery. A quick trip to eBay yielded a used phone and charger with shipping for $35 that we'll activate in its place.

As for the iPod, the verdict is still out: it charges, but we're not sure if the buttons work, we're still working on that one. We'll keep you posted.

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