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The larger version of Samsung's flagship phone, the Galaxy S8+. Released in April 2017.

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Salt water damage + dents on bottom of battery

Hi all,

A couple of days ago I went swimming at the beach and left my phone in my pocket for about 2 minutes before realising and getting out to dry it. I left it on in my bag for a couple of hours (I’m an idiot and really didn’t handle the situation well at all) before I noticed it was overheating and I turned it off then rinsed it with fresh water before drying and leaving it overnight in a container with silica gel packets.

This morning I took the back cover / midframe off to disconnect the battery but while doing so I accidentally made some dents with my pry tool while the battery was still warm from the hot air gun. Is this a concern? The phone was on 1% when I last turned it off. I’ll be travelling overseas in a few days and plan to bring the phone to get it checked at the destination; should I remove the battery before I go or is it safe to take it with me?

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As far as I know, the battery needs to be roughly 10%-15% charge for thermal activity. It does not appear the be punctured, but of course you still want to be safe.


I think it will be okay, assuming that you did not see any abnormal. Swelling, smoke, smell of rotten eggs, etc.


If you are looking to remove the battery. I would recommend you grab some 99% isopropyl alcohol and just apply a very small amount around the battery to let the adhesive soften. It will make removing the battery a lot easier.

If you want to give it a go and try to examine the board yourself. You can use the 99% isopropyl alcohol and clean the boards. You can tell where the areas are affected, you will see white/green odd looking marks. Clean it with a soft tooth brush and 99% alcohol, let it dry up before connecting anything and test.


Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the response! I've found corrosion(?) on the main board but I'm having trouble removing the bottom cover so I don't know if I can take the rest of the phone apart.

Would the damage get any worse if I left it in a container with silica for now, and if so is there anything I can do in the meantime? Unfortunately the earliest I can get this to a repair shop is next Monday.

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Hi @foodsalad ,

Just to add to the answer.

The corrosion will not stop until it is all cleaned away.

If you haven't already done so, disconnect the battery from the systemboard (you don't have to remove the battery just disconnect it), so as to minimize any further damage. Any battery current that may be flowing aids the electrolysis effect which can damage components. This may be occurring due to the corrosion spanning components etc

There is always power present at certain points on the systemboard even when the phone is switched off. The phone's Power button is not a power isolating button.That is why it is advisable (mandatory) to always disconnect the battery, to prevent any electrical damage when working on a systemboard unless you are actually testing for a problem.

Nearly the first rule taught to me over 50 years ago when first learning about repairing electronics . Power - off first - on last

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Thanks, I'm going to try clean it beforehand now. However I still can't get the bottom cover off (the black piece covering the speaker/USB-C and audio in the picture) - Is it safe to put isopropyl alcohol on it to try and dissolve the stuff holding it down?

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Sorry for all the questions, I just have one more. I managed to get the motherboard out - Can I soak the entire motherboard in 99% IPA and does anything need to be removed/disconnected prior to doing so?

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@foodsalad

That picture is corrosion sir.

you can, but you need to scrub off the infected areas. Just leaving it in a pool of 99% doesn't removed corrosion on connectors unless you brush it off or have that board cleaner that vibrates (i forgot what it's called).

Just use a soft tooth brush, add some 99% on there, brush gentle, and you can apple a little hot air to dry off the alcohol. If the infected area is a cable line connector, do not apply hot air as you may damage the cable line (it's not super heat resistant). Just let it dry up and wipe excess alcohol with a towel.

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