12 May
2008

One of our intrepid people took a sensor node to the beach to collect some data underwater. Unfortunately, there was a leak in the housing. The salt water flooded the computer enclosure. If the computer is off in a case like this, then a quick wash in fresh water and a couple of weeks of drying out is likely to render things good again.

Unfortunately, in this case the person involved had the computer turned on, and left it as it was for over a week. Not a good idea, since salt water is corrosive to electronics. Worse yet, the computer was powered up at the time. Here is is when I got my hands on it.


Happily, some of the parts could be salvaged after being washed, but a lot of the gear was a write-off. That's an inevitable consequence of doing underwater research, but it still hurts.

Here at the tips to dealing with a computer if it gets liquid, especially salt water (or coffee) spilled into it:

- Remove power immediately! Tear off power wires if necessary.

- Pour out as much of the contaminant as possible, quickly.

- Open it up as much as possible, every connector, nook and cranny.

- Wash it thoroughly with clean non-salty water. Rinse well, but don't rub.
Spend up to 10 or 20 minutes rinsing, but not much more to avoid dissolving glues or paper wrappings.

- Resist the desire to use alcohol or other drying agents as they are solvents and can ruin connectors, plastic sleeves and other little organic bits.

- Let it dry afterwards for a LONG time. There might be water under a chip.
It usually needs 2 weeks or more. A dry place helps, but be careful of places
that are too warm, or which have warmth, but also condensation.

We have had some surprising recoveries.


By Gregory Dudek at | Read (7) or Leave a comment |    
Comments
Re: Salt water on computer

It is very informative stuff to protect computer from humidity and water.

Posted by: used computers at July 28,2009 06:52
Re: Salt water on computer

Its quite helpful.

Posted by: cheap computers at August 10,2009 06:16

Well, this is new to me.

Posted by: computer repair toronto at August 24,2009 02:45
Re: Salt water on computer

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http://www.LongIslandComputerRepairs.com

Posted by: Rick at June 24,2010 10:07
Re: Salt water on computer

This is very good tip to do research under water and i didn't know that this under salt water laptop can work. Such kind of incidents occur very often like spill of coffee and other things. These tips are very useful that how to deal in such situations.

Posted by: anonymous at July 08,2010 03:03
Re: Salt water on computer

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Re: Salt water on computer

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Posted by: refurbished used computers at June 07,2011 06:58
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