Cody Spears, co-owner of Cell Phone Repair Atlanta, says when owners bring in water-damaged cell phones quickly after being dropped in water — and the person hasn’t tried to charge or use the cell phone, which can short-circuit the logic board — his company has about an 80 percent success rate on water-damage cell phone repairs.
The cost to repair water-damaged smartphones at Cell Phone Repair starts at $75. The cost goes up until it reaches the “beyond economical repair” stage, when it’s cheaper to buy a new phone than to fix the cell phone, Spears says.
Other than steer clear of water, Spears advises customers with wet phones to keep electricity out if you hope to revive the dead cell phone. “The best thing you can do is not power it on and get into a repair place as soon as possible,” he says.
None of the companies interviewed offers a warranty for water-damage repairs because of the unpredictable nature of the fixes.
Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted on Oct. 1, 2013.
Your turn: Have you ever dropped your phone in water? Were you able to fix it? Tell us how — or how much it cost — in the comments below.