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May 04, 2010


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I have brought back several electronic units that have been submerged. This is my process:

First - if the device was on when it hit the water you probably don't have much of a chance to revive it. If it was off (as is often the case when a boat sinks) you might have a chance.

Important - get it out of the water as quickly as possible. Also, be ready to deal with it right away. Don't let it sit around for awhile before dealing with it.

Place the unit in DISTILLED water for @ 2 hours. This will help to leach the salts and chemicals out of the device.

Empty the distilled water and refill it again with new distilled water. Let it sit for a couple of hours.

Take it out of the distilled water and dry it out the best you can. Try to avoid shaking the unit too much. Shaking can't be good even for non aquatic electronics.

Wrap the unit in dry paper towels and place it in rice. Make sure it is totally covered in rice. The paper towels will keep the rice from sticking to the unit so you don't have a rice coated electronic device. Also, you will be amazed at where rice can enter electronics

Usually I try to seal this up in a Tupperware box or similar. I leave it in the rice for at least a week and sometimes a month or two. If it was very wet when it went in the rice you might want to change the rice at least once.

After it has remained in the rice for the appropriate time remove the unit from the rice, get all of the rice out of the unit, hook up the power, say a prayer to St. Jude (Patron Saint of hopeless causes), and turn on the power.

Good luck - don't get too bummed out if it does not work. You probably have a 50% - 50% chance of bringing it back. If the unit is mission critical; e.g., VHF, I would make it my back up unit.

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