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Re: Keyboard Trouble

by roboticus (Chancellor)
on Jul 03, 2010 at 16:39 UTC ( #847914=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Keyboard Trouble


Most electronic components aren't harmed by water (I can't think of any that are), so you can always soak it in a bathtub, and then dry it. Then, if your oven goes low enough, set it to 150 and bake it for an hour or two to dry it out.

Generally, it's not the water that causes the problem. Usually it's something like:

  • The water contains impurities that leave a conductive path between nodes,
  • chemicals corrode contacts, or worse
  • chemicals completely dissolve component leads, PCB traces, ...

Note: if there's still water and/or conductive things left on the board, you can destroy the item by powering it up. So if you have an accident, turn off the item immediately, remove the circuit board and clean the circuit board (dishwasher, bathtub, etc.). I've successfully recovered many items with this technique, including a computer that was in an apartment fire (heavy smoke contamination inside the computer and *lots* of water in it. I quickly cleaned it (so corrosion wouldn't take hold) and it fired right up after drying and reassembly.


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Re^2: Keyboard Trouble
by ambrus (Abbot) on Jul 04, 2010 at 10:58 UTC

    Just to clarify, do you mean 150F?


      Yes, Fahrenheit, sorry.

      Semiconductors are happy with higher temperatures, but resistor values can drift at higher temperatures, and you risk drying out electrolytic capacitors if they get too warm.

      You don't absolutely need to bake out the circuit board, so long as you're very patient and certain the the water wicked up under various components is fully evaporated before you turn it on. If you don't bake it, I would let it sit for several days, rather than a few hours. Water doesn't easily come out of some trimmer resistors, for example. (On the bright side, though, it's also harder to get the water *into* them, too.)

      I may be overly cautious, though...


      Kelvin :-)




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