Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Googling "Wet Cell Phone"

Remember this?

Or this?

Or maybe this?

All of these images are from the Friday night downtown Minneapolis criterium stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix in mid-June.

What none of these images shows is what happened to my cell phone that night: it got wet.

When the skies opened up over Minneapolis, I was commuting and couldn't seek shelter right away. I took my cell from my shorts pocket and put it in the pocket of my rain jacket. "It should be safe in there," I thought.


Minutes later, after I checked-in as an event volunteer, I took out my cell to check for any damage.


No life.


When I got home that night, after another wet commute, I went downstairs, disassembled my cell, and put it on a shelf next to the dehumidifier. I thought, "That should dry it out."


When I checked on the phone the next morning, it was just as lifeless as the night before. That's when I started Googling.

I put the search term "wet cell phone" into the ol' Google machine. Here's some of what I found:

"Wet cell phone? Piece of cake, don't worry about anything. I have dropped my cell phone in lakes, rivers and streams and used to pay for new ones all the time.

A good friend of mine that is a VP for Sprint told me that they make buuku bucks off of replacement cell phones. The scam is a good one. They try to get the sucker to pay for an insurance plan on the phone. I fell for this one and lost my phone in a lake. When I went in there all confident to get my new phone I realized that you dont get a "new" one. You get a replacement one that was used. Where did it come from? It was a wet one that someone returned for a new one.

They [the cell phone companies] simply dry them out to get them to work and then send them out as replacements on the insurance. They are laughing to the bank. It's a scam and I hate them.

Here is what you do:
1) Take the battery out

2) Put the phone in the oven at 125 degrees for 5 hours

3) Take the phone out and let it sit in the sun or a dry hot place in your home for 24 hours

4) Put the battery back in and plug it in but DON'T turn it on

5) Let it charge for 5 hours

6) Turn it on and enjoy. This works about 90% of the time"

Needless to say, I was somewhat hesitant about putting a cell phone in the oven. But, after thinking about the durability of the plastic and how no-so-hot 125 degrees is, I gave in. What else was I going to do? I had nothing to lose.

After about only three hours in the oven (and regular check-ups while I cooked my phone), I took the phone out (HOT!), put it on an oven mitt, and left it sit overnight.

The next morning, I plugged my phone in to the charger and let it sit for about three hours again. After the wait period, I walked over, picked up my phone, and...

...it lit right up.


I shared this story with some friends and one of them told me that he had gotten his cell phone wet, flipped it open, and crammed it in one of the heating vents in his car. It dried out and worked just fine.

Apparently, the idea is that in order to dry out a cell phone, you need a radiating heat source. This will dry out all of the contact points and allow the electronic components to work correctly once again.

Now, I should relate that both my friend and I have Samsung cell phones. Because of that, I can't speak for how this might work for cell phones produced by a different manufacturer, but I really can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work.

Long story short: Don't get your cell phone wet. But, if you do, don't go running to your cell provider until you've been a little resourceful on your own -- it could pay off!


Blogger Lunatic Biker said...

Oh, the Tuffy blog is so informative.

Wed Jul 26, 01:53:00 PM 2006


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