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Computer comes in contact with water while unplugged, still safe?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Chris_Pool


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:08 AM

Obviously, if water gets on the parts while the computer is on, it's done.

But what if the parts get wet while the computer is completely off and unplugged, and a long time is given to dry (weeks)?
I'm sure when you touch the hardware when you're installing it, the oil and sweat from your hands gets on it, but that clearly doesn't affect it.

Does anyone have any experience with this, ever had it happen?
This didn't happen to me, I'm just curious.

Thank you.

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#2 Eyesee


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:15 PM

There is a pet store around the corner from me.
This spring they had a water pipe break in their ceiling that drenched their 2 computers that are used as point of sale machines. The units were off but plugged in and the pipe broke during the night. They found out when they opened the next day.

The systems got a good soaking and we thought they were dead.
They let them dry out for 3 or 4 days with the cases off and everything was fine.
They are still using them.

Personally, I think they got REAL lucky!!
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#3 Baltboy


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:39 PM

I may be okay and it may not. One item to figure in is how long the computer was exposed. I see two issues at work here. First is oxidation. Even if it does not cause any immediate problems the continuing oxidation will shorten the life span of the computer components. Second item of concern is all water contains minerals which could cause similar oxidation issues as well as the immediate short by branching circuits.

Of course there is always the chance that lingering water will cause a short as well. This is why before they determined Toulene caused cancer they would dip flooded electronics into it. If it was done soon enough the Toulene would bond with the water(and its ions) and evaporate leaving the electronics unharmed.
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#4 bradumd


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 07:45 PM

is it safe? (Assuming you let it dry off) Yes, why wouldn't it be. It's not like the computer is gonna explode.
If it works, it works. If it's broken, it's broken. Not much else to analyze here.

I've known a few people who've dropped their phone into water. They dried it out, and it worked again. When it comes to situations like these, I think it really boils down to how lucky you are, and how long the piece of equipment was exposed to the water.

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