What does liquid damage look like in a computer?

Hello there!

It’s just about daily we get a laptop in with liquid damage…where the customer knows (or admits) what happened to the unit and why it needs repair. Many times our customer doesn’t know why their computer has failed; maybe a child spilled a glass of water, or something spilled in their book bag with the computer in it, or even extreme humidity can cause “liquid damage” issues. If we open a laptop and it looks like there’s a venti caramel latte in there it’s obvious. But some times the liquid spill is so small, it takes a while to figure it out.

Don’t get me wrong, the smaller the better. Less water in a computer is easier to repair than more water in a computer!

Here’s an example. This unit’s keyboard wouldn’t work:


Upon close inspection, look at all of the gold pins that run up and down against the white plastic body of the connector. See how some of them a not gold? They are corroding, causing the electrical connection between the cable and connector to fail. In turn, causing the keyboard to fail.

When any wire or cable product is exposed to water, any metallic component (such as the conductor, metallic shield, or armor) is subject to corrosion that can damage the component itself and/or cause termination failures. If water remains in printed circuit boards or low voltage cables, it could accelerate insulation deterioration, causing premature failure. Wire and cable listed for only dry locations may become a shock hazard when energized after being exposed to water, such as in a computer, tablet or iPhone.

Any recommendations for repairing liquid damage devices are based on the assumption that the water (or other liquid) contains no high concentrations of chemicals, oils, etc. If it is suspected that the water has unusual contaminants, such as may be found in gasoline or even acidic orange juice for example, it may make replacing parts a necessity rather than repair.

We will try our best to repair liquid damaged units when you need them; this process is not easy, nor is it fast. But it can be done. A good piece of advice: don’t turn on your device within 48 hours of liquid exposure. And certainly DO NOT PLUG IT INTO THE WALL. Get it into us to we can evaluate the issue and correct it if possible.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

Take care, Ryan