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Saving Your Cell Phone from April Showers, Summer Heat & More

Tech - by Jessica Carey - updated on 4/26/2013

Now that spring is here, slowly but surely, we will migrate outdoors. And, as always, our cell phones will be with us. Odds are, at some point, you may find that your phone has suffered the effects of the outdoor elements. Don't panic! Here are some tips to salvage your cell phone after it has encountered outdoor damage.

Water Damage

Luckily, there are several at-home ways to salvage a water-damaged cell phone and its battery.

First, quickly remove the battery cover and battery. This is one of the most important steps to saving it. Many circuits inside the phone will survive immersion in water provided they are not attached to a battery when wet.

Next, dry your phone – if there is even one drop of water left inside, it can ruin your phone by corroding it and making the circuits short out. To remove the water quickly and effectively, use one of the following methods:

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. If you want to try and suck the liquid out of the inner parts of the phone, try using a vacuum cleaner if there is one available. Do not use a hair dryer – this may force moisture further inward toward the crevices, reaching the electrical components deep inside the phone.
  • Place the phone in a bowl or bag of uncooked rice overnight. Rice will absorb any remaining moisture.
  • Let the phone sit on absorbent towels, napkins or other paper for a few hours.

Heat Damage

All batteries – including cell phone batteries – function best at room temperature and any deviation towards hot or cold changes the performance. Unfortunately, in most cases, once the battery is damaged from heat, the phone cannot operate unless you replace the battery. The best fix for heat damage is simply not to let it happen. For prevention, keep the battery and phone cool at room temperature and out of direct sunlight or a hot car for long periods of time.

Cold Damage

Extremely low temperatures cause the chemical reactions in cell phone batteries to perform more slowly. Batteries that would provide 100 percent capacity at 80°F will typically deliver only 50 percent at 0°F. However, there is an easy fix. In most cases, as soon as your phone is returned to room temperature, it will begin working again – with no permanent damage. If possible, avoid exposing your phone to colder temperatures. While it should work fine after a warm-up, it does increase the potential for moisture to form within the phone due to condensation.

Service & Repairs at Batteries Plus

Every Batteries Plus Store has trained associates readily available, who can help you find the right battery for any cell phone. Plus, we now offer device repairs at select locations. With our new device repair program, we can fix all kinds different issues – like broken screens, power buttons, or headset jacks – quickly and cost-efficiently.

Visit one of our participating locations today and ask our associates how you can get your broken MP3 player, cell/smart phone, tablet or laptop back up and running!

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