Category: Waterproofing

Top 10 Water Sources that Damage iPhones

While vital to life, water is lethal to cell phones and can ruin them in seconds. It is literally a phone’s kryptonite and can bring you a $500 bill faster than you can mop up the spill. Just imagining water entering my phone’s motherboard and frying connections makes my skin crawl. After drowning one phone, one learns to keep their phone away from dangerous situations and protect it using a case when possible.

Below is a list of common sources that cause major water damage to cell phones:

  1. Toilet – The number one killer of cell phones. Like phones, toilets are (hopefully) an integral part of our every day lives. An informal study in the UK revealed that over half of phone drownings occur in the loo. Given the number of visits per day, this is not surprising. How exactly the phone enters the toilet is up for debate, but the takeaway here is to be careful when using the restroom and focus on one thing at a time.
  2. The Sink – Neighbor of the toilet, it poses the risk of continunal, rapidly flowing water. Trying to balance a phone call or game while washing hands is recipe for disaster. Brushing teeth, personal grooming, or getting ready are other risky situations around the sink. Similar stories abound in the kitchen from a balance of trying to prepare food or clean dishes while ending a call. The sheer number of uses per day means that accidents eventually happen, making this a prime risk factor. Let’s just call bathrooms in general risky for phones.
  3. Drinks – Another everyday activity – consuming liquids – creates a situation that can be deadly for your phone. It is common practice to leave one’s iPhone on the table at a restaurant or bar. Besides distracting conversation, a simple slip can send the contents of a beverage onto your phone, making it worthless. Worse, your iPhone could fall straight into the glass. The content of your drink (and quantity consumed) can be a contributing factor to clumsiness. Keep it in your purse/pocket and focus on the conversation.
  4. The Weather – Inclement weather happens fast and can catch you off guard. For example, being in the middle of a run with an unprotected iPhone when a monster thunderstorm erupts. If you don’t seek shelter quickly, your phone might be fried. A similar story involves leaving one’s phone outside, when the sky suddenly darkens and it begins to pour. Snow seems a little less likely to ruin phones, but given enough time it is a guarantee.
  5. Shower/Bath – While I can’t picture someone taking their phone into the shower, relaxing in the bath could cause problems. Your phone rings, you reach over, and it slips out of your hand. Toast. A waterproof or water resistant case would be a good option for frequent bath texters, or those who can’t shower without it.
  6. Pool/Hot Tub – The bottom of the pool has been the final image for many a drowned cell phone. Drops, bumps, slips, or kids throwing them into the pool are all risks. Best to keep your phone far away from the pool, on an elevated table. In a Hot Tub, focus on relaxation, not your high score in Angry Birds.
  7. Pets and Babies – Besides chewing them to pieces or smashing/throwing them, pets and babies hold the risk of slobbering on your phone and ruining it. While unlikely, the right amount of slobber onto the charging port could spell game over for your phone.
  8. The Beach/Lake – Having fun around water can be a recipe for disaster if you have your cell phone on you. Whether a rogue wave comes up and drenches you, your friend’s throw you in, or you fumble your phone on the boat, danger abounds in these place. It is all fun and games until you get the bill for a new phone. Best to keep your phone in a secure place (backpack/glove compartment) and throw it in a Ziploc bag, just in case.
  9. Washing Machine – While it certainly deserves an award for being lazy/careless, iPhones are sent through the spin cycle everyday. Given the volume of water and suds, and amount of time submerged, there is not a good chance your phone will survive a good wash. You check your pockets (for cash?) before washing, right?
  10. Transporting Food – Probably the least likely of the 10, but a danger none-the-less. Likely to happen when your phone is not on your person, such as leaving it in a bag or location near a food item in a container. Invariably, the container either spills or fails, and this liquid mess ends up on your phone, penetrating its shell. Think of a fruit salad dumping on your phone, or the water from a cooler seeping through and onto your phone. Best to keep your phone on you at all times.

Moral of the story: whenever you are around water, consider where your phone is and position it in a way that avoids water. Simple care can save you hundreds of dollars and headaches. It only takes one mistake to drown a phone forever, so watch out and be vigilant.