Monsoon- the eerie, humid and wet times
From June to mid- November it is Monsoon season in India. Monsoon season is a very vital climatic period for a country like India. Agriculture of our country is dependent on the arrival, stay and quantum of Monsoon. Monsoons have an overall effect on the life of people and economy of the nation.
However the same rainy season can cause sickness to us and spoil our essential daily use gadgets like smartphones, computers, tablets, Laptops etc. Just as we take precaution to avoid becoming sick, if we take some precautions and prudent actions, then we can save our mobile phones and computers also from getting damaged. Let us go into some details
What causes the damages to the gadgets during rainy season
Water, like dust is enemy to electronic items. While dust it can be removed by brushing, blowing air or using vacuum cleaning, moisture issue is more complicated. Other than moisture and humidity, lightning is another one that can cause damage to electronic gadgets during monsoon. A great percentage of damage to computers and smartphones are caused due to moisture or water and electrical damages during the Monsoon.
How water or moisture enters our smartphone computer and Laptop
Water or moisture enters our gadgets by following ways:
Flooding and seepage.-When the phone or laptop is kept at a place where water flow happens by leakage from roof, seepage or flooding, water directly enters the gadgets either immersing or by the ports and openings and ventilation holes.
Even if no seepage or flooding is there also moisture enters by humid air via the ventilation openings and the minute gaps and ports. Then more and more wet air accumulates and even minute water droplets get trapped into the spaces inside the phone or laptop. If there is dust also then both combine to form sticky wet paste inside, which is difficult to remove also.
How to keep smart phones, laptops etc. safe indoors
When indoors, keep the smartphone, Laptop etc on a raised place like table etc far from the wall and windows. Keep the windows and doors to avoid direct entry of moisture and reduce it to possible extent. Place them on dry newspaper or keep them covered in suitable waterproof cases or in transparent polythene zip covers, with zip closed well. Do not use phone with wet hands.
Ensure that all the plug points and power sources are dry and do not plug them with switch open. Also make sure that charger, charger points etc are free of water and are dry.
Do not connect computer, charger and Laptop during lightning. Do not meddle with when there is lightning and thunder, but remove all cables including Broadband cables, LAN cables etc. well before , when you know that lightning and thunder are coming.
Keep Wi Fi also away from windows and doors and wet walls. Disconnect that also from power during lightning.In case it is necessary to use Laptop, use in battery mode and only with USB dongles.
What are the precautions to be taken when going outdoors
As mentioned earlier keep them in water proof cases or wrap them in water proof zip covers and pouches. Keep Laptops inside the Laptop bags, with case or warp on. Use keyboard covers for Laptops. Avoid using Laptops in transit.
Keep smartphones attached to your body by straps, arm bands or belts with pouches so that accident fall is avoided into the flooded roads or gutters. Avoid keeping phones inside shirt pocket as there is chance of water getting inside pockets when walking in heavy rains with winds. Ensure that water does not enter inside Laptop bag through the Zip side.
It is better to use the phone keeping inside the waterproof cover to avoid wetting it when talking outdoors. A better alternative is to use bluetooth headset , which will prevent wetting and also kidding from hand, especially in a crowded vehicle or in open rains.
Take care in Monsoons and if needed cure
What to do if with all precautions our phone falls into water? Take it out immediately; press it on a dry cloth to remove maximum water and dirt. Put the tip of the cloth or tissue paper inside the ports and openings carefully to remove any water inside them. Open the mobile cover; remove the battery, using dry tissue paper or soft dry cloth mop any water drops seen. But do not press any part hard. Do not blow, do not use vacuum cleaner, do not shake.
Take precautions and enjoy even the rainy days of Monsoon with your smartphones and Laptops.
Nice informative article, Venkiteswaran. I would like to supplement it with my experiences so far. I have been using mobiles for the last 19 years & have used various other electronic items so far.
1. Referring to the point that 'dust is the biggest enemy for electronics', I would like to say that it is the biggest myth. Except for the CD/DVD/Blue ray players where a laser lens reads the content of the Disc & the old mobiles with punching/pressing style keypad, normal amount of dust does not in any way effect any electronic item. The laser lens of a CD/DVD/Blue ray player or reader needs a periodic cleaning. Of course, extreme dusty conditions can harm just anything.
2. Moisture does not cause any major harm to any mobile phone or any other gadget even in the coastal areas unless it has a laser lens . The only problem the moisture can cause is oxidation on the mobile phone's battery terminals, that too in extreme humid conditions for a very long period of time. The oxidation on the battery terminals prevents free flow of current from the battery to the gadget and also causes problem while charging the battery of the gadget. The best way to remove oxidation is to scratch it away using a matchstick or a tooth pick. A shaving blade can also be used to remove the oxidation but with a lighter hand, otherwise it may damage the battery terminal.
3. Now, if somehow water enters a phone, what it does to cause harm to the phone:- If the water reaches the motherboard of the phone, it short-circuits the circuitry. The short-circuiting of the circuitry sometimes provides higher current & voltage to a particular component than what the component can handle, thus blowing it away. So, when a particular component of the circuitry is blown away, then the circuitry becomes incomplete or breaks and as a result the phone goes kaput.
As soon as one is aware of the fact that water has entered a phone or a gadget, the very first thing one should do is to remove the battery so as to prevent the short-circuiting of the circuitry. Then an air blower has to be used to remove the water. Even after that, the gadget should be placed under a fan or under sunlight for at least 3 hours so that the phone drys up.
4. To prevent moisture from entering the phone, a back cover and a screen guard or a toughened screen glass should be used. The usage of a back cover and a screen guard or a toughened screen glass helps in avoiding any damage to the screen & the whole phone in case the phone falls down. A screen guard or a toughened screen glass also saves the screen of the phone from any kind of scratches. If there are not any scratches on the screen, then one does not need to increase the contrast of the screen thus making the battery last longer.
5. A flip cover with a toughened screen glass is the best option to prevent a phone from moisture & breakage. In addition to that, a flip cover with a toughened screen glass will prevent the sweat (which is mostly acidic in nature) from spoiling the phone's body or screen.
6. For desktops & laptops, I don't think anything needs to be done at all except for using the DVD Rom/Recorder just once a week to keep the laser lens moisture free. A bit of precaution must be taken so as not to spill any kind of liquid on the keyboard.