Phone Won’t Charge After Dropping in Water: Solutions

Last Updated: March 28, 2023By
Water droplets on iPhone silver

In today’s fast-paced world, smartphones have become indispensable tools for communication, work, and entertainment. With their constant use, it’s not surprising that accidents, such as dropping a phone in water, are bound to happen.

Water damage can lead to many issues, including the inability to charge your phone. It is essential for smartphone users to understand the causes of charging problems after water exposure and learn how to address them effectively.

This blog will delve into the possible reasons behind such issues, provide troubleshooting tips and solutions, and offer preventative measures to avoid water damage in the future.

Understanding Water Damage in Phones

Water damage can be a major issue for smartphones, especially if they are not designed to be water-resistant. When a phone is dropped in water, several problems may arise that could render the device inoperable or even dangerous to use.

To better understand these issues, let’s delve into the causes of water damage, the immediate steps to take after dropping your phone in water, and ways to prevent future accidents.

How Water Damage Occurs

There are several ways that water can damage a phone, including short circuits, corrosion, and component damage. Understanding each of these issues can help you take the appropriate action to minimize the damage.

Short Circuits

When water comes into contact with a phone’s electronic components, it can create a conductive path for electricity. This can cause short circuits, which may lead to permanent damage or a complete failure of the device.


Even if a short circuit does not immediately occur, the presence of water can lead to corrosion over time. Corrosion can damage the phone’s internal components, as well as the connectors and circuit boards, making it difficult or impossible to charge or use the device.

Component Damage

Some components inside the phone may be more sensitive to water damage than others. For example, the battery or charging port could be severely affected by water, making it difficult for the phone to charge or power on.

Immediate Steps to Take After Dropping Your Phone in Water

If you’ve accidentally dropped your phone in water, it’s essential to act quickly to minimize the damage. Follow these steps to increase the likelihood of saving your device:

Turn Off the Phone

Immediately power off the device to prevent any electrical short circuits from occurring. Avoid attempting to use the phone or turning it back on until it has been thoroughly dried.

Remove the Battery and SIM Card (If Possible)

If your phone has a removable battery and SIM card, take them out as soon as possible. This will help prevent further damage to the internal components and protect your SIM card’s stored data.

Wipe Off Excess Water

Using a clean, dry cloth or paper towel, gently remove as much water as possible from the device’s exterior. Be careful not to push water further into the device while doing this.

Use a Drying Agent

Place the phone in a container filled with a drying agent, such as silica gel packets or uncooked rice. These materials can help to absorb any remaining moisture from the device. Make sure the phone is fully submerged in the drying agent.

Wait 24-48 Hours Before Attempting to Power On or Charge the Phone

Allow ample time for the drying agent to absorb any remaining moisture from the device. After waiting 24-48 hours, carefully remove the phone from the container and check for any visible moisture.

If the phone appears to be dry, attempt to power it on and charge it. If the device still does not charge or function properly, consult a professional for further assessment and potential repairs.

Causes of Charging Issues After Water Exposure

Water droplets on a few iPhone

When a phone is exposed to water, it may experience various issues, including charging problems. These issues can arise from corrosion in the charging port, damage to the battery, or damage to other charging components, such as the charging IC.

Understanding these problems can help you identify the cause of your phone’s inability to charge after water exposure.

Charging Port Corrosion

One of the most common reasons for charging issues after water exposure is corrosion in the charging port. When water enters the port, it can react with the metal contacts, causing them to corrode over time.

This corrosion can impede the flow of electricity between the charger and the phone’s battery, preventing the device from charging properly.

Battery Damage

Water can also damage the battery itself, either by causing a short circuit or by degrading its internal components.

In some cases, water exposure may cause the battery to swell or leak, posing a risk to both the device and the user. A damaged battery may not hold a charge, leading to issues with powering on the device or maintaining an adequate battery life.

Damaged Charging Components (e.g., Charging IC)

Lastly, water exposure can cause damage to other internal charging components, such as the charging IC (integrated circuit).

The charging IC is responsible for managing the power flow between the charger and the battery, ensuring that the device charges safely and efficiently. If the charging IC is damaged, it may fail to recognize the charger or regulate the power flow, resulting in an inability to charge the device.

Troubleshooting and Possible Solutions

If your phone won’t charge after being exposed to water, there are several troubleshooting steps and possible solutions to consider. By inspecting the charging port, testing the battery, and seeking professional help, you may be able to restore your device’s charging capabilities.

Inspect the Charging Port

The charging port is a common source of problems after water exposure. To address this issue, follow these steps:

Clean the Port with a Toothpick, Cotton Swab, or Soft Brush

Carefully remove any debris, dust, or lint from the charging port using a toothpick, cotton swab, or soft brush. Exercise caution during the process to prevent inflicting additional harm to the sensitive connectors within the port.

Use Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Any Corrosion

Dip a cotton swab or soft cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently clean the charging port to remove any signs of corrosion. Allow the port to dry completely before attempting to charge the device again.

Test the Battery

If the charging port appears to be in good condition, the battery may be the issue. To test the battery, follow these steps:

Use a Different Charging Cable and Power Source

Try using a different charging cable and power source to ensure that the issue is not caused by faulty equipment. If the phone still does not charge, proceed to the next step.

Consider Replacing the Battery

If the battery appears to be damaged or not holding a charge, you may need to replace it. Consult your phone’s manufacturer or a repair specialist for advice on obtaining a suitable replacement.

Seek Professional Help

If you are unable to resolve the charging issue yourself, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance:

Consult a Phone Repair Specialist

A phone repair specialist can assess the damage and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements for any damaged components. They may also be able to provide guidance on preventing future water damage.

Explore Manufacturer’s Warranty and Insurance Options

If your device is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to determine if the issue is covered. Additionally, check your phone insurance policy (if applicable) to see if water damage or charging issues are covered.

Prevention and Protection

Water droplets on iPhone

To avoid future water damage and charging issues, it’s essential to take preventive measures and protect your phone from water exposure.

By using a waterproof or water-resistant case, keeping your device away from water sources, investing in waterproof pouches, and being mindful of water-resistant ratings, you can minimize the risk of damage and extend the life of your device.

Use a Waterproof or Water-Resistant Phone Case

Investing in a waterproof or water-resistant phone case can provide an additional layer of protection against accidental water exposure. These cases are specifically designed to prevent water from reaching the phone’s sensitive internal components, reducing the risk of damage.

Keep Your Phone Away from Water Sources

Be mindful of where you place your phone when you are near water sources, such as pools, sinks, and bathtubs. Keeping your device at a safe distance from these potential hazards can help prevent accidents and minimize the risk of water damage.

Invest in Waterproof Pouches for Outdoor Activities

If you enjoy outdoor activities where your phone may be exposed to water, such as going to the beach or visiting water parks, consider investing in a waterproof pouch. These pouches are designed to keep your phone dry while still allowing you to use the device’s touchscreen and camera functions.

Be Mindful of Water-Resistant Ratings (IP Ratings) When Purchasing a New Phone

When purchasing a new phone, pay attention to the device’s water-resistant rating, often referred to as its IP (Ingress Protection) rating. This rating indicates the level of protection the phone offers against water and dust.

For example, a phone with an IP68 rating is more water-resistant than one with an IP67 rating. Choosing a device with a higher IP rating can provide greater protection against water damage and charging issues resulting from water exposure.


Understanding the causes and potential solutions for charging issues after a phone has been exposed to water is essential for smartphone users. By learning about the mechanics of water damage, the immediate actions to take, and the possible reasons behind charging problems, users can make informed decisions about how to best deal with their water-damaged devices. 

This knowledge can help save precious data, time, and money by resolving issues effectively or seeking professional help when necessary.

While it’s crucial to know how to address charging problems after water exposure, it’s even more important to take steps to prevent water damage from occurring in the first place.

By investing in water-resistant or waterproof phone cases, keeping phones away from water sources, using waterproof pouches during outdoor activities, and being mindful of water-resistant ratings when purchasing new devices, users can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Prevention is always better than cure, so let’s strive to protect our indispensable smartphones and ensure their longevity.