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Is Your BlackBerry Water Damaged?

written by: Michelle Morgan•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/17/2011

Nobody intends to harm their BlackBerry, and the thought of damaging it in any way would bring most people out in a cold sweat. So can you possibly prevent your BlackBerry becoming water damaged, and is there an easy way to find out if it has been harmed? Luckily there is.

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    Basic Prevention

    Never leave your BlackBerry outside or near water. There are some very common-sense ways of ensuring the safety of your BlackBerry:

    • Never take the device into the toilet. All it takes is one false move and your handset may be lost forever.
    • Check all pockets before putting clothes into the washing machine. This seems logical but a 2002 survey by market research company Continental Research estimated that some 200,000 phones are accidentally placed in a washing machine by their unsuspecting owners.
    • Keep all drinks away from your BlackBerry device, especially if they contain sugar. Not only can the glass be knocked over, but the phone can also be dropped into the glass itself, should the container be big enough.
    • Don't take your phone into the garden. There are many hazards out there, including hosepipes, pets, watering cans, rain and snow.
    • Never take a BlackBerry into a sauna, bathroom or shower room. The steam from any of these can cause damage to the device.
    • If you're going to sweat, remove the phone from your pocket. It may not seem as though sweat could possibly cause water damage to your BlackBerry but don't you believe it. The slightest hint of moisture and your device could be ruined. So before hitting the gym, make sure your phone is stored in a safe place.
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    How to Tell if Your BlackBerry Has Water Damage

    The water indicator on this BlackBerry bold is located left of the Sim, under the battery If your BlackBerry is water damaged, it may carry on as normal, without any obvious symptoms. However, any exposure to water can and will be automatically detected by the water damage indicator in the bowels of the smartphone.

    The indicator is a small square located in different places depending on the make and model of your phone. However, they are generally placed underneath the battery and can be seen once the back of the phone has been taken off, and the battery removed. A healthy, non-damaged indicator will be white, but a sticker that has been exposed to water will appear either pink or red in color.

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    What to do if Damage Has Occurred

    There are a variety of so-called 'solutions' for saving a water damaged BlackBerry. These include:

    • Taking out the battery immediately.
    • Storing the battery in a dry place.
    • Drying the phone carefully using a cloth.
    • Storing the phone in a bowl of dry rice for a minimum of 48 hours before reuniting it with the battery.

    Proceed with great caution if you decide to dry your device with a hairdryer, and don't ever be tempted to take the device apart or place it in a microwave or conventional oven. These steps can actually be dangerous and may also render your phone useless.

    Unfortunately, depending on the nature and extent of the damage, there is sometimes little you can do to dry your device. Every case of water damage is different and no two ways of fixing it are the same. Some lucky users have reported that their phone carries on as normal, while others say that no amount of drying has ever brought their BlackBerry back to life. It is very much the luck of the draw.

    It should be noted, however, that even if your device does work after a soaking, the water indicator will still turn pink or red. If your BlackBerry encounters problems in the future, the provider will detect water damage on the indicator immediately, and your warranty will almost certainly be void.

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