Water Damaged Phone

I recently dropped my phone in water. Took out the battery and left it in a warm dry place and two days later turned it on. Everything seemed fine until I came to charge it from empty when I found it would start charging and reboot and then immediately run out of charge and turn off. This would repeat over and over until I gave up and unplugged it. I tried different wall outlets and chargers but always get the same issue. I tried contacting customer services on 23rd October to ask if i need a new battery and/or bottom module. Since then have only had a message thanking me for my patience and promising to get back to me and asking me not to create new tickets. I sent a followup to the same ticket last Sunday complaining that I’d been waiting 2 weeks and again now having waited 3 weeks. At this point I’m livid about ready to give up on fairphone as a company. Does anyone have an idea what I should do to fix my phone?

  1. Please read the #waterwiki
  2. Please let it dry longer.
  3. Open it and see inside if there is any apparent damage.
  4. How long did you let your phone charge? When charging from an empty battery, please wait at least two hours before trying to switch it on, if possible even a complete day. What you describe seems normal behavior.
    And try not to let your battery run out completely, it’s quite bad for it.

As for the support ticket, they’re having difficulties dealing with the increase in support requests, please see this post:

Oh, and welcome to the Forum :wink:


Ive read the wiki. Its been off for three weeks and I’m not turning it on. Its turning itself on and then running out of charge and dying. It just keeps doing that over and over every 30 seconds or so when I plug it in. There is no visible damage inside.

Sure, but how long did you let it in this state of turning on-off and strange behavior?

You perhaps have waterdamage inside the phone. If you know someone with a FP3 or if you have a local #fairphoneangel owning FP3 spare parts, you could try exchanging modules with working ones until it works again.

When you plug your phone without the battery, what happens?

Also, if you give your ticket number, @rae may be able to help you get some contact with support.

Since it is a water damage which not covered by guarantee, maybe it is a good idea to go to a local repair shop. You can find a list of Fairphone friendly shops here:

I had a water damage on a tablet PC last year (never ever put a water bottle into a backpack with your tech stuff…). I gave it directly to a repair shop without turning it back on. They opened the device and cleaned the logic board professionally. Even after one day there was already some corrosion on the board du to the liquid - at least that’s what they said. Despite some discolorations on the screen everything else is now back to normal.


Largely dependent on how clean the water is. I dropped my phone over the side of a boat, through 7 feet water into mud. After the tide receded I trawled a magnet across the surface until i found the phone. Removed battery and what parts i could and washed them thoroughly in de-ionisded water, dried in flowing air for three days - all good.

If the water isn’t clean it will leave a residue and keeping it warm is not good, warm air holds more moisture. Put in a bag of rice if you don’t have a good air flow.

If water gets into the parts (modules) they have to be removed and dried separately. The Fairphone is worse in that respect as it holds more water and it is therefore a more demanding job to dry.

Please don’t! This is a very bad idea! I will let residues of rice in the phone and may damage it even more. Putting a phone in rice when it has water damage so that it dries faster is a myth. See here.

Edit: Broken link


@alex21 Thanks for the input and warning.

Yes if you have powdery rice it would be very messy, but any dry grain or silica gel in a tight nylon stocking for instance, will work, despite the ‘myth’. A good dry air flow is the best option. Water does not cause corrosion but contaminants make it ionic which will allow an electric current to flow between different metals and the least noble of them will degrade. So copper will go before the gold etc.
To clarify the rice or the phone can be in a fine mesh bag, but as you point out ideally not both, or better still as you indicate, better not to use rice and find a nice cool air flow.


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