FP3 & ice-skating - how to support full recovery from water damage?

Dear community,

If I had discovered your collective wisdom earlier my phone might be in a better state. Either way, I’m in dire need of your advice.

About a week ago, I and my FP3 faced the force of gravity while attempting to skate on some fragile ice. While I got away with some mild trauma, the state of my phone is a bit more problematic. In fact, it does show some stunning resilience despite that I did almost everything wrong (turned it on too soon, dried it (in rice) too little, turned it on again too soon).

In any case, after 4 days of drying, I was able to turn it on again. However, since then it shows the following symptoms:

  • when the (original) charger is plugged in it charges extremely slowly and it does not exceed about 30% anymore, in fact, more often it remains below 10%
  • when charging mostly the red light is on, only rarely the white light gets activated
  • the phone doesn’t function when removing the battery and connecting it directly with the charger

I actually tried to disassemble the phone to also properly clean the charging connector, turns out that one of the screws is stripped. I actually never touched these, still another challenge on the road to identify what exactly the problem is.

I can’t really get my head around what’s the best way forward, any pointers?

Much appreciation upfront!

PS: I did read the various threads on water damage, yet couldn’t find any solution really

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You’d be surprised at how long internal water takes to dry, the modules, once separated really need to be in a flow of cool to warm air for a couple of days.

Water can also drag dust and debris into charging ports and so on so sometimes a clean is necessary using isopropyl alcohol for example.

Sorry I don’t feel of much help :frowning:


I’d let the phone rest a few more days as well, you never know. The longer the better.
And then you might have irreversible damage. So the first thing I’d do then is to backup all the data quickly! You phone might die on day over the other.
Then I would ask advice of a #fairphoneangel. Not sure he/she can do anything (by experience, except if only the smaller modules are affected, #fairphoneangels can’t do much), but it’s worth asking! You can hope it’s only the bottom module that’s affected.

When you disassemble the phone, on each module you should find a little dot somewhere, white or red. They become red when water touches them. Is the core-module’s dot red? (Note, it being red doesn’t necessarily mean the module doesn’t work anymore, and it being white doesn’t mean the module hasn’t got any water damage, but it’s usually a good indicator)


Thank you, @amoun and @Alex.A, for your advice, it’s much appreciated.

The phone just completely stopped working, unfortunately. The issue of the stripped screw doesn’t allow me to disassemble the phone yet. I’ve tried the rubber band trick already, now searching for some glue (any other tips welcome). Having said that, I can’t really check, clean, or dry the module yet, so no indication possible to what extent water damage is noticeable. Argh.


Maybe this can help: Ask iFixit: How Do I Stop Stripping Screws?

I have a very similar problem: Phone got slightly wet, obviously didn’t let it dry long enough, turned it on, everything worked fine, but just an hour later it didn’t respond anymore.

I also tried to disassemble the phone and one screw is now stripped (the one above the “open” in “designed to open”… oh the irony!). I never tried it before, too. :confused:

The rubber band didn’t work on the stripped screw and I’m unsure about using super glue. :frowning:

Do you mean the module/case/plastic thread that accepts the screw as if it’s the screw you can replace it.

If its the thread that holds the screw you may be able to coat a fine piece of wood soaked in supper glue and insert that. Once dry a metal screw will push aside the wood. ~ Just an idea that I may try. :slight_smile:

I mean the screw is rounded off completly. I can’t use the scredriver anymore. :frowning:

OK The head is duff. You may be able to dip a useless screw driver or small piece of metal into supper glue, make sure there is very little glue on the tip, put that in the screw head and let that dry for a long time.

Don’t try and put a spot of glue on the top of the thread as it will be too much and spill over and really stop the screw coming out :slight_smile:


Update: I followed the instructions from @amoun for the superglue, unfortunately, it didn’t grab it. I also went to a repair shop, they tried another screwdriver, also attempted it with superglue, nothing worked. He could still partly open the frame nevertheless, noticing that the dots on the module indeed indicate exposure to water (as @Alex.A described above).
After letting it dry for another couple of days and restarting it, the phone does turn on but doesn’t charge properly and loses battery very fast.

Having consciously bought a modular phone to avoid buying a new one once a part is broken, I feel too determined to give up now. But I’m not sure how to go about this. The most straightforward option is to order a new battery and test it. However, it seems more like the damage is more widespread, including the connector module which I simply can’t exchange it seems.
What would you do?

What would I do
a) if the battery is flat as in not bulging then I doubt the battery needs replacing.
You could try and charge it externally to see that it takes power and maybe you can find a fairphone angel to test the battery.

It isn’t a bad idea to have a spare battery though.

b) more drying may help

c) can you take a picture of the screw head and post it, I’m surprised it cannot be removed. If the glue didn’t work then what happened? Did the super glue stick to the driver or the screw? I doubt it would break.

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I believe buying a new battery isn’t the best option here. It might help, but as you said I doubt this is the single damage the phone suffered.
Do you have a local #fairphoneangel (←click on the link for information) and did you ask if he/she could help you? If he/she has a FP3 battery available, you might want to try it. If you can charge it externally as @amoun suggested it might be worth a try.

Then, as last resort I’d try to saw the screw. Your phone can survive with one screw less.

I’m hoping for you it’s nothing about the motherboard :crossed_fingers:


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