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Don't Do This Home

Don't Do This at Home
by Gary Woods

The other day my wife wandered into the room and said she'd just dropped her cell phone into the toilet. The first thing I did was wonder why I hadn't put the $100 Apple Care Plus insurance on her phone after which I calculated it would cost about $650 to replace the phone.

If you do something similar what all the books say is don't hit the unlock button to see if it still works because this puts unnecessary stress on the waterlogged circuits and wires and could do further damage to the device. What the pundits suggest is to put your device into a bag with silica gel packets the ones that come packed with some products like shoes and handbags that say "do not eat" on the label. If you don't have one of those packets regular white rice will also work. Just leave your device in it overnight and hopefully everything will have dried out.

Okay, that's what you're supposed to do. What I did was instantly hit the unlock switch and lo and behold everything seemed to work. Apps opened, email came in and texts were sent and received.

But, when I put the phone in the charger it showed that it wasn't charging. That told me that there was something wrong with the 30 pin connector at the bottom of the device. I always keep a can of compressed air on my desk so I reached for it. When you use compressed air always blow it into your hand first because there will be some moisture released before the air comes out and we definitely didn't need more moisture. After a few blasts I put the phone back in the charger and it showed that it was charging. Problem solved?

Then, a few minutes later her phone rang but no sound came out. I checked the mute button and that wasn't on. After that I tried playing some music and also got nothing.

I then brought up the player and it showed that it had an earphone plugged in which it clearly didnt.

This meant that there was moisture in the ear phone jack. I then put compressed air nozzle into the earphone jack and after a few more spritzes music was playing the ringer was working and she could hear whoever was calling.

So, anyway, thats what I did, but don't do this at home!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc