Phone wet and won’t turn on? Here’s how to deal with water damage (hint: soaking it in rice won’t work)


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Ritesh Chugh, CQUniversity AustraliaIf you’ve ever gotten your phone wet in the rain, dropped it in water or spilt liquid over it, you’re not alone. One study suggests 25% of smartphone users have damaged their smartphone with water or some other kind of liquid.

Liquid penetrating a smartphone can affect the device in several ways. It could lead to:

  • blurry photos, if moisture gets trapped in the camera lens
  • muffled audio, or no audio
  • liquid droplets under the screen
  • an inability to charge
  • the rusting of internal parts, or
  • a total end to all functionality.

While new phones are advertised as “water resistant”, this doesn’t mean they are waterproof, or totally immune to water. Water resistance just implies the device can handle some exposure to water before substantial damage occurs.

Samsung Australia has long-defended itself against claims it misrepresents the water resistance of its smartphones.

In 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Samsung to Federal Court, alleging false and misleading advertisements had led customers to believe their Galaxy phones would be suitable for:

use in, or exposure to, all types of water (including, for example, oceans and swimming pools).

Samsung Australia subsequently denied warranty claims from customers for damage caused to phones by use in, or exposure to, liquid.

Similarly, last year Apple was fined €10 million (about A$15.5 million) by Italy’s antitrust authority for misleading claims about the water resistance of its phones, and for not covering liquid damage under warranty, despite these claims.

How resistant is your phone?

The water resistance of phones is rated by an “Ingress Protection” code, commonly called an IP rating. Simply, an electrical device’s IP rating refers to its effectiveness against intrusions from solids and liquids.

The rating includes two numbers. The first demonstrates protection against solids such as dust, while the second indicates resistance to liquids, specifically water.

Here are the various Ingress Protection ratings. The numbering changes based on the level of protection.
Element Materials Technology

A phone that has a rating of IP68 has a solid object protection of 6 (full protection from dust, dirt and sand) and a liquid protection of 8 (protected from immersion in water to a depth of more than one metre).

Although, for the latter, manufacturers are responsible for defining the exact depth and time.

The popular iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 phones both have a rating of IP68. However, regarding exposure to water, the iPhone 12 has a permissible immersion depth of a maximum of 6m for 30 minutes, whereas the Galaxy 21’s immersion limit is up to 1.5m, also for 30 minutes.

While IP ratings indicate the water-repellent nature of phones, taking most phones for a swim will land you in deep trouble. The salt content in oceans and swimming pools can corrode your device and cost you a hefty replacement.

Moreover, phone manufacturers carry out their IP testing in fresh water and Apple recommends devices not be submerged in liquids of any kind.

Luckily, water resistant phones are generally able to survive smaller liquid volumes, such as from a glass tipping over.




Read more:
Screwed over: how Apple and others are making it impossible to get a cheap and easy phone repair


Checking for liquid damage

Exposure to water is something manufacturers have in mind when designing phones. Most Apple and Samsung phones come with a liquid contact/damage indicator strip located inside the SIM card tray.

This is used to check for liquid damage that may be causing a device to malfunction. An indicator strip that comes in contact with liquid loses its usual colour and becomes discoloured and smudgy.

Samsung and Apple phones have Liquid Contact/Damage Indicators.
Samsung/Apple

A discoloured strip usually renders your phone ineligible for a standard manufacturer warranty.

If you have any of the more recent smartphones from Apple or Samsung, then your device will be able to detect liquid or moisture in its charging port and will warn you with an alert. This notification only goes away once the port is dry.

New generation Samsung and Apple phones have a moisture/liquid alert notification.
Samsung/Apple

But what should you do if this dreadful pop-up presents itself?

Fixing a water-logged phone

Firstly, do not put your phone in a container of rice. It’s a myth that rice helps in drying out your phone. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the device immediately and don’t press any buttons.
  2. If your phone is water resistant and you’ve spilt or submerged it in a liquid other than water, both Apple and Samsung recommend rinsing it off by submerging it in still tap water (but not under a running tap, which could cause damage).
  3. Wipe the phone dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.
  4. Gently shake the device to remove water from the charging ports,
    but avoid vigorous shaking as this could further spread the liquid inside.
  5. Remove the SIM card.
  6. Use a compressed aerosol air duster to blow the water out if you have one. Avoid using a hot blow dryer as the heat can wreck the rubber seals and damage the screen.
  7. Dry out the phone (and especially the ports) in front of a fan.
  8. Leave your phone in an airtight container full of silica gel packets (those small packets you get inside new shoes and bags), or another drying agent. These help absorb the moisture.
  9. Do not charge the phone until you are certain it’s dry. Charging a device with liquid still inside it, or in the ports, can cause further damage. Apple suggests waiting at least five hours once a phone appears dry before charging it (or until the alert disappears).

If the above steps don’t help and you’re still stuck with a seemingly dead device, don’t try opening the phone yourself. You’re better off taking it to a professional.




Read more:
Upgrade rage: why you may have to buy a new device whether you want to or not


The Conversation


Ritesh Chugh, Senior Lecturer – Information Systems and Analysis, CQUniversity Australia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

A wet cough for four weeks means it’s time to get it checked out



Lung disease can often be prevented with culturally appropriate health care and information.
Pamela Larid

Pamela Laird, Telethon Kids Institute and Andre Schultz, Telethon Kids Institute

As respiratory clinicians, we have been conducting outreach clinics to the Kimberley, in northern Western Australia, for about ten years, treating children with bronchiectasis, a chronic lung disease in which the breathing tubes in the lungs are damaged.

If left untreated, bronchiectasis can eat away at the lungs and cause devastating long-term effects.

Our research, published today in the journal Respirology, shows how Aboriginal health providers, visiting clinicians, and Aboriginal families can work together to detect illness that may lead to bronchiectasis as symptoms first appear, using local language, stories, and resources.

These resources, including an animated video, highlight that chronic wet cough, in the absence of any other symptom or sign, can be the earliest and often only warning sign of lung disease.

Let’s kick this wet cough.

Why early detection is key

A persistent, low-grade wet cough is often a sign of mucus in the airway that has become infected. Over time, this mucus begins to destroy the lung tissue.


Joshya/Shutterstock

Limiting the extent of lung damage is predicated on timely recognition and management of the chronic wet cough. Treatment may include antibiotics and chest physiotherapy.

If left untreated, the disease can progress and result in a lot of coughing, feeling breathless, losing sleep, feeling worried and helpless, and, eventually, early death.

In Australia, lung infections are the most common reason Aboriginal children are hospitalised. Young Aboriginal children in WA are up to 13 times more likely to be admitted for lung infections than non-Aboriginal children.

More than a quarter of young Aboriginal children admitted with lung infections will go on to develop potentially life-shortening chronic lung disease.

Lung disease is a major contributor to the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and other Australians. Indigenous Australians hospitalised with bronchiectasis die, on average, 24 years earlier than non-Indigenous Australians with the condition.




Read more:
How Australians Die: cause #4 – chronic lower respiratory diseases


Understanding the delay

Each quarter, Perth Children’s Hospital sends a multidisciplinary team to see about 30 children, mostly Aboriginal, who have been referred for specialist care by doctors from across the vast Kimberley region.

We have witnessed the consequences of lung disease being diagnosed too late. We once treated an adolescent Aboriginal boy with end-stage bronchiectasis. He was so sick that he was unable to walk or lie flat. His lung function was less than 25%, well below the threshold for lung transplantation.

This boy was dying from an illness that could have been halted or reversed had someone treated him effectively before his disease had progressed this far. A note in his medical record stated: “Lost to the system.”




Read more:
Words from Arnhem land: Aboriginal health messages need to be made with us rather than for us


In our clinics, we noticed a high prevalence of Aboriginal children with lung disease who were seen too late, when preventable lung damage was already permanent.

We found we were not always eliciting accurate histories from families. Specifically, when we asked engaged parents if their children had a wet cough, the parents would say “no” when, in fact, the children did have a wet cough.

Accurate medical history taking is crucial to providing good medical care, as is the provision of culturally appropriate care. But we realised a barrier was preventing us from communicating effectively with families, and preventing those families seeking timely medical care for their children.

From mucus to goonbee

We addressed the issues through partnerships with Aboriginal families, researchers, Aboriginal health providers, and government. We identified the barriers and enablers for both families and clinicians to recognise and manage early lung disease and stop it progressing to serious life-limiting illness.

We interviewed 77 Aboriginal families and clinicians in the Kimberley, and discovered that families had never heard that a daily wet cough for more than four weeks could indicate serious infection.

Coughing was so prevalent among Aboriginal children that symptoms were being normalised.

When families were given culturally appropriate health information, they sought medical help. Parents also gave an accurate history about the presence of wet cough once they better understood the topic.

This child, accompanied by her siblings and mother, undergoes chest physiotherapy as part of her daily routine to combat chronic lung disease.
Pamela Laird

Culturally appropriate information included use of local language terms – such as goonbee for mucus in Yawuru language – and use of stories or images that families could relate to.

Clinicians can liken the lungs to an upside-down tree, for instance, where the tree trunk is the windpipe, the branches are the breathing tubes, and the leaves are the air sacs where oxygen is transferred to the blood.

We also developed culturally relevant educational resources for clinicians and families, including an animated film and an information flip chart.

Through collaboration, mutual respect, and knowledge translation in our clinics, we are now witnessing little lungs growing stronger, Aboriginal families empowered with knowledge and advocating for their children, and clinicians skilled to provide culturally informed care to children. These observations are being supported by research soon to be published.

By engaging and working together, we will find sustainable solutions to kick chronic wet cough and help prevent Aboriginal children with sick lungs from flying beneath the radar.




Read more:
‘Have you been feeling your spirit was sad?’ Culture is key when assessing Indigenous Australians’ mental health


The Conversation


Pamela Laird, Senior Respiratory Physiotherapsit & Researcher, Telethon Kids Institute and Andre Schultz, Paediatric Respiratory Physician and Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Australia: Sydney – Harris Park Station Landslip


Wet weather has continued to dominate coastal NSW into the first day of July 2013. June 2013 was incredibly wet and the latest wet weather event has led to a massive landslip in Sydney at the Harris Park Railway Station. The link below is to an article reporting on the slip.

For more visit:
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/passengers-warned-to-expect-delays-after-train-station-wall-collapses-20130630-2p533.html

BUSHFIRE SEASON HAS STARTED


The bushfire season is off and running in New South Wales, Australia. There have already been several fires in my region of the Mid North Coast.

On Saturday there was a fire just south of Bulahdelah that closed the Pacific Highway for two hours. From what I understand the fire is thought to have begun by a discarded cigarette thrown from a car travelling on the highway.

The fire started at about 3.30 pm and as the fire intensified cars were seen travelling on the wrong side of the highway in a bid to keep clear of the fire. With the thick smoke about this was not the best move to make.

Another fire was burning off the highway near the Karuah Bridge on Monday, again producing thick smoke.

With the massive amount of growth in the bush over the last couple of wet growth seasons, the fuel load is now massive and fuel reduction burns have been limited. With temperatures already peaking in the low thirties (Celsius), the season ahead looks grim.

THE HEAT IS ON … Spring has Arrived


It was only a very short while ago that my region of New South Wales (in Australia – Bulahdelah to Tea Gardens) was in the grip of its coldest winter in many years. In fact last weekend the region was in the middle of an east coast low that brought cold temperatures, torrential rain and gale force winds, resulting in flooding around the lower areas of Bulahdelah, as well as some wind damage with fallen trees, etc. Exactly a week on and the surrounding rivers are still to return to their pre-flood levels, yet we are basking in summer-like conditions, with the temperature today expected to be in the high 20s or even perhaps 30 degrees Celsius. Last week the temperature was in the low to mid teens.

What a strange time spring is with such fluctuating weather conditions. The rain is expected to return tomorrow, however, this will be on the back of the season’s first thunderstorms if the predictions turn out to be true. Certainly the ‘feel’ today is that thunderstorms arriving this afternoon would be the expectation.

With the arrival of spring comes the expectation of bushfires in the near future. Last season we had a fairly negligible bushfire season, with plenty of wet weather. However, the drought has continued to bite across most of south-eastern Australia and conditions are right for a particularly bad bushfire season, with massive loads of material just waiting to be burnt in the Australian bush. Coastal regions have had plenty of rain, but not too far inland the country remains gripped by drought and perilously low water supplies.

For now though, we are welcoming the arrival of spring and the retreat of what has been the coldest winter for many years.