Phone keeps rebooting after getting wet

Hi, I think I wracked my phone. It got some water on top, not much but since then it is constantly rebooting. I also have problems disassembling the modules. The bottom module has one screw which won’t get loose, any ideas how to solve this?

In detail:

Putting in the battery in 90% of the cases makes the phone boot. In general I only see the Fairphone Logo only in rare cases the system actually booted but sooner or later would reboot.
Sometimes I manage to get into TWRP (LineageOS installed as OS) but also there the phone at one point reboots automatically.

If I take out the battery and connect the phone via a USB data cable to a PC (500mA USB port) it immediately tries to reboot over and over again. If I just use a cheap USB cable nothing happens.

Any chance that the problem is in one of the modules and not the CPU? My idea was to take away everything and see what happens. Only problem, the battery doesn’t have much power left and I don’t get the phone in a state were I can charge it.

Any ideas and suggestions?

And anyone knows if a phone like this fulfills the criteria for getting some money back when sending it back to fairphone?

Please have a look at the #waterwiki and follow the steps there to safely let your phone dry. First step: never insert the battery or connect a USB cable while the phone is still wet!

If the screw turns but won’t come out, you can put a drop of super glue (cyanoacrylate) on the tip of your screwdriver, stick it in the screw, let it dry, and then try to lift out the screw. If the screw won’t turn… are you using the right size screwdriver, phillips #0? It may take a moderate amount of force to dislodge a screw that’s turned in a little too tight, and if you use the wrong size screwdriver you may ruin the screw head.

Water damage does not fall under warranty, I’m afraid. But the fact that your phone is still attempting to boot means there’s hope.


Thank you for the quick answer. I think the phone is dry. It happened a couple days ago. I also put it under a lamp to ensure that the phone sees constantly 30-40°C to help the dry process.

As for the screw some more tactfully applied force finally worked.
But now another screw which was turning keeps turning but doesn’t move out. But I still can’t take the module out.

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You can try pulling it out with some tweezers or with the glue trick I described. Also, the screw should be poking through the other side of the phone in such a way that you can use a pin or the end of a paperclip to push it out.

I got it out. The socket was loose, I pushed out the socket from behind now…

So which minimal module setup do I need? Can I just put in the battery in the core module without risking damage because of all the missing consumers? (Screen, Button Module, Top Module, Camera)

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Technically, the phone turns on with just the core module and the battery - but the core module is precisely the part we’re worried about, because it cannot be replaced and it holds your data.

If you have a torx screwdriver you can take the main metal shield off the motherboard and detach the ribbon cables that were attached to the modules. In this state you can let all the parts dry.

If you’re confident about further disassembly you can also take the motherboard out of the core module, or even the individual shields off most compartments on the motherboard - but that’s a bit more risky as you could damage stuff more easily. It does allow the phone to dry more quickly.

Also, there are two small square stickers on the top and bottom of the motherboard, about 2-3mm square. They’re white initially, but if they come into contact with water they turn red. What colour are they? It can tell you what parts of the phone have been or may still be wet.

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My torx screwdriver is to small for the once used here. I’m confident that the phone is dry now. So basically the only thing we could confirm is, if water has entered that far right?
Or to phrase the question more precise, what is the game plan of disassembling things further? Have the phone dry some more before attempting booting it again?

It’s important to let it dry for several days. The phone may turn on now, but it can still die days or even weeks later from water that’s slowly oxidising the metal in your phone, or bouncing around until it shorts out some important part.


Okay, so after more days of drying there are two general options I guess. It is working again or not. And by not working I mean it keeps rebooting. This then leaves two options. Calling it broken beyond repair or dissembling further to see, if one can detect a short circuit anywhere causing the problem. Am I right?

So I might as well get the right torx ready? Which one is the right one and where I best look for one in Germany?

So the issue prevails. Connecting via USB leads to direct restarts. Withe the battery which is now almost dead I at least can get into TWRP occasionally but it reboots anyway at one point in time.

So, I bought myself a set of screwdrivers and took away the big metal shield of the core module. I see a lot of black now and I can only see one white sticker in a hexagon shape right above the connectors for the battery. It is still white.

I guess the main question now is, is there any point in dissembling further?

Edit: typo

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