So I Dropped My Phone in the Toilet

So earlier in this particular day, I was laughing with a friend about a comment I came across on Lamebook. Basically, it was a Facebook conversation that someone had captured and put online for a laugh. It was basically a girl who had dropped her phone in the toilet. Someone suggested that she put it in rice, and another friend suggested she cook the rice and drop her phone into the boiling pot, to which the girl agreed and gave thanks. We thought, “There is no way anyone can be that stupid…If this is a real post, maybe she deserves a boiled phone.”

Not even a day later, I have my first phone-in-toilet incident. I had forgotten my cellular device in my back pocket. I was on my way to work, hurried and not thinking, and somehow the phone slipped out and fell right into the bowl. Thankfully, this was a private and relatively clean restroom, so I ninja grabbed it. The phone was still on and functioning, and didn’t seem too wet. I opened the back, removed the battery, wrapped up the phone and hurried off to work.

When the phone seemed to be dry, I replaced the battery and turned it on. Not good. Many of the buttons didn’t work and the phone constantly thought it was being charged. As the day went on, the phone “sweated” in my pocket, meaning that it was not as dry as I had thought. Eventually all the buttons stopped working, although the screen and lights still functioned perfectly.

I went to the closest retailer some hours later after work was done, talked to a technician, who without looking at the phone, told me I wasn’t covered and should buy a new one. To her credit, she did mention that I could buy a used or unlocked phone rather than buying a new one at full price from the store.

Mad, without a warranty, and sure I would have to buy a new phone, I decided to see just what the problem was and what damage the water had actually caused. I went home, removed the battery, de-static-electrified myself, and took the phone completely apart with a set of tiny screwdrivers. Let me just say, it was an experience. If you’ve never seen the inside of a phone, it looks a little daunting, and by daunting, I mean, “A lot of easily borked stuff.”

Upon massacring the phone, I didn’t really see any problems beyond a few remaining water droplets and a foggy camera lens. I dried everything up, carefully stuck everything back together, and closed, not expecting much. To my surprise, the phone came back on in almost perfect condition. (Despite my careful work, I misplaced a screw, so the frame is just a wee bit loose on one side.) But the buttons work, the camera is clear, and most importantly, it makes calls and doesn’t smell like a toilet. So for once in my lifetime, my electronic curiosity paid off for the better. Had I assumed the phone could be fixed, I would have never attempted this, but because the retailer didn’t even ask me if I wanted to attempt a repair, I saved thirty dollars, have a working phone, and I feel pretty darn cool.

Moral of the story: If it doesn’t matter anyway, tear it up.

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