Repairing a Water-Damaged Laptop
At one time it seemed that the era of laptops was coming to an end, and they were destined to get replaced by tablets. But then it became clear that laptops can not be replaced neither by tablets nor by powerful desktop PCs.
Laptops are the best option when you need a compact and portable computer to study or work (both in office and from home). And so, it often gets doused with all kinds of liquids, most often drinks. Countless cups of coffee or soda are carried past somebody’s mouth ending up spilled on the floor, table or a laptop. This seemingly minor mishap can seriously damage your device. How do different liquids affect the laptop? And, more importantly, how to save it? Let’s see now!
Liquids that are the most dangerous for a laptop
Laptop, like any other electronics, in principle does not like contact with liquids. The whole point is that when moisture and even the weakest electric current are combined, very strong corrosive processes begin. They gradually destroy the board, processor, and other parts of a laptop. But different liquids affect electronic devices differently: some destroy them slowly, others much faster. Therefore, the repair pros conditionally divide liquids into 2 large types:
- More or less safe. Did you spill water on the keyboard of your laptop? Maybe, you’ve washed it with coffee or tea without sugar, jam or anything else like that? Then you have a very good chance of saving your device without outside help and with minimal effort. You’ll find step-by-step instructions later in the article.
- Aggressive and dangerous. The category includes anything that contains colorants, is sweet, sour, sticky, etc. In such a case, substantial repair of a wet laptop is a near inevitability. And it is better to entrust it to qualified pros. Trying to repair it yourself can lead to further damage, maybe even without the possibility of recovering the lost data.
What to do if you have spilled water on your laptop keyboard
If a little bit of clean, non-aggressive liquid got on your laptop, it’s pretty easy to save the device. Follow these simple instructions, and you will be able to manage the situation without calling a technician:
- As soon as you’ve got your laptop wet, unplug it! Just pull the cord out of the socket or remove the battery. When your laptop is on, a current is flowing through the motherboard. Repairing a wet device is required because of the contact between the liquid and this current. Under their joint influence, the chemical properties of materials can change, and a very rapid corrosion begins. Only instant disconnection of the notebook allows you to minimize the negative consequences of such processes.
- Disconnect all peripherals, flash drives, etc. from the wet laptop.
- Turn the laptop upside down so that the spilled liquid could flow out from under the keyboard. Try to do this in such a way as not to allow the liquid to get on the monitor. Afterwards, put the laptop in a dry and warm place, preferably on the windowsill, where the sun shines brightly. Do not touch it for at least a couple of days. This is the minimal amount of time for the board to get dry after it has been exposed to water or some other clean, neutral liquid.
Also, remember one important detail! In order not to conduct an expensive repair of a wet laptop, do not turn it on immediately after drying. First you need to conduct a diagnosis of its motherboard. That is, disassemble its case and carefully inspect the board for stains, darkening, etc.
What to do if you have poured ale or another sweet, sticky drink on your laptop
If you managed to pour an aggressive liquid onto your laptop, immediately take it to a service center! Although you can try to repair it yourself – if you have worked in such a center.
Sweet hot drinks and sodas can kill the motherboard instantly. They can also damage the processor, along with other chips and circuits on the motherboard. Therefore, the repair of a soaked laptop in this case is carried out only by experienced professionals and only according to the following scheme:
- First, a complete disassembly of the laptop is carried out. Each spot on the motherboard is examined under a magnifying glass and with good lighting. Dried stains, darkened or damaged soldering, signs of corrosion, oxidation, etc. are searched for.
- Next, the motherboard is cleaned. It is washed with distilled water containing neutral detergents. The key here is to refrain from trying too hard. The textolite base of the motherboard can quickly soak up moisture. For this reason, it can only take a maximum of 4-5 minutes of washing. Moreover, the cleaning is done only after the processor and all the other chips are removed from the motherboard, and the thermal paste residue is scrubbed off.
- Next, soldering is renewed where it is required. Traces of corrosion are removed with a soft toothbrush, cleaned with a pencil eraser.
- Afterwards, the previously wet laptop is assembled and checked for operability.
Dousing the laptop with water is not the most unfortunate thing that you can do to your device. In such a situation, you just have to take a competent and responsible approach to the repair.
Laptop can cost anything from pennies to a fortune. In any case, you may become afraid at the mere thought of damaging something in it, and then worsen things further during a DIY repair session. After all, this is an essential working tool. The solution is simple – take the laptop to experienced technicians, such as the Good Zone team. Getting it repaired by real professionals is a guarantee that the device will retain all its functionality and usefulness.