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Laptop repair after liquid damage is one of the top services provided by LaptopFix. It only takes a small amount of liquid to cause damage when it gets through the keyboard or a gap in the casing and reaches the surface of the motherboard. The motherboard laminate is dotted with through-holes, exposed fields, and trace segments that are susceptible to corrosion. The components on the motherboard have moisture-sensitive leads that can corrode when in contact with liquid. Liquid under a BGA component is particularly hard to see and remove, making corrosion difficult to eliminate and invisible from the outside.


Spilled liquid on a laptop – What to do?

If you spill liquid on your laptop, remember that time is your biggest enemy, and any attempts to turn on the device may cause irreversible damage. Quickly turn off the laptop, disconnect the power adapter, and if possible, remove the battery. Then, wipe off the remaining liquid with a paper towel. Remember, do not attempt to turn the laptop back on. Contact or take the device to a professional computer service as soon as possible to verify the damage. We advise against drying the laptop on a radiator or placing it in rice. The effectiveness of such drying is negligible. Without disassembling the laptop, cleaning, and drying, moisture inside can persist for many days, promoting corrosion.


Damage caused by liquid intrusion

Several factors influence the extent of damage caused by liquid intrusion, including:

  • Amount of liquid
  • Type of liquid (neutral, sweet, acidic, salty)
  • Location of the spill
  • Time from the spill to disconnecting the power and removing the battery
  • Attempts to turn on the wet laptop
  • Exposure time of the motherboard to the liquid

Salty and acidic liquids promote electrochemical corrosion, acting as electrolytes. The longer the motherboard is powered, the more damage occurs. Sweet liquids can also carbonize and cause short circuits. Even pure water is not completely neutral – it contains natural mineral salts and can absorb substances from and on the casing (dust, sweat), which gives it electrolytic properties.


Repairing a water-damaged laptop

It may seem that waiting for the laptop to dry is enough and everything will return to normal. Unfortunately, this is rarely true. If the initial signs of corrosion are not removed, they will cause serious damage over time. It is recommended to clean the motherboard in an ultrasonic cleaner, followed by thorough drying and visual inspection of the spill areas. If after cleaning all stains, deposits, and traces of the liquid disappear, the traces and leads of the components remain intact, and the board powers on – the laptop repair after liquid damage is complete, and the notebook can be reassembled.

If the power adapter is not disconnected in time, the battery is not removed, and there is a delay in taking the device for repair, the damage may be much more severe, requiring not only cleaning but also motherboard repair. Damaged, corroded traces need to be rebuilt. Integrated circuits with corroded leads need to be replaced. This is a time-consuming process, involving meticulous work under a microscope, measurements, and precise soldering. Sometimes, short circuits caused by the liquid lead to damage to the motherboard’s power circuit, affecting both repair time and cost. Therefore, in the event of liquid damage, we always recommend disconnecting the power adapter and battery as soon as possible and taking the device to a service center.

In addition to the motherboard, other components such as the keyboard, LCD screen, connection cables, connectors, hard drive, and RAM modules may also suffer from liquid damage. These components also need to be thoroughly inspected and, if necessary, cleaned, repaired, or replaced.

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