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July 24, 2016

Alcohol Is Your Friend...In More Ways than One. [CBD]

Cell phone water.jpg

A few months ago I was in need of the model number of a toilet. Of course the number was printed inside the tank -- how convenient! -- but they had put it behind the valve assembly, where no human could read it. So I took out my trusty cell phone, not realizing that for whatever reason, unknown to sentient humans, the plumber who had installed the toilet had adjusted the water level to within 1/2 inch of the top. I took a quick photo of the number as I realized that I had just plunged my phone a few inches deep into a tank of water.

I shook the excess water out, warmed it in front of a blow dryer (yeah, they say not to. Why?). And low and behold all of the buttons, except one, worked, and the screen wasn't cloudy.

But the lone holdout was the back button, and my phone is crap without it. So when I got home later that night I checked replacement cost, threw up a little, and then started thinking.

Water and alcohol are fast friends. In fact, alcohol would rather be around water molecules than other alcohol molecules (If Jay Guevara is reading this, please to check my work). So I pulled out my trusty bottle of 91% propyl alcohol, poured a few inches into a glass, and immersed my phone. After about 10 minutes I pulled it out, let it dry overnight, and presto! The back button worked perfectly.

I think a few things were going on. First, there was residual water in the phone that was shorting one button, and the alcohol slurped that up. Second, I got to it quickly and displaced the water, so little or no corrosion took place. Third, The water only rose a few inches into the phone, and I kept it upright, so it didn't flood the entire thing.

I was lucky, but if this were to happen again I would certainly try 91% alcohol over rice or some other desiccant.


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posted by Open Blogger at 12:00 PM

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