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back to article Burnt Samsung Galaxy S III singed by external source, probe reveals

Pictures showing a heat-damaged Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone were seemingly the result of a bonkers bid to dry out a wet handset by heating it in a microwave oven. The snaps appeared online last month. They showed an S III with burn damage down near the phone's Micro USB port. The battery was intact and undamaged. Samsung …

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FAIL

D'oh!

Phone dunking rule 1. Upside down in the airing cupboard for a day or two with the back off and the battery out...

Phone dunking rule 2. There is no rule 2.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: D'oh!

Phone dunking rule 2. Put phone in bowl of dry uncooked long grain rice in the airing cupboard.

The rice is hygroscopic and will attract the moisture from the phone.

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Rule 2

Some say that putting the phone in a bath of de-ionised water (ideally in an ultrasonic cleaner) before drying it out (over days) can help. Any comment?

But yeah, remove battery ASAP in such situations. I'm impressed that a Sansa Clip mp3 player of mine cheerfully survived a trip through the washing machine- with its battery. Its micro SD card turned up a few months later in the washing machine's filter.

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g e
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Rice

Tip top Top Tip

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'Dave 126 Re: Rule 2

If your device gets internally contaminated by tea/coffee/beer/curry sauce/sewage/urine/etc, then drying it out will leave a probably conductive and possibly corrosive residue. In these cases, I can imagine that washing it by soaking in clean agitated water would be the only (faint) hope of making it work again after careful drying.

I once ruined a laptop keyboard by spilling tea on it. I've saved a calculator (after spilling coffee on it) by washing it in soapy water, then rinsing in clean water, then drying it in the airing cupboard for a few days.

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Re: Rule 2

Spot on. I've had a PSP ruined by an Orange Juice fail returned to full health after (repeated) immersions in distilled/deioniser water to remove all of the crud inside and then left to dry for a number of days. Given pure water is an insulator (OK OK a very poor conductor) it may be possible to use it after this treatment before drying but better safe than sorry.

As always BATTERY OUT when performing any of the above.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rule 2

@ Disco

Pure water is only an insulator under very special lab conditions, the moment you expose it to air it becomes ionised as it absorbs gases from the atmosphere. Are you ready to disprove me and join the Darwin Awards by standing in a bucket of "pure water" whilst holding a bare 240v cable ?

PS you have won the bad science award by the way.

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Re: 'Dave 126 Rule 2

Funnily enough I once CLEANED a (standard PS/2) computer keyboard by showering it down thoroughly to clear all the gunk from underneath/between the keys, and then leaving it to dry upside-down on a shelf above a radiator for a couple of days.

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Re: Rule 2

Cleaning off any residue left by your liquid bath of choice is essential. So yes, sometimes the best thing to do when your electronic device gets a bath in one liquid, is to pull the battery and clean it with the purest water you can find. Melted ice from the freezer is pretty good in that respect (just filter out the peas and sweetcorn).

Then just dry with a cloth, place in a sealed bag with something to absorb the water (rice as mentioned or silica gel as used in packing) and put it somewhere warm for a day.

I've saved a laptop from orange juice (complete with pulp bits - this required gentle scrubbing with a soft tooth brush), another from a pint of beer, and a mobile from coca cola using just this technique.

I would hasten to add only the beer on the laptop was my fault. The orange was neither my fault, or my laptop. The mobile was mine, and 2 weeks old when my brother managed to spill an entire glass of cola on it.

once the power is removed, the main risk is the LCD panel. You don't want liquids getting inside that, so if you can remove it, do. If not, be very very careful.

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Re: Rule 2 @ A/C 10:27

Assuming the bucket is plastic, then I'll do it.

</science pedant>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rule 2

The other nice hack to know, if you want something that dries more fiercely than the rice, is to go to a camera shop and get some of those teabag-sized packs of silica gel (they are cheap, and even available in useless places like Jessops).

Wash your device out thoroughly (deionised water if you have it), and pack it with silica gel, abusing a radiator/airing cupboard in the usual way. You'd be amazed what this can fix.

(As everyone above said, take the feckin' battery out, kids)

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@ NogginTheNog

I do that regularly with my cordless keyboard, bit of washing up liquid in the bath and a good clean with a shaving brush cleans it up nicely. Plenty of running water to rinse then a day on end by the radiator and it comes up like new.

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Re: Rule 2

@AC

Standing anywhere, or even floating in mid air, while holding a bare 240 v cable would give you a bad shock because of the way AC works. Not recommended.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Rule 2 @ A/C 10:27

@Steve Evans

Very well, as long as the bucket is thoroughly "pure water" wet. I'll bring my toasting fork and marsh mellows.

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Re: Rule 2

You can also buy bigger bags of silica gel on eBay and the like.

But battery out before anything, immediately!

I took the screws off my submerged Nokia E61 6 years ago, took the casings off, put it in a bag with big silica gel bag, in airing cupboard, for 2 weeks, and it's now still alive and my main phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Jim 59

> Standing anywhere, or even floating in mid air, while holding a bare 240 v cable would give you a bad shock because of the way AC works.

You are wrong. You need to be earthed in order to get an electric shock.

I have often handled live bare 240v AC cables without any problems. The important part is to ensure you are NOT earthed (rubber soled shoes) and that you do NOT touch the neutral wire. That way you will not get an electric shock.

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Re: Rule 2

"I've saved a laptop from orange juice....another from a pint of beer....a mobile from coca cola"

Remind me never to lend you ANYTHING!

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FAIL

Re: Rule 2

So as long as the breakdown resistance of you to earth is sufficiently large no current will flow as there will be no potential difference, therefore it is irrelevant if the current is AC or DC.

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Re: 'Dave 126 Rule 2

The trade school that I attended used to load all of the labs' keyboards in the industrial dishwasher in the cafeteria for cleaning. I'll admit I was a little leery when I first saw that, but I've had 100% success doing the same. Just have to make sure they dry out completely before use. My favourite drying method is propping them upside-down over a forced-air heat vent.

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Re: 'Dave 126 Rule 2

In my experience of this, you're more or less right. So long as you stop it running power through it ASAP.

I've managed to save keyboards and whole laptops from coffee spills by yanking the power and the battery and actually cleaning the circuit board with clean water then drying throughly. Not always an option on newfangled tiny integrated devices that're held together by adhesives but laptops don't need to die due to coffee.

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Facepalm

RODNEY

RODNEY YOU PLONKER.

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Rule Zero

Rule Zero: get the battery out of the device as soon as possible after it gets wet.

Water won't do much harm to an un-energised device even if it's wet for days. Electrolysis, on the other hand, can corrode it to death within minutes, sometimes less.

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FAIL

Re: Rule 2

Question for Jim,

If floating in mid air while holding a 240v cable will give you an electric shock, how do birds get away when sitting on electrical pylons with thousands of volts????

Should they not be fried?

W.

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Boffin

Re: Rule 2

I wash my keyboards in the dishwasher. They only need to dry near a radiator for a day, nothing high-tech.

Hasn't failed me yet.

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Anonymous Coward

He

Should've bought an iPhone

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Trollface

Re: He

Wise use of the Anonymous Coward you trolling moron.

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Trollface

Re: He

Absolutely. I hear that Apple don't check iPhones for exposure to water and exchange them, no questions asked.

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Coat

Re: He

Apple replaces a water (or anything else) damaged iPhone for a £139 fixed replacement cost.

How much does Samsung charge?

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Coat

Re: He

Sadly, the moron that put the phone in the microwave needs more than a replacement phone.

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Re: He

... if he wanted on that genuinely caught fire..

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Re: He

@metavisor Where is this £139 replacement service documented? For which models? Presumably only inside warranty? (sorry, off topic, but I had to ask)

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@CCCP

I was quoted £119 when I walked into the Meadowhall Apple Store last week with my wife's 3GS. She'd left it outside all night in the rain. A reconditioned unit with some new, some original parts but a short warranty and locked to Orange as per the original unit. I thought that was a pretty good deal so say it's nearly three years old, well out of warranty, a bit battered, my old one and originally supplied by Orange.

In the end a bag of rice and a warm radiator got it going again less the Home button. But with the new 'virtual' Home button in Settings/General/Accessibilty/AssistiveTouch 'On' that's not too much of an issue now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He

@CCCP: No, the whole point is it's for phones that are out of warranty either by age or damage. It's £139 for the iPhone 4S (any) or £119 for any of the older ones (plus £7.44 shipping+return of the old phone if you don't have a nearby store)

Documented here: http://support.apple.com/kb/index?page=servicefaq&geo=United_Kingdom&product=iphone

under "Warranty & Service Pricing" > "My iPhone is not eligible for warranty service. What are my service options?"

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Re: @CCCP

As much as I dislike th iPhone, I have to credit it for its ability to soldier on after being abused. I've fixed one that went through a wash cycle and one that had a bottle of water poured over it (they were corporate and the users had to come and explain their stories, cap in hand, so no reason to doubt them).

The 'washed' one's camera never worked again (even after a replacement camera unit), but after being opened up and left in a drawer for a few weeks and a new battery and home button each, they both lived to tell the tale.

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Silver badge
Joke

How would you like your smartphone?

Rare

Medium

Well-done

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Trollface

Re: How would you like your smartphone?

Extra-crispy?

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Go

Re: How would you like your smartphone?

Must have the next version of android, Baked Alaska

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Facepalm

Darwin nominee

Both the owner and the person who nuked it (assuming of course that the owner wasn't telling porkies out of shame).

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Stop

Re: Darwin nominee

Exactly how did either of them remove themselves from the gene pool?

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Anonymous Coward

Oh Samsung users..

Bless them.

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Mushroom

Not the sharpest tool in the box

Maybe he thought it was compatible with his Samsung microwave?

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Facepalm

Not the sharpest tool in the box? You are being far too kind. -:)

Some person or persons put a wet mobile phone in a microwave to dry it out? Thus making sure that (apart from any direct effects of the radiation on the kit) the water would boil inside the phone - I am speechless. Then after having done this and wrecked said phone they go and inform World+Wife+Dog via the internet as if they were somehow proud of what they had done. How is it possible to be that brain-dead? The only way that they could have made bigger fools of themselves would have been to film themselves doing it and posting the result on YouTube.

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A variation

Of 'will it blend'?

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Anonymous Coward

Terry Fuckwit Extrordinare

Probably the same sort of moron that would put the cat in the microwave to dry it.

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Facepalm

Dropped in pond

Many years ago, my father in law dropped his Nokia into his garden pond (that's why you don't keep a phone in your shirt pocket). He just turned the phone on to see if it still worked. When it didn't, he just plugged the still damp phone in to charge.

He couldn't understand my amazement that he had done this! Strangely, after following my advice to remove battery and place in airing cupboard for 2 days, the phone worked again. Did need a new SIM card a year later though as the contacts on the old one looked rusty.

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Facepalm

Back in my student days

My flatmate burst into my room in the morning complaining that his socks weren't dry yet; he needed them for work that day and sought my advice. Me still being in my pit and trying to catch some Z's (typical student) I resented the intrusion, so I sarcastically told him to 'Microwave them dry', rolled over and went back to sleep. Only to be woken moments later by cries of 'Fire! Fire!'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Back in my student days

I find that a hair dryer is perfect for getting freshly washed socks dry. Not advisable to use the same technique on socks that are a bit sweaty after the gym (when you've forgotten to pack a spare pair) - the pong's awful.

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Re: Back in my student days

were they metal socks? I have witnessed a couple of emergency drying's in the microwave with no apparent damage..

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Re: Back in my student days

No idea. I could theorize the flame came from Nylon static sparks, frayed cotton, Or just having the Micro up at max, but end result was still the same - I still had to get up and check he wasn't going to burn the flat down.

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Anonymous Coward

A friend of mine uses filtered urine to clean PCB's - apparently it works.

I prefer the PCB spray cleaner method.

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