How To Know If My Phone Has Water Damage

Mobile Phone

Water damage is one of the most common issues faced by mobile phone owners. Accidental spills, trips to the pool, or even being caught in the rain can lead to significant damage to your beloved device. As a mobile phone user, it is crucial to be able to identify the signs of water damage early on to prevent further complications. In this article, we will explore the telltale signs that can indicate whether your phone has suffered water damage. From malfunctioning buttons to a distorted display, we will cover it all. By learning how to identify water damage, you can take appropriate action and seek professional help to repair your phone before it’s too late.

Inside This Article

  1. Signs of Water Damage on a Phone
  2. Checking for Visible Signs
  3. Testing the Functionality
  4. Seeking Professional Help
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs

Signs of Water Damage on a Phone

Water damage can be a nightmare for your phone, causing malfunctioning buttons, a non-responsive touchscreen, or even complete failure. Detecting water damage early is crucial to prevent further damage and increase the chances of repair. Here are some common signs to look out for:

1. Water Indicators: Most smartphones come equipped with water damage indicators, small stickers or dots that change color when exposed to water. These indicators are typically located inside the battery compartment or on the SIM card tray. If these indicators have turned red or pink, it indicates potential water damage.

2. Non-Functioning Buttons: If you notice that certain buttons on your phone, such as the power button or volume buttons, are unresponsive or sticky, it could be due to water damage. Water can cause the electrical contacts beneath the buttons to corrode, preventing them from functioning properly.

3. Strange Display: Water damage can cause unusual behavior on your phone’s display. Look for signs of discoloration, lines, or spots on the screen. In some cases, the screen may even go completely black or have distorted images.

4. Battery Issues: If your phone is experiencing rapid battery drain, overheating, or not charging properly after being exposed to water, it could indicate water damage. Water can interfere with the battery’s functionality, leading to these issues.

5. Unresponsive Touchscreen: One of the most common signs of water damage is an unresponsive touchscreen. If you find that your phone’s touchscreen is not working as it should, or if it is registering touches randomly, it may be a result of water damage affecting the device’s internal circuits.

6. Distorted Audio: Water damage can also affect the audio output on your phone. If you notice crackling sounds, muffled audio, or no sound at all coming from your device’s speaker, it may be due to water damage affecting the speaker or audio circuitry.

7. Random Glitches and Freezing: Water damage can cause your phone to behave erratically, with random glitches, freezes, or restarts. If your phone starts exhibiting these symptoms after exposure to water, there is a high chance of water damage.

8. Corroded Connectors: If you remove the battery or check the charging port and notice any signs of corrosion such as rust or greenish residue, it is an indication of water damage. Corroded connectors can prevent proper electrical contact and affect the overall functionality of the phone.

If you notice any of these signs of water damage on your phone, it is important to take immediate action to prevent further damage. Keep in mind that water damage may void your phone’s warranty, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional technician for repair options.

Checking for Visible Signs

Water damage is a common issue that can occur to mobile phones, and it’s important to know how to identify whether your device has been affected. One of the first steps in determining water damage is by checking for visible signs. Here are a few things to look out for:

1. Check for water indicators: Most smartphones have built-in liquid damage indicators that change color when they come into contact with water. These indicators are usually located inside the SIM card slot or battery compartment. If the indicator has turned from white to red or another color, it is a strong indication of water damage.

2. Inspect the exterior: Carefully examine the exterior of your phone for any visible signs of water damage. Look for corrosion, rust, or any discoloration on the buttons, ports, or seams. Water damage may cause these areas to appear different than the rest of the phone.

3. Check the screen: Inspect the display screen for water spots or moisture. If there are any water droplets or foggy areas beneath the screen, it is likely due to water damage. It’s important to note that some phones have a water-resistant coating, so dampness may not always indicate water damage.

4. Look for physical changes: Pay attention to any physical changes or irregularities on your phone. Swollen or bloated batteries, distorted or discolored screens, or a heavy water smell coming from the device are all signs of potential water damage.

5. Check the headphone jack: Water damage often affects the headphone jack, causing audio issues. If your phone starts to experience sound problems or if water is coming out from the jack, it could be a sign of water damage.

Remember, these visible signs can be a good initial indication of water damage, but they do not guarantee its presence. Internal components could still be affected even if there are no visible signs. Therefore, it is essential to perform further testing to fully assess the extent of the damage.

Testing the Functionality

After checking for any visible signs of water damage on your phone, the next step is to test its functionality. Just because there are no visible signs doesn’t necessarily mean that your phone is in the clear. Water damage can still occur internally and affect the performance of your device.

Here are some steps you can take to test the functionality of your phone:

  1. Power it off: If your phone is still on, power it off immediately. Continuing to use a water-damaged phone can cause further harm to its internal components.
  2. Remove the battery (if applicable): If your phone has a removable battery, take it out. This can help prevent any additional damage and allow the phone to dry out more effectively.
  3. Inspect the SIM card and SD card: Remove the SIM card and SD card from your phone and examine them for any signs of water damage. If they appear dry, set them aside for now.
  4. Dry off the exterior: Use a soft cloth or paper towel to gently dry off the exterior of your phone. Be careful not to press too hard or use any heat sources, as this can potentially damage the device further.
  5. Power it on: Once you’ve dried off the exterior, try powering on your phone. Pay close attention to how it responds and if any unusual behavior occurs.
  6. Test the functionality: Go through various functions and features of your phone to test if they are working properly. This includes making calls, sending text messages, using the camera, accessing apps, and connecting to Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  7. Monitor for overheating: If your phone becomes unusually hot during usage, it could be a sign of water damage. Overheating can indicate that water is still trapped inside the device and affecting its performance. If you experience excessive heat, power off your phone and seek professional help.
  8. Look out for other issues: Keep an eye out for any other issues that may arise as you use your phone. This could include a decrease in battery life, distorted audio, or a non-responsive touchscreen. These can all be signs of water damage.

If your phone passes these tests and functions normally, it’s likely that it hasn’t sustained any significant water damage. However, it’s important to keep in mind that water damage may not always be immediately apparent and can manifest over time. If you continue to experience issues or suspect water damage, it’s best to seek professional help to ensure a proper assessment and repair.

Seeking Professional Help

If you have followed the steps mentioned above and still suspect that your phone has water damage, it is time to seek professional help. While you may be inclined to try to fix the issue yourself, it is important to remember that water damage can be complicated and attempting DIY repairs can lead to further damage. Here are a few reasons why you should consider seeking professional assistance:

  1. Expertise: Professional technicians have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and repair water damage. They are trained to handle delicate electronic components and are familiar with the specific ways water can damage a phone.
  2. Specialized Equipment: Repair shops have specialized tools and equipment that are specifically designed to deal with water damage. These tools can help in the recovery process and minimize the risk of further damage.
  3. Prevent Further Damage: A professional can assess the extent of the damage and take appropriate measures to prevent further damage. They can identify potential issues that could arise in the future and offer solutions to mitigate them.
  4. Warranty Considerations: If your phone is under warranty, attempting any DIY repairs could void the warranty. By seeking professional help, you can ensure that your warranty remains intact.
  5. Save Time and Money: In the long run, seeking professional help can save you time and money. While it may seem cost-effective to try to fix the issue yourself, improper repairs can result in costly repairs or even the need to purchase a new phone.

Remember, water damage can be unpredictable, and attempting DIY repairs can lead to irreversible damage. It is always better to rely on professionals who have the expertise and resources to tackle water damage effectively.


In conclusion, being aware of the signs of water damage on your cell phone is crucial in order to take immediate action and potentially save your device. Water damage can lead to various issues like malfunctioning buttons, screen damage, and even complete device failure. By taking preventive measures such as keeping your phone away from water sources and using protective cases, you can minimize the risk of water damage.

However, accidents can still happen, and if you suspect that your phone has been exposed to water, it’s essential to act quickly. Turn off your device immediately, dry it off, and remove any accumulated moisture. If the damage is severe or if you’re unsure about the extent of the water damage, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to water damage. By being cautious and proactive, you can ensure the longevity of your cell phone and prevent costly repairs or replacements.


1. How can I tell if my phone has water damage?
There are a few signs that indicate water damage on a phone. Look for the following:

  • Watermark or discoloration on the screen
  • Unresponsive touch screen
  • Random glitches or flickering display
  • Poor battery life
  • Overheating
  • Difficulty charging
  • Muffled or distorted sound quality
  • Visible water droplets beneath the screen or inside the charging port

If you notice any of these signs, there’s a high possibility your phone has water damage.

2. What should I do if my phone gets water damaged?
When your phone gets water damaged, it’s important to act quickly. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the phone from water immediately (if it’s still submerged).
  2. Turn off the phone to prevent further damage.
  3. Wipe off any visible water on the exterior using a soft cloth.
  4. Remove the SIM card, memory card, and any other removable parts.
  5. Place the phone in a bag of rice or silica gel packets for 24-48 hours to absorb moisture.
  6. If possible, open the phone and gently clean the components with 99% isopropyl alcohol.
  7. Once you’ve waited and cleaned the phone, try turning it on. If it doesn’t work, seek professional assistance.

Remember, immediate action increases the chances of saving your water-damaged phone.

3. Can my phone be repaired if it has water damage?
Yes, in many cases, water-damaged phones can be repaired. However, the success of the repair depends on the severity of the damage and how quickly you take action. It’s crucial to turn off the phone and remove it from water immediately to minimize the risk of permanent damage. If you’re unable to fix it yourself, take your phone to a professional repair service for assessment and repair options.

4. How much does it cost to repair a water-damaged phone?
The cost of repairing a water-damaged phone can vary significantly depending on the extent of the damage and the type of phone you have. Minor water damage may only require cleaning and drying, which can cost around $50 to $100. However, more severe damage, such as corrosion or component replacement, can cost upwards of $200. It’s best to consult a professional repair service for an accurate cost estimate.

5. How can I prevent water damage to my phone in the future?
To prevent water damage to your phone, there are a few simple precautions you can take:

  • Avoid using your phone near bodies of water, such as swimming pools, lakes, or baths.
  • Keep your phone away from liquids, including drinks, rain, and spilled liquids.
  • Invest in a waterproof or water-resistant phone case.
  • If you’re going to be in a high-risk environment, consider using a waterproof pouch or bag for your phone.
  • Be cautious when using your phone in humid or wet environments, such as bathrooms or during heavy rain.

By taking these preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of water damage to your phone.