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CELL PHONES  AND  WATER

 

 As of December, 2008 it was estimated that, each year, 885,000 British citizen drop their cell phones in, of all places, the toilet!  Not long after this statistic was issued a 41 year old,  US citizen from Sheboygan, Wisconsin , accidentally dropped his cell phone in a most unfortunate location. The cell phone slid and dropped between the slots of a sidewalk public sewer drainage cover. 

In his attempt to retrieve his lost cell phone the man lifted the drainage cover, put his arm and head inside the drainage manhole, lost his balance and fell in with his head and shoulders becoming lodged in the sewage underwater. The sheer weight of this 300 pound man made passer-bys attempts to rescue this man an impossibility. Firefighters were called.  It took six firefighters to pull the man out from the sewer manhole.  Unfortunately the man had already drowned.

About a week later, in Durham, NC, USA, two 16 year-old buddies were out lake fishing. One accidentally dropped his cell phone in the water.  Both friends jumped in to try and retrieve the slowly sinking cell phone. However the water was filled with dense algae, making underwater vision impossible and swimming difficult.  Soon both friends found themselves in a fight for their very lives.  A nearby fisherman came to their rescue, but was able to save only one of the teenagers. What a tragic ending!

People have lost their lives by trying to take an underwater phone cam of their pet fish!

One can be endangering their very life by attempting to retrieve a cell phone that has been dropped in water.  IT'S ONLY A CELL PHONE!  Let it go!  A cell phone just isn't worth risking your life!  And remember another important fact: after having been dropped in water your cell phone may not work properly again.

 

So what is one to do?  How can one protect themselves should such an unfortunate incident occur? Two suggestions:

 

(1) Buy cell phone replacement coverage from your local provider. Depending upon your carrier, one can get replacement insurance on your phone for just a dollar or two a month. To that would also be the advice: transfer those 'once in a lifetime' photos that you take, your phone numbers and email addresses to another backup medium, such as your computer or an external drive.

(2) Here is a nifty little trick that “may” save your phone if it's ever been dropped in water.  It may not be a long time or permanent fix, but it should keep it alive long enough to transfer those important photos, phone numbers and email addresses to an external medium . . . or to your new phone that you had to go out and pay full price for simply because you didn't have cell phone replacement insurance.

 

Here's what you should do: First, and as quickly as possible, pop the battery out of the phone.  Then keep the cell phone as still as possible. Moving it around may send water to additional cell phone interior areas that were not previously affected.  Next, from your kitchen, get a bowl of uncooked rice - any kind: brown, white, etc.  Slide the cell phone into the middle of the bowl of rice. Make sure there is rice between the bottom of the bowl and the lower side of the cell phone.  Also make sure there is rice covering the complete top area of the cell phone.  Now do the same thing with the cell phone battery that you just removed. Leave them untouched for at least 48 hours.  The rice will draw out the moisture from the cell phone!  Remember going into a restaurant , especially in humid climates, and seeing grains of rice in the salt shaker on your table? Ever wondered why the rice was in that salt shaker?  It draws moisture out of the salt. . . just like it will draw moisture out of your cell phone.

 

(3) Now what if you happen to live near the ocean or have dropped your cell phone in salt water?  Those that live near the ocean have more undercarriage rust damage on the vehicles because of the ocean salt particles in the air, so too is the shorter life of electronics.  If you have dropped your cell phone in salt water, it's surely a goner! The attempt to revive your phone is a bit different than it would be if you had dropped your cell phone in fresh water. With a salt water bath you don't want to dry up the moisture in your cell phone and leave the salt crystals from the salt water.  Don't you wish you had bought that cell phone replacement insurance?

 

So, now after your cell phone salt water bath you realize your cell phone is, basically, a goner . . . here is a little trick that just MIGHT work.  Before removing the battery, rinse the cell phone quickly with fresh water and yes, now is the time to shake the phone a bit.  Pat it dry.  Now quickly take out the battery.  Rinse that quickly with fresh water and pat it dry.  If the inside of the battery casing is wet, rinse it out too with fresh water.  Now follow the instructions above, burying your cell phone in a bowl of rice.

 

After 48 hours in the rice bowl you may be thrilled to see that your phone works again.  A permanent fix?  Or a temporary one?  There is no guarantee.  But it's worth a try.

 

Just remember: Accidents are not “planned” events; they happen.  If you have an inexpensive phone, then cell phone replacement insurance may not be a wise investment for you.  Check with your carrier and see how much it would cost each month for you to have this type of coverage.  Then do the math.

 

However, if you have an expensive phone, it's a 'no-brainer,' cell phone replacement insurance should be a 'must have' in your budget.

 


 

 

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