iPad in the swimming pool? There is hope!

January 30th, 2013


You had no idea your cell phone was perched so precariously on the edge of your bathtub. And you definitely didn’t think you would actually knock it over the edge and into gallons of bubble bath and water. But you did. Repeat scenario with your kindergartner graciously returning your phone or tablet to your kitchen countertop and it topples right into a sinkful of dishwater...the horror scenarios are vast.  Anyway, now your smartphone is ruined, right? Maybe not. Yes, water is without a doubt an enemy of your favorite electronic gadgets. But with a few deep cleansing breaths and some immediate action, you may be able to save even the most waterlogged of devices. Here’s how:

Saving drowned technology

First, ensure that no power is flowing through your iPad, pda or Tablet. This is particularly important: Water isn’t what will destroy your electronic devices. The electrical shorts that water causes will do that. If a battery powers your device, quickly remove it. If not, be sure that your device’s power is turned off. You will be tempted to switch the power back on to see what damage has been caused. Resist the urge. You want that power off.

Other steps

Next, remove all the pieces that you can from your device. This includes SIM cards, SD cards, back covers and headphone port coverings. The aim here is to give air more opportunity to flow through the device. Additionally, you need to vacuum out as much moisture as you possibly can from your device. For those who have a vacuum which has a thin nozzle, you are in luck. Gizmodo claims that this is the best way to quickly remove moisture from electronics. Finally, you need to dry out your device. This can be accomplished by placing it inside a bowl of dry white rice or, as Gizmodo says, a bowl of dry Rice Krispies cereal. Just be sure not to add any milk. After 48 hrs, you’ll be able to turn the power back on. Hopefully, your device will spring back to life.

Keeping it dry

Of course, better than rescuing a gadget from water is keeping it dry in the first place. There are numerous choices for this. The New York Times recently ran a great feature ranking the many waterproof cases available. Such options as the LifeProof, Joy Factory Rain Ballet and Liquipel cases can come in handy when you are hanging by the pool using your favorite eReader and have a little more style than the sophisticated Ziplock baggie-look mine has actually sported on the lake on more than one occasion. Our advice, though, is quite simple: Keep the electronics away from the water. It is tempting to bring your phone to the edge of the pool. But such a move might prove awfully expensive.