How to Check a Cell Phone for Water Damage

Water and electronics are not friends, especially when it comes to smartphones or simple mobile phones. If you own a mobile phone for a significant amount of time, you are likely to experience a close encounter of the liquid kind. If you think your phone has been exposed to moisture, check the phone to see if it indicates moisture exposure. While models vary widely, the liquid indicators are generally placed in similar locations, making it easy to check. These indicators turn red when exposed to water, which can void your warranty.

Man rinsing lettuce and talking on phone
If you drop your phone into water, it may void the warranty.
credit: Joe Madeira/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Step

Check the headphone jack and dock area if you own an iPhone. The LDI is located in these two areas, making it easy to quickly assess if your phone has potential for water damage. Use a flashlight to peer into these two areas, searching for a red or white dot.

Step

Remove the back cover of other phone models, as indicators are typically located inside the device. The quickest method to get inside your device, without cracking it open, is to remove the battery cover.

Step

Turn off your phone. On some phones, removing the battery will reset the unit. This may or may not erase some data or applications. Remove the battery by sliding it out of its bay.

Step

Locate the indicator. LIDs are typically located directly under or on the battery.

Step

Slide open your phone and check the exposed back to find the LDI if it's not near the battery. The water indicator may also be behind any swiveling or sliding screens.