Liquid Damage Repair: A Step by Step Guide

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Liquid and water damage is the second most common repair at the iMend.com Repair Centre. In fact, our research indicates that 1 in 5 people in the UK have reported a problem with their device as a result of liquid damage. Damage is not just caused by water, it can also be a result of exposing a mobile phone or device to fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, perfume, moisturiser, oils and sea water. In simple terms when liquid gets into a smartphone or tablet it causes corrosion & oxidation, resistance begins to drop, components break down and the solder joints will suffer as the corrosion spreads.  The corrosion causes cracks and pits where the current of electricity used to flow freely. Once these form it can then cause the device to short out and effectively destroy the motherboard. The smallest amount of liquid can reap havoc as just one drop can seep into the most difficult places and begin to cause serious damage.

It’s a fact that liquid damage caused by fizzy drinks and salt water are amongst the worst because the salt/carbonation in the liquid causes the corrosion process in your device to accelerate at a rate of knots.

According to our Senior Technicians there is only one option to ensure your liquid damaged phone stands a chance of working in the long term; a professional chemical clean down. Leaving your phone is not an option as water may take a few months to take full effect. So even if the device appears dry and is working, the silent but deadly corrosion process that occurs behind the scenes may mean your phone might stop working further down the line.

Our customers are constantly asking us; What is a professional liquid damage repair? What is involved in a water damage repair?  We have decided to let you see, “warts and all” our detailed process step by step so you understand the importance of getting your phone cleaned out and the exhaustive effort put into getting your mobile device back to working order.

Liquid Damaged Phone – Immediate First Steps

If you have just got your phone wet, before you send it to our repair centre for a liquid damage repair there are a few immediate important steps we recommend you take with a water damaged phone to ensure your device has the best chance of being successfully repaired:

  1. MOST IMPORTANT – Turn the phone off and do not turn it back on or charge it. If the device is on it is more likely to short-circuit the main board which could mean your device is irreparable
  2. Get rid of all excess water by holding the device upside down and making sure water runs out of charging ports and jacks.
  3. Remove any cases as water can hide behind these.
  4. Towel the device dry with a soft cloth.
  5. If possible we also recommend that you put your device in a shoebox with silica gel.  Silica gel sachets can be found in old shoe boxes.  This isn’t essential, but if you do happen to have any of these Silica gel sachets to hand it just helps the drying process. The gel is a desiccant, which absorbs moisture.

Use Silica Gel

For more information check out our other blog post on some of the immediate actions to take with a water damaged phone: Water Damaged iPhone – What Do I Do?

NB.Our advice would be not to put you device into rice as this will not have any effect in drying the phone out internally and the small pieces can actually get trapped in the ports of your phone.  Drying your device with a hairdryer is also a ‘no no’ as this can cause the device to overheat and blow the circuits.  Also trying to clean the device internally yourself could damage the tiny components inside your device and should only be attempted by a water damage specialist.  The next step is to send the phone into our repair centre to be assessed by a trained Water Damage specialist.

Take a look at our step by step guide to a professional liquid damage repair….

Step 1… Book your device in

Go to www.iMend.com to book your phone or tablet in for a liquid damage repair. You will receive an email order confirmation with instructions of how to send your device to us and how to protectively package it up.

Step 2… Visual Inspection

When the device arrives at iMend.com HQ a Technician will book your device onto the iMend system to ensure it is securely tracked through the process. The phone is then passed to a Liquid Damage specialist.

NB: the following steps and images show an iPhone water damage repair being carried out but here at iMend as well as iPhone water damage repairs we also do liquid damage repairs for all makes and models of phones and tablets including Samsung, Sony, LG, Nokia, etc.

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Step 3… Preparing the device for the chemical clean

To prepare the device for a chemical clean key components have to be removed to gain access to all areas of the phone.

a. Remove screws

The device will be opened by removing the bottom screws with a magnetic screwdriver.

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b. Remove screen

The screen is removed with a specialist Suction Cup. Attaching the suction cup to the front screen prevents any of the glass off the screen from fragmenting.

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c. Remove the internal connectors

Our tech now carefully removes the “Connector covering plate” with a screwdriver to expose the main connectors.  He then carefully removes the LCD, digitizer, proximity, rear camera and power flex connectors.  These have to be removed with a plastic tool to ensure that no damage is done to these delicate connectors.

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d. Remove battery and charging port connector

The technician carefully removes the battery and charging port covering plate. The battery and charging port connector is then also carefully removed with a plastic tool to make sure that you do not destroy any connectors on the motherboard. You should always use a plastic rather than a metal tool.

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d. Remove motherboard

The motherboard can only be extracted by removing the 4 riser screws.  Here our technician is removing the first of these four screws.

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The technician then carefully lifts the motherboard out making sure that the wifi antenna is prised away using a plastic tool. The wifi antenna is located behind the motherboard.

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Step 4… Chemical clean

In order to remove any oxidation buildup on the surface of the motherboard, a deep chemical clean is required. The motherboard will be thoroughly cleaned by a specialist machine, the UltraSonic Cleaner. This essentially operates as a chemical bath.

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Chemical cleaner Isopropanol is poured into the ultrasonic cleaner. This is a highly flammable substance with 99.9% alcohol and as such should only be used by an expert.

 

Isopropanol
*Isopropanol should not be handled by novices and should be used in areas where there is substantial ventilation. This substance is so lethal that it comes with its own government excise notice (473 10.1 & 10.4) and can only be retailed by fully licensed suppliers. The tech for safety will be wearing goggles and gloves to handle this substance.

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The Ultrasonic cleaner is turned up to a notch of 30 watts for the first deep chemical cleanse, this takes 10 minutes.  The purpose of this clean is to remove the initial corrosion that has occurred.  The liquid damage technician carefully removes the motherboard from the machine and examines the motherboard. The process is then repeated. The motherboard is placed inside the Ultrasonic Cleaner for the second time at a slightly higher heat. On the second occasion the clean takes 20 minutes and the Ultrasonic cleaner reaches a level of 50 watts.

Step 5…Final manual clean

So your motherboard has been through a pretty intense cleaning regime. The next step involves cleaning not only the motherboard, but also the phone itself.  Our highly trained technicians can locate the smallest of bits of corrosion that get lodged in crevices of the phone with a soft brush.

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Step 6… Drying the devices components.

After the cleaning process, the motherboard needs to dry thoroughly after being immersed in the liquid. This process only takes 2 minutes at a temperature of 75  – 85 watts. Not to worry though, the Electronic Hot Plate will not damage the motherboard in any shape or form, it is completely safe.

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Step 7… Re-assembling the device

Now our highly trained technicians will have the task of re-assembling the water damaged iPhone. This is not a short process and involves putting the replacement screws in the exact location that they were taken from.

If the screws are not inserted in the correct location, this could then lead to a vast array of issues. For instance, if the LCD connectors are not reassembled correctly, then you could write your phone off completely. The device will them be turned back on to check that all parts are functioning.

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Step 8… Testing the device

Your device has been stripped down, cleaned, dried and put back together again, the technician needs to test if all areas of the phone are now functioning effectively through a combination of manual and specialist computer analyst checks. The tests involve testing all of these areas of the phone.

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi connection
  • GPS
  • Network Connection
  • Sim Card Reader
  • Functionality of the LCD
  • Digitiser sensitivity
  • Microphone
  • Speaker
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Front & Rear camera
  • Charging Port

The device is then graded on each of the criteria contrasting from A to D and an analyst report is printed off and will be sent out with each device.

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Step 9… Sending the phone back

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Your phone is then left overnight to ensure there are no subsequent intermittent issues before sending it back.  It is at this point that one of our team gives you a personal ring to let you know how the liquid damage repair went. The iMend packing team double pack in blister pillow packaging and with an outer box for extra protection. 

So there you have it, a step by step guide to a Professional Water Damage Repair. Our specialist process really does give your water damaged phone the best chance of functioning again.  Liquid Damage is a very difficult process and the success rate often depends on various factors including; how much liquid the device has been exposed to, how long the device was exposed to liquid, how long it has been left before sending it to us, and the type of liquid.

As hopefully you can see from above we go to great lengths and do absolutely everything possible to try to restore every liquid damaged phone back to working order. But the simple fact is that due to the nature of the damage not every device can be repaired. We pride ourselves on having one of the highest success rates in the industry for water damaged phones so if anyone can fix it then we can. For more info see our Water Damage Repair FAQ here.

The best advice is don’t delay, the longer you leave a liquid damaged phone the less chance there is of fixing it. So to book a Water Damage Repair go to www.iMend.com today or call our customer service team on 0333 014 4262

Mobile Phone Diagnostic: The Ultimate Health Check For Your Phone

Here at iMend we’re masters of the mobile phone diagnostic. That means if there’s something amiss with your phone or tablet but you’re not sure exactly what, we can give your device the ultimate health check to diagnose what’s wrong.

From poor battery performance to problems with reception and sound, we can forensically examine every facet of your device. Then fix it. Here’s how our diagnostic service works.

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Is your phone down in the dumps? On the blink? Won’t turn on? Keeps making a funny noise? Then it probably needs a health check. Pop your mobile phone in the post to us and we’ll give it the most comprehensive analysis.

Our diagnostic service at a glance:

  • Our diagnostic service is available by post
  • We use specialist equipment to test all software and hardware
  • We find out what’s wrong, quote your for repair, then we fix it
  • Same day repair, next day delivery by courier

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It’s simple: if you aren’t quite sure what’s wrong with your phone then a diagnostic’s needed. We use advanced computerised analysis software (this is one heck of a machine) to test all areas of your device. Our call-out engineers won’t have access to this technology, which is why you have to post it in to us.

Typical problems we see include:

  • Your phone won’t hold charge after battery replacement
  • It keeps turning off
  • You can’t get a signal or wifi connection
  • It feels slow and unresponsive to touch

 

iMend diagnostic service step-by-step

  1. Post your phone in to us
  2. Once we receive it we’ll give you a bell to acknowledge
  3. Our diagnostic experts will initially complete simple hardware checks to look at the overall appearance and observe visible damage
  4. Then your phone is plugged into our analyst computer which tests battery and earpiece issues before looking at every element of your phone
  5. The machine then produces a full diagnostic report
  6. We’ll then give you a call letting you know the issues and any other repairs needed
  7. If we can fix your device we’ll deduct the diagnostic fee from the overall repair change – nice
  8. We’ll crack on with the repair, then post your phone back with a 12-month guarantee

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Our advanced diagnostic software works out,  at near-forensic level, what’s wrong with your device. Check it out:DSC_0201This computer programme tests everything – wifi connectivity, touchscreen functionality, you name it.

 

You’ll also get a full diagnostic print-out detailing every aspect of your phone. Here’s what it looks like:

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As you can see from the image above, this powerful tool lets us check for problems with:

  • Wifi connectivity
  • Bluetooth functionality
  • Charging functionality
  • Audio functionality
  • Button functionality
  • Display
  • Touch screen functionality  
  • Battery health

 

How long does a mobile phone diagnostic take?

An analysis report and full test can be done in 5 minutes. And, as long as there’s nothing majorly really wrong with your device, we repair it on the same day and post it the next. 95% of mobile phones and tablets that come in to us meet this benchmark.

Business phone health check

If you’re a business owner or IT manager with a lot of corporate mobile phones to look after, come to us. We offer a bulk diagnostic service for business mobile phones. So if you’ve 100 devices and you don’t know what’s wrong with them, send them to us – we’ll test them and get them back to you.

We also offer a data removal service, great for peace of mind if you have confidential information you want to manage.

Why use it?

It’s the ultimate business or consumer technology health check. We quickly identify what’s wrong with your device, fix it speedily, and get it back to you. Remember that a diagnostic could flag-up hidden problems with your phone, potentially saving you money later down the line.

Book your phone or tablet in for a repair here.

How Does An iMend Call-Out Work?

In the olden days, if you wanted your mobile phone repaired you’d have to:

  • Trudge into town and queue for hours to get it fixed
  • Post it into your provider and wait 2 weeks to get it back

 

Not any more. iMend.com offers you a hassle-free alternative: mobile phone call-out repair. Yep, we repair your phone at your home or at your office, right there in front of you.

This blog post answers your frequently asked questions and clarifies the benefits of the frankly fabulous iMend call-out service.

 iMend’s call-out service at-a-glance

We’re the UK’s first and only nationwide call-out mobile phone repair service available. Our skilled engineers will repair your phone, wherever you are – at home, in the office, in the pub – on the same day you book it in.

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Our call-out service covers:

  •        Screen and LCD problems
  •        Broken glass and buttons
  •        Charging port issues
  •        Charging problems
  •        Battery replacement
  •        Sound issues

 

And if your phone can’t be fixed, we operate a no fix, no fee policy.

iMend.com call-out repair in 5 easy steps

Step 1 – Get in touch with us

Damaged your phone? Not to worry – give us a ring, email us or book in online and we’ll sort you out. Getting in touch is easy:

 

We’ll then arrange for a local iMend technician to come out to you at a time and place convenient to you and get your phone ship-shape again.

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Step 2 – We’ll confirm your repair

Next, you’ll receive a call from your engineer within about an hour. The techie will run through your repair in full and confirm the best time and place for the repair to take place.

At iMend.com we recruit the best technicians in the industry, they are all expertly trained and have undergone rigorous technical and background checks.

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Step 3 – The repair

The iMend technician will arrive at your door to carry out your repair. They will ask you where you would like the repair to take place – a clean surface such as a kitchen table or office desk is ideal, but wherever’s convenient for you.

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Step 4 – Job done!

Once the technician has completed the job, you’ll be asked to approve the repair and check the device before payment. You can pay with cash or debit card, and remember – if the phone can’t be fixed, you don’t have to pay. Either way you will get a receipt.

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Step 5 – After-service commitment

For all our repairs, we provide a 12-month warranty for parts and labour, because we want you to be 100% happy with the repair you’ve paid for.

It’s as simple as that. Our expert service is flexible to your needs and waiting for your call. Need a repair? Book it in with iMend.com today!

Quality mobile phone repairs come to Northern Ireland

Today, the atmosphere at iMend Towers has been a joyous one – we’ve been celebrating our recent expansion into Northern Ireland! Woo-hoo!

This means that if you live in Northern Ireland and your iPhone has a cracked screen, you’ve dropped your Samsung in water, your brand-new Nokia has gone on the blink or your iPad is smashed to bits, we can help – our mobile phone and tablet repair service means we have skilled engineers ready to get out to your home, workplace or even your favourite coffee shop and fix phones throughout the whole of Northern Ireland including the following areas:

County Antrim
County Armagh
County Down
County Fermanagh
County Londonderry
County Tyrone

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Why use iMend in Northern Ireland?

  • call-out service – the only company to offer a UK-wide call out service
  • speedy mail-in service (we aim to post most devices back the next working day)
  • professional, friendly, fully-vetted technicians
  • no fix, no fee* (except water damage)

 

We specialise in more or less everything!

We repair all mobile and tablet devices including those made by:

  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Nokia
  • HTC
  • Sony
  • LG

 

Have a phone or tablet that needs fixing?

 

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