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Old 04-14-2015, 12:56 AM   #1
REACTOR
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Default How exactly does water damage a circuit board with chips and all?

A question!

Any answers are much appreciated. I am doing downsides on an electronic product which is that it's not water proof and I am wondering how exactly water makes unusable a circuit board with chips and other additions...

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Old 04-14-2015, 03:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: How exactly does water damage a circuit board with chips and all?

Water conducts electricity. Not well, but it does. It can therefor cause shot circuits if there is water connecting two wires that are supposed to be isolated. It can also cause certain metals to oxidize (rust, basically) if left in contact with the wires, though this is generally prevented anyway due to the fact that the moisture in the air can do this too.

Interestingly, this means that if the electronics isn't turned on until it's completely dry, it can survive relatively unscathed. (This doesn't mean drop your phone in a puddle while it's off, things like that have internal clocks that still run so they don't lose the time if you turn them off. That stuff can still be damaged. If you want to drop your phone in a puddle, while I still don't recommend it, remove the battery and sim card first and leave submerged in rice after it gets wet.)
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: How exactly does water damage a circuit board with chips and all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megadog View Post
Water conducts electricity. Not well, but it does.
To be specific the various things floating around in the water make this problem much worse than pure water.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: How exactly does water damage a circuit board with chips and all?

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To be specific the various things floating around in the water make this problem much worse than pure water.
Yes, and unless you deionized the water, it'll still conduct some. The point is you don't want to get water and live electrical wires in contact.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: How exactly does water damage a circuit board with chips and all?

Thank you Megadog! That really helped.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: How exactly does water damage a circuit board with chips and all?

No problem. I'm studying to be an electrical engineer, so this sort of thing is a serious thing we need to learn about.
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