Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Soggy Cell Phone

The result of my own poor judgement, my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic was drowned in a hot tub. The phone itself was only under water momentarily, but the battery was submerged over night. The next morning, I had to brush away a teal-green corrosive coating that had grown on one of the battery's contacts, caused by a small current flowing across the terminals underwater, no doubt aided by the highly chemically treated hot tub water.

My first action was to take off the cover of the phone, remove the battery, SIM card and microSD card and set them on a window sill to dry. After hours of drying and no visible signs of wetness, I attempted to install the battery and turn it on, but nothing happened. Thinking the battery might have been fully discharged, I plugged it into the charger to charge for a half-hour or so to get some juice in it.

Afterwards, it turned half-way on one time. by half-way, I mean the screen lit up and displayed "Nokia", but the handshake and tones never arrived. I turned it off and back on, and it was worse: only the red light and the omni button lit up, steady and glowing. I even tried the battery from my son's Nokia 5800, but it yielded the same results.

Fearing the worst, I did some research online. I learned some things, like:

  1. Put a drowned cellphone in a bowl of uncooked rice to dry it thoroughly.

  2. Never plug in a cell phone that may till have water in it

Oops! I had killed my phone! My son was even upset, and it wasn't even his phone (this time!) He even offered to let me use his phone (who says teenagers can't be sweet?)

I reverted to my scotch-taped Nokia 6300 (great phone -- just not a smartphone). After several days of no GPS, no touch screen, no WiFi, etc. my son started hopping around me, bright eyed with and bursting at the seams with a secret. Just before he would've exploded, he spilled to me that he "fixed my phone." On his own, he had tried his battery in my dead phone, still sitting in pieces on the window sill. This time, though, it turned on! I presume that when I had tried his battery in my phone, it had not yet dried, giving a false-negative

I'm now waiting with fingers crossed for my replacement battery I ordered online from Radio Shack (best price from a name I recognize). I'll post an update with the result after it arrives.

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