Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cell Phones and water don't mix

My son was telling me that you could literally drop a cell phone into a pail of oil and it might be okay. But because water is an excellent conductor of electricity, if your cell phone is turned on when it falls into enough water it will usually short it out it will be toast. However, if your cell phone is off when it comes into contact with a lot of water say in a washing machine, hot tub spa, sink or other type of pool of water or even a mud puddle or rain, there is more of a possibility that your phone might survive. However, if the water gets inside and shorts out the main contacts and battery likely your phone is toast. Recently, I was taking a new patch of completely unexpected poison oak out of the back yard along with rubber gloves and scissors and pliers to pull every last sprig out of the ground and burying it before my dogs brought it inside on their coats. Since I was so very focused on not getting any patches of of poison oak on my skin or face or eyes or any other part of my body I quickly took off my clothes and through them into a hot water cycle on my washing machine. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take my IPhone out of my pocket in the process and ten minutes later to my horror I realized that my IPhone wasn't in my truck or on my bed with my keys and other stuff from my pockets and turned off the washing machine trying to fish around to find my IPhone and found it. I was pretty upset because an IPhone is sort of like what you pay for an IPad or desk top computer and does a lot of the same things at home or out and about. So, I was pretty upset about this. My son since he worked as a computer tech during his twenties said that I should take a blow dryer to it until it got fairly hot as that might evaporate enough of the water out of it. So, I tried blow drying it until it was hot but then he said do not turn it on yet because he saw some moisture still coming out of it. So, then I put the IPhone back outside in the sun for an hour or so to see if that might help. So far, no luck. My son said the danger was mostly of turning the phone back on while it was still wet inside and completely shorting it out. But I said the IPhone had been on when it went into the washing machine so that likely killed it right there. He unfortunately agreed. However, he said we should wait a couple of days because after it dried out it might(1 chance in a hundred) come back but he said the fog on the camera of the IPhone likely had permanently messed up taking pictures at the very least.

So, now we are thinking about creative ways to solve the problem. First of all, this is the most expensive phone I have gotten wet but not the first one. I have dropped two other cell phones (inexpensive ones relatively speaking) into my hot tub spa outside during the last 10 years or so. So, this likely is the third phone (1st smart phone) that I had ruined in water by accident. So, I'm beginning to think more creatively about this. One thing I was realizing is that if I bought an IPad with an internet connection that I used only to go online everywhere and to text with that might be useful because I likely would never drop an IPad into water anywhere like I have with 3 cell phones in the last 10 years including now one smart phone. So, maybe having a cheaper cell phone with blue tooth for my truck and an IPad with an internet anywhere connection might be a better solution. Because a smart phone is just too expensive to lose into water, especially because I got my phone before my carrier would allow me to insure it, even though they now insure newer IPhones. So, with a cheap cell phone with blue tooth and an IPad that I keep with me in my 4WD truck for faster texting, internet and GPS and all the rest I won't have to worry about losing another smart phone into water anywhere!

So, I got a non-smart phone chip made by my carrier and put it in an older phone my son had bought a new battery for online. So, since this was a fairly good phone that has blue tooth compatible for my truck and since my verbal phone book is still present in my Trucks verbal interface I still can automatically dial all my most important numbers if I am in my truck. However, the rest of the numbers are harder to recover.

My son says he wants to buy special tools to take the IPhone apart to see if he can fix it. He says he has a less than 50% chance of succeeding, however. But 50% is better than no chance so I think I'll let him have a go because Apple won't promise to fix something that has only a 30 to 50% chance of ever working again. And even then he says that only about 75% of what I had working (including the camera) likely would still work even then. So, I'm thinking that a smart phone (after losing 3 to four cell phones including one smart phone now to water in some form in the last 10 years) is that having an expensive phone isn't a good idea for me. An Ipad that I keep in my truck whenever I leave home is likely the best bet for GPS and Internet on the go. Besides, at 63 it is a whole lot easier to read an IPad than an Iphone anyway. And I'm not likely to put an IPad in my pocket and run it through the wash. ha ha

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