View Full Version : Troubleshooting Recovering Wet Kindle


dvhh
12-21-2010, 05:51 AM
Hello,

I would like to share my experience, in case it happens to one of you too,

I usually read my kindle in the bath, using a ziplock bag, unfortunately for avoiding having much air as possible in the bag I usually seal it with the help of the bath (the water pressure outside pushing out the air out of the bag). One day during my routine sealing I noticed a small amount of water in the bag (about 20~30 cc enough to wet the IO port and a good part of the keyboard).

it went that way :
- went out to immediately dry it in a regular fashion ( no hair drier blow )
- opened the kindle by popping off the back plate (kindle 3 wifi) to expose the circuit
- left it three days in the rice (in fear of not recovering it) in a sealed bag.
- after these three days the battery was out of juice, (tried different method to restart it), the only way for me was to dismount the battery the replug it, it would then accept charging, left it to charge until the led was green.

I recovered the kindle in a pretty good shape, the whole thing is very functional (yet?), keyboard/ buttons usb are still functioning, I didn't test the microphone yet but that is not a big loss right now. Since then I have avoided my bath reading sessions.

What I would have changed :
- After popping off the back plate, I am pretty sure I should have removed the battery, but I was damn too afraid to touch the electronics.
- dry the battery separately from the unit.

The thing almost gave me a heart attack. I don't think I would be trying my chance again.

desertblues
12-21-2010, 06:02 AM
Thanks for sharing. It must have been a few stressfull days. I had my (different) ereader defective twice and I just was so sad after it happened.
I don't ever take any gadget in bath with me, or on the beach. In emergency (which?) one can always switch to text-to-speech and have the Kindle read to you from outside the tub, or play an audiobook.:thumbsup:

I know; it can be done with a ereader in a ziplockbag in bath, and all that.
But even when you're very very carefull with your things, accidents may happen. I once dropped my Kindle---was lucky enough to have a sturdy cover so it survived.

TheKindleWorm
12-21-2010, 06:08 AM
Good tips in case this should happen to anyone else - thank goodness you got it working again.

I wouldn't use a ziplock bag in the bath as it isn't designed to be fully waterproof. I use an e-volve aqua waterproof pouch and even then the cautious side of me never actually puts the case in the water.

But glad for you your Kindle is still usable.

terencek
12-21-2010, 06:53 AM
dvhh's description of what he/she did raises an interesting possibility, especially for those of us not in the USA: how easy is it in fact to 'pop off the Kindle's rear cover' as described?

Right now if you need a battery replacement, Amazon says you have to ship the unit all the way back to the States. Could we in fact not do it ourselves if we could persuade Amazon just to send a battery -- assuming for instance that the unit is out of warranty a year or so down the line and that heavy users have by then worn down the original battery?

dvhh
12-21-2010, 07:28 AM
I am in fact living outside of the US, and popping off the back plate seemed easier around the page turn button (I would recommend some tool for that though). There was no warranty stick of any sort the battery is easily removed with 2 screws (with precision screwdriver ). Out of stress it took me maybe less than a minute to remove the cover. Removing the battery takes less than 20 sec.
I'll try to upload some picture if I find time.

Anyway I would certainly be out of warranty as there is strains of water remaining.

speedlever
12-21-2010, 09:14 AM
dvhh's description of what he/she did raises an interesting possibility, especially for those of us not in the USA: how easy is it in fact to 'pop off the Kindle's rear cover' as described?

Right now if you need a battery replacement, Amazon says you have to ship the unit all the way back to the States. Could we in fact not do it ourselves if we could persuade Amazon just to send a battery -- assuming for instance that the unit is out of warranty a year or so down the line and that heavy users have by then worn down the original battery?

This YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxKqr3t35HM) will answer both your question.

Edit: I have no relationship to the vendor, but the video shows what is required to open the case and change the battery.

Doug Huffman
12-21-2010, 11:39 AM
In re wetting; there are common chemicals much more hygroscopic than rice, though more reactive too. Once the corrosive environment is established by wetting then speed is of the essence.

I would remove the back and place the exposed KINDLE under a large bowl with the most hygroscopic chemical that you can find in a separate bowl adjacent to the KINDLE. If a small circulator, a fan, is available then I might include it.

In the event the KINDLE is wetted with a corrosive in itself mixture, seawater or dirty water, then judiciously rinse the wetted components with clean water and proceed as above.

desertblues
12-21-2010, 04:35 PM
In re wetting; there are common chemicals much more hygroscopic than rice, though more reactive too. Once the corrosive environment is established by wetting then speed is of the essence.

I would remove the back and place the exposed KINDLE under a large bowl with the most hygroscopic chemical that you can find in a separate bowl adjacent to the KINDLE. If a small circulator, a fan, is available then I might include it.

In the event the KINDLE is wetted with a corrosive in itself mixture, seawater or dirty water, then judiciously rinse the wetted components with clean water and proceed as above.

Can you recommend such a specific chemical; just in case, one never knows and if speed is essential?
And what could one use in emergency's? :blink:

JSWolf
12-21-2010, 05:11 PM
Suggestion, forget taking a bath. take a shower. 10 min max and then you can be back and reading your book once again without risking getting your reader wet.

speedlever
12-21-2010, 05:19 PM
Suggestion, forget taking a bath. take a shower. 10 min max and then you can be back and reading your book once again without risking getting your reader wet.

Err, um... I hate to say this... but I suspect the length of time in the shower may be a male/female issue. Or at least that's been my experience. :D

JSWolf
12-21-2010, 06:05 PM
Err, um... I hate to say this... but I suspect the length of time in the shower may be a male/female issue. Or at least that's been my experience. :D

How long do you think males take and how long do you think females take? My wife (being a female) does not take long at all in the shower.

Doug Huffman
12-21-2010, 06:53 PM
First choice silica gel (leaves 0.03 milligrams H2O per liter of air).

Second choice calcium chloride ("DampRid") (leaves up to 0.25 milligrams H2O per liter of air).

Both can be regenerated by drying in a 250C oven.

http://www.mallbaker.com/techlib/documents/americas/3045.html

desertblues
12-21-2010, 06:58 PM
Thank you very much for this information. I'll remember this for future reference.:)

speedlever
12-21-2010, 07:38 PM
How long do you think males take and how long do you think females take? My wife (being a female) does not take long at all in the shower.

Well Jon, in my experience (as mentioned earlier) the females are 30 minutes and up and the males are 15 minutes or less. But as usual, YMMV. :D

dvhh
12-21-2010, 09:40 PM
First choice silica gel (leaves 0.03 milligrams H2O per liter of air).

Second choice calcium chloride ("DampRid") (leaves up to 0.25 milligrams H2O per liter of air).

Both can be regenerated by drying in a 250C oven.

http://www.mallbaker.com/techlib/documents/americas/3045.html
I wasn't that ready for this event, but it is really good to know for the next time.
Although the kindle internals ( especially visible under the battery ) show signs of stains and probably corrosion, I would hardly venture in rinsing it after being soaked.
but yes I shoud have used a fan or a small circulator, luckily the winter we got here (japan) is still quite dry.

jphphotography
12-22-2010, 12:45 AM
Good thinking with the rice, I've used that before to help unfog a camera lens. Another method I've come across for electronics that have taken a plunge is to remove any batteries then submerse the entire thing in 99.9% alcohol. The alcohol will mix with the water and everything will evaporate quickly. Where I work we actually use a very similar solution (board wash) for cleaning pcbs.

This method is still a last resort situation but its good if water is trapped in places you cant get at to dry. On the other hand some components simply don't mix well with any liquid so this method won't work in all cases so discretion is advised ;)

Anywho I'm glad to hear you got it working again!

dvhh
12-26-2010, 06:50 AM
This YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxKqr3t35HM) will answer both your question.

Edit: I have no relationship to the vendor, but the video shows what is required to open the case and change the battery.
I might order from them as I found my battery dying way faster than it should. Might be the first noticed damages from the incident.

EowynCarter
12-26-2010, 07:18 AM
The first thing to do when one of your electronic device gets wet : take the battery off.
If the something it got wet with isn't water, don't hesitate to use water to clean up.

Then , open everything as much as can be, and wait until it's all perfectly dry.

tubemonkey
12-26-2010, 07:25 AM
This YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxKqr3t35HM) will answer both your question.

Very sexy video. They were playing Bolero in the background. :D

Doug Huffman
12-26-2010, 09:01 AM
A brand of high proof ethanol is Everclear available at 190 proof. Common 'alcohol' is likely isopropanol at 70% and occasionally 91%.

I noticed that the photographer is from SK where high proof ethanol may not be legally available. 99.9% alcohol is probably quite expensive if available at all, for technical chemistry reasons.

I worked in an industry where money and cost effectiveness was not an issue and we did not use alcohol but for specific and limited applications. In this instance, drying a small electronic device, I'd have started with a freon bath and dried it with warm dry nitrogen.

travfar
12-26-2010, 09:20 PM
The problem with tap water is that it's just not water. There are many minerals dissolved in it. If you look at how "professionals" clean flood damaged electronics, they rinse it off with tap water first to remove the dirt and then rinse it off with distilled water to remove the tap water. Then they just dry it. The problem with just letting the tap water dry is that it leaves the minerals behind.

I did the same to my Apple Lisa to clean up after the suicide device went off. Works fine.

I'm hoping that I don't have to mention to unplug and/or remove the batteries, discharge the caps, etc, etc first.

DaronFraley
12-26-2010, 09:27 PM
For those who don't have silica gel or other chemicals handy to dry out electronics, rinsing the electronics with distilled water is a great first step (battery removed). Then you can place the mostly dry kindle in a ziplock bag full of rice (uncooked, obviously). That will help draw out the remaining moisture.