Published: 2022-07-20

What should be done if a phone gets wet

A sudden summer storm, relaxing swim or falling into water with all your belongings on a boat trip can become wonderful memories, unless your phone gets wet. A phone can be damaged by water even in cases when the device is waterproof. 

What exactly does it mean for a phone to be waterproof?

The word waterproof can be often seen in the description of various devices, but does it mean that the device can be inserted and left in water? No, not exactly. A device being waterproof simply means that the device has a certain level of protection against liquid ingress, however in certain settings water can still enter the device and damage its components. Nowadays most new phones and smartwatches are waterproof, however, not all of them have the same level of water resistance – there are different ratings of water resistance that determine at what depth and how long a device can be under water without causing damage. It is important to note – if a device has fallen into saltwater the damage will occur faster and will be more severe than when it falls into freshwater.

Water resistance rating of the most popular smart phones in Latvia

Currently the highest water resistance rating for smartphones is IP68.

Apple iPhone 12 water resistance IP68 Up to 30 minutes 6 meters
Apple iPhone 11 water resistance IP68 Up to 30 minutes 1.5 meters
Apple iPhone 10 water resistance IP67 Up to 30 minutes 1 meter
Apple iPhone 9 water resistance IP67 Up to 30 minutes 1 meter
Samsung Galaxy A52 water resistance IP67 Up to 30 minutes 1 meter
Samsung Galaxy A12 water resistance IP68 Up to 60 minutes 2 meters
Samsung Galaxy S21 water resistance IP68 Up to 30 minutes 1.5 meters
Xiomi Poco X3 pro water resistance IP53 Is not waterproof Is not waterproof

To be completely sure of the capabilities of your phone, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the specifications of your device.

Can a waterproof phone be placed in water?

Smartwatches tend to have a higher degree of water resistance than smartphones, as it’s required by their function – to always be on the wearer’s arm, even when it’s raining or for sport watches – while swimming. Of course, it can also happen that a phone gets wet during rain or falls into water, for such reasons manufacturers have added the highest-level protection to smartphones as well. 

A waterproof phone can be in water up to 30 meters at a depth of 1 meter or deeper, depending on the features of the phone, while a smartwatch can be in water at a depth of 5 atmospheres, which means that they can withstand the pressure arising at the depth of 50 meters. 

A device being waterproof does not mean that the water resistance level necessarily needs to be tested. Even for high-end waterproof phones contact with water will not be beneficial, thus this feature should not be viewed as a way of having fun, for example, filming videos underwater. For such purposes it is advised to use accessories that have been created to ensure watertightness. For example, such accessories are waterproof cases, which resemble a transparent bag in which it is possible to place a phone and then operate it underwater without the risk of damage. 

What should be done if a phone has been underwater for a long period of time? 

Nevertheless, there are instances when a device with or without water resistance features will come into contact with water for a longer period of time. Such instances do not mean that the device immediately needs to be written off! 

If a phone has fallen into water, after the incident it is essential to immediately take care of the device to lessen the damage that can be caused by liquid ingress:

  1. The first step is to take out the device from the water and to switch it off. The phone then needs to be wiped with a towel or a soft cloth. 
  2. The next step is to take off the phone case and remove SIM and memory cards. 

  3. When that has been done it is very important to thoroughly dry the phone. Unfortunately, the folk tale of placing a device in a bowl of rice is just a myth. It can be done by placing the phone in a closed container with silica sachets (the small sachets with balls which are usually found in boxes of new shoes) and placing it in a dry and cool place. It is advised to keep the device in the container for at least 24 hours, so that it can fully dry. 

  4. When a device has thoroughly dried, you can try to switch it on.

It is important that the phone is charged only when it has fully dried, otherwise the connected current may cause short circuit, which can cause permanent damage to the phone. Most waterproof phones will show an error if there are remains of water ingress in the charging port – in such cases it is necessary to immediately disconnect the device from the data cable! 

What should be done if a wet phone does not respond? 

If a device does not respond after receiving first aid or if you are unsure if your device has fully dried, it’s best to send it for a check-up – register a repair! 

Same as with devices with other faults, at first, we will perform diagnostics to assess the extent of the damage and the potential solutions. After finding the issue we will contact you to let you know if it will be possible to save the device and how much it would cost. It is important to note that the maintenance and repair will be carried out in accordance with the instructions of the device manufacturer, using certified tools, the most suitable methods, modern equipment and if necessary, original spare parts, as we are an authorized service center. 

We can also provide repair solutions for your smartwatches or other devices!