On A Wet, BlackBerry
February 6, 2015 8:46 AM   Subscribe

So I dropped my BlackBerry Q5 in a swimming pool yesterday.

It was on, but with almost no charge left. It was 1.5 meters underwater for about 10 minutes until I was able to retrieve it. It was off and I left it off, removed the sim card and stuck it in a sack of rice. Basically I would like to know if there is any chance it will work, whether I should try to dry it further in the oven (some online sites suggest this but say one should remove the battery, which you can't do with the Q5), or whether I should put it in the fridge (a friend's suggestion).
posted by chavenet to Technology (10 answers total)
I agree that baking lithium batteries is a pretty bad idea. A few days in a warm spot might help though. Do you have a computer or other appliance that is perpetually warm, or an incandescent lamp?

On one hand, pool water is not a bad as syrupy drinks, since you have a much better chance of drying it off without leaving its guts coated in sticky residue.

On the other hand, 1.5 meters for 10 minutes will drive water into much tighter spaces than a spill.
posted by ryanrs at 8:59 AM on February 6, 2015

How long was it in rice for? I usually try 24h rice, turn it on, if it still doesn't work another 24h in rice.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:00 AM on February 6, 2015

Bag of rice on a heat vent or in a sunny window may also help.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:00 AM on February 6, 2015

I once dropped my BB in a toilet...yeah. I had one with a removable battery so I took the back cover off and then soaked it in rice for about 12 hours. It worked like a charm for another six months after that, then I replaced it. If your battery doesn't come out, can you take the cover off? Good luck!
posted by notjustthefish at 9:12 AM on February 6, 2015

Response by poster: Can't take the cover off. It has been in rice for 24 hours, haven't yet tried to turn it on. Figured I would wait 48 hours. But will set the bag of rice on a heat vent as suggested, that might accelerate/improve the process...
posted by chavenet at 9:18 AM on February 6, 2015

10 minutes? No chance. But you're not going to hurt anything by trying any of the above (except the oven--don't do that with the battery in.)
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:23 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Worst case scenario, you can buy a replacement Q5 on CraigsList nowadays for about $70. Your SIM should be fine once it dries out and can pop right in; ditto any SD card you may have had in the phone.

Good luck!
posted by area.man at 9:23 AM on February 6, 2015

Don't put it in the freezer. If there is any water left in there, it will freeze - expanding and creating sharp ice crystals. It is pretty much the opposite of what you want to do.
posted by valoius at 10:55 AM on February 6, 2015

In my experience pool water has too much bleach in it, it kills things even more reliably than coffee. I've repaired hundreds of laptops, phones, etc.

If i were you, i'd leave it in the sack for an entire week. That'll give you the absolute best chance of it working if it's ever going to. I'd be shocked if it's not toast though, although i have seen things work again in that situation before.

I would not heat a device more than mildly with a non-removable battery. Even if it doesn't explode, it'll probably swell. I'd leave it like, in the sun or on top of an old tube monitor/tv but not on a heat vent.

If this was my device, i'd have already purchased a new one and would assume that if functional, the old one was now an emergency backup at best.
posted by emptythought at 4:01 PM on February 6, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, but I'm moving on, as emptythought suggests. Will leave the BB in rice for a while, but not feeling hopeful.
posted by chavenet at 5:32 AM on February 7, 2015

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