Can't boot my phone after water damage + battery droped to 0%

Hi there,

I can’t boot my phone anymore since yesterday. Here is what happened:

  • the phone fell briefly into the water, but was still working at the time
  • the battery dropped naturally to 0% (I couldn’t stop to charge at the time)

Since then, I can’t start the phone again. I’ve had the battery charged at a repair shop and it’s apparently fully charged, but nothing happens when I press the power button. When I plug the phone to a charger, the LED blinks red, and sometimes the boot screen with fairphone logo will appear for a few seconds (gradually longer), but the phone won’t boot entirely. I’ve tried opening the phone (I removed the battery and screen) to clean as many parts as I could and check if something appears wrong, but no success. The boot screen does stay on for longer since I did that.

I don’t know which step I should take next, for now I’ve removed the battery and screen again and I’m letting the internal parts air out and hopefully dry.

I’ll be happy to hear any suggestions or pointers on what to do next to identify the broken part!
Thanks for reading.

Welcome to the Community Forum.

That’s probably the best thing (although it would have been better to do so at the start). When I briefly dropped my FP3 into the toilet last August, I actually disassembled it much further and then let it dry for 72 hours.

A Torx T5 screwdriver also allows you to detach the motherboard from the main housing (it’s just two Torx screws) as well once you have removed the three small modules (top, camera and bottom module).

Two suggestions for testing:

  • You can (normally) boot the phone with the three small modules left outside. Of course the functionality of these three will be missing, but it’s still good to be able to test them one for one later.

  • Normally the screen works even without the 13 screws that normally hold it. You must make sure though that the screen thoroughly “clicks in” on its edges – all the plastic clamps that are holding the screen as well need to click in (this is often audible). I think this (leaving out the display screws) is quite helpful when you do a lot of back-and-forth testing. You don’t need to unscrew and rescrew all 13 each time, just when you have finished all testing.

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Thank you for the feedback. Yeah I should have done that earlier but the phone seemed to be fine at the time and I was working a long shift, too bad.

I’ve taken out everything except the motherboard: I’m missing the torx screwdriver, I expected to have a look at the mortherboard itself but sadly I can’t so far.

Well I just received a new battery (it was my first impression that the battery was just dead), plugged it in… and everything works fine! Turns out things can be as simple as that.

I can now compare both batteries and it’s obvious that the faulty one is slightly swollen, anhd needed to be replaced.