Water Damage

Water is one of the biggest damages to cell phones. Believe it or not, a cell phone that’s been water damaged from being dropped in the toilet is one of the top 5 reasons for water damage repair. Cell phones even take on water damage from being dropped into a bathtub while the user is taking a bath. It’s quite shocking how many people actually USE their phones when doing things such as this, and more.

Even with the amount of cell phones needing this kind of repair, however, water damage isn’t an easy fix by any means. In order to understand why water damage to a cell phone is so difficult to repair, let’s discuss 3 basic ways water affects your phone.

waterproof smartphone

Motherboard Components

When the components that make up your motherboard are exposed to water, they short out and become damaged beyond repair. Though there is some soldering that can be done, they usually aren’t economically feasible or worth the effort depending on the extent of the damage (how long your phone was exposed to water, how long it was since your phone became water damaged when you make repairs, etc.). Unfortunately, at this point, your phone is more like a paperweight regardless of whether you take the phone in for repairs or attempt a DIY project at home.

Non-Motherboard Components

These components are anything that isn’t attached or part of the motherboard (the battery, the screen, charging port, etc.). If non-motherboard components become damaged, they can be replaced and repaired at a fairly inexpensive price depending on how many components are damaged. The only problem you may face, besides a water-damaged phone, is identifying which components were damaged.


Any wiring within your phone can suffer short and long term damage from water. Regardless of whether the wiring is attached to the cell phone’s motherboard or not, the wiring can suffer short-term damage by shorting out, altering the phone unresponsive. It can also suffer long-term damage in which water damage causes the wires to corrode, creating shortages with other wiring in the phone. Usually, wiring damage is fixable so long as too much time doesn’t pass by before the phone is brought in for repairs.

iStock_000022045111_Small3 Methods Your Water Damaged Phone Can Be Repaired

1. Non-refundable fee

There are companies that will charge a non-refundable diagnostic fee. This is where the company will analyze and diagnose the damages to the cell phone (1 of the 3 ways your phone can be damaged by water). If the phone is repairable, the company will tell you what the price of the repairs will cost on top of the diagnostic fee. However, if the company cannot repair the damages to the phone, they still keep the non-refundable diagnostic fee and you keep a broken cell phone.

2. Non-component replacement

There are other companies that will give a fixed quote for water damage repair on a cell phone. Unfortunately, the company will not include any components that may needed in order to completely fix the cell phone (the components will be charged as an additional price). This can prove to be expensive. For example, a water damaged cell phone could be quoted for repairs of $50.00. However, the components needed to completely repair the cell phone are an additional $150.00, making the overall repair price ALMOST as much as an upgrade on your data plan.

3. Flat-rate

The last method of repair is a company that charges a flat rate only if, and after, the phone is successfully repaired. Needless to say, if the phone can’t be fixed, there is no charge. Alternatively, companies may also offer a free diagnostic test in which a set price is quoted after the damaged cell phone has been thoroughly examined. After which you may choose whether to have the repairs done and pay the repair fee or not.

The Bigger Problem With Water Damage

Water damage seems to often be a problem in which the phone is easily fixed or needs replaced completely. However, the truth is that close to 1/3 of the cell phones that are repaired from water damage end up returning for repairs within a month or more with other problems. Simply stated, water damage doesn’t happen all at one time.

Even the proper tools and proper cleaning can remove above 95% of the corrosion and debris, but the remaining 5% can cause future issues with your cell phone. Everything from your WiFi capabilities, charging abilities and even camera ceasing to work or display going completely black can occur from water damage. The best solution is that if, and when, your phone suffers water damage is to not wait to get it looked at and/or repaired. Along with a short wait period for repairs, also be sure to know what the warranty on your phone covers.