Wet Cell Phones

Aaron Carroll’s iPhone had a near death experience and was saved by rice. Well, that’s what he says. I say it was the placebo effect and rice isn’t necessary. Judge for yourself:

[L]ast Thursday, while in clinic, I dropped my current iPhone in the toilet.

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if I reached in and retrieved it.  I don’t understand that question.  It was my iPhone!  Of course I retrieved it!  …

It was only in there for a second, but still – the screen started flickering, the speaker stopped working, and the backlight died.  …  I figured I was sunk.  …

But I remembered something I’d read on the Internet about rice helping to dry out a wet phone.  I poured some in a ziploc bag and put the phone in.  In six hours, the condensation had disappeared from the camera hole.  By the next morning, it seemed dry. …

Days later, the phone works perfectly.  You’d never know something had happened.

So for all of you who drop your phones in the toilet, and for those of you who lie and say they fell in a puddle or the sink or the bath, there’s hope.  Don’t give up.  Miracles do happen.

Months ago, a less dramatic version of Aaron Carroll’s iPhone water-boarding happened to my comparatively lame LG enV®3. On my commute to work it got very wet in a rain storm and died (I am not lying–no toilet was involved). It was a slow and sad death. While on the train I held it in my palms as, one by one, each of its functions was snuffed out. By the time I reached my office all it could do was vibrate and moan, every three seconds.

Those were desperate cries for help. But what could I do? My solution was to open the phone and all its ports (USB, headphone, etc.) and put it on my office heater (forced hot air). Hours later it revived with no evidence of harm. I thought it a miracle too.

Why aren’t cell phones more sensitive to water? Seems like phone companies could earn some extra profit. It’s not like I wouldn’t have replaced it.

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