Can I use electronics that were damaged in a water loss?

Short Answer: Probably not.

Long Answer: Water contains many different minerals, most of which are not perceptible to the naked eye. Have you ever wondered why electronics and water (typically) don’t mix? Due to the high mineral content, water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Mix the two together and you get electricity traveling to places where it should not normally be able to travel to within the electronic device in question, leading to electric shorts, which are the main cause of water-based electrical problems.

If you’ve gotten lucky and the device was not powered on during its’ exposure to water, it may be salvageable, but this is not always the case. In addition to potential shorting issues caused by water acting as a conductor, you must also consider typical water damage issues, such as developing rust on internal components or simply being waterlogged and not being able to remove all the internal water.

I’m sure we all know someone who has thrown a waterlogged phone into a bag of rice, hoping that the rice will draw out and absorb the moisture. Well, the general principle behind this could be improved upon by adding moving air to the equation, the same way that we put down air movers in the affected area of a flood, alongside a powerful dehumidifier. Without this part of the equation in place, the drying process can be very slow if one does not have the patience necessary to allow the water to condensate naturally and be drawn out naturally.

An experienced technician in the field of electronic repair may be able to solve these issues, but then the concern becomes one of time and cost versus value and worth. To repair and refurbish low-cost electronics may be, in many cases, not worth the effort and time it would cost to source the replacement parts and perform the repair. In some cases, depending on your insurance policy, these items may simply be able to be replaced, if covered.

In short, depending on the device, you may need to make a tough decision and either simply replace your device, or, if you determine the value of it is greater than replacing it, have it professionally serviced to ensure that it is cleaned and repaired properly.