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My Galaxy S4 is not charging after water damage - fixedByVonnie

My Galaxy S4 is not charging after water damage

Samsung Galaxy S4 in a bag of rice

Vonnie dropped his Galaxy S4 in the toilet?

Yes, I’m serious.

Earlier this week I was in an engaging conversation with my little brother.  My brother is so affable and easy to talk to that sometimes I loose track of my environment. We were talking about Mormonism, Islam and Christianity and the merits of each belief system.

It was intellectually bracing and I didn’t want to abbreviate my brother’s stream of thought by requesting that he call me back while I went to pee.

So to my folly, I made the irrevocable decision to carry the phone conversation into the men’s room.

I did my thing but like an idiot I flushed the toilet with the same hand that was holding the phone.

The act of flushing the urinal loosened my grip sending my svelte phone into free fall.

It plunked into the turbid waters of the adjacent urinal and I panicked.

I think I spontaneously yelled “Oh shit!” as I tried to decide if plunging my fist in some else’s piss was worth the phone.

Aghast and chagrined I quickly reached in and was surprised that it was still connected to the call.

Skittish and disoriented I told my brother that I toilet baptized my phone and couldn’t talk.

I’m Stupid, stupid stupid

After vigorously washing my hands, I dried off the phone with any napkins I could find and observed the damage.

What just happened?

I remember reasoning to myself:

This will make an entertaining anecdote at my next cocktail party…

No, just kidding I was actually thinking:

Oh, it wasn’t that bad.  The phone still works? I guess it’s okay.

My specious rationale was tantamount to concluding that it’s okay to jump from the plane without a parachute because I survived the first fall with minor scrapes and bruises.  Heck, jumping without a parachute worked the first time surely it’ll work the next right?

No no no. Bad logic bad logic. Fallacy fallacy fallacy…

I should have:

  • Immediately turned the phone off to prevent the possibility of a short circuit.
  • Yanked the battery and used a cloth or something to soak up the remaining water.
  • Removed the SIM and Memory cards to expose every square centimeter of the phone to the air for drying
  • Ran to the Duane Reade drugs store and purchased a box of Uncle Ben’s rice.

Why is it that I always feel wiser in retrospect?  Why didn’t I think of this when it happened?

I know why.

– because I’m an incorrigible optimist and I often feel that I’m invulnerable.  And guess what?  This spurious sense of invulnerability teemed with my pride led to a major headache later that night.

Later that evening…

Like a true dolt I used my phone for the rest of day.

I remember sitting at my desk and smugly thinking to myself:

My phone is impervious to water!  Everyone out there with water damaged phones should envy me because my phone still works even after being dunked in a urinal!  I don’t need a silly protective case.  Ahh, it feels good to be favored.

Sometime that afternoon,  still reeling in my serendipity, I blithely plugged my phone into the USB port and was immediately greeted with the following error:

The connected charger is incompatible with this phone.  To prevent damage to your phone, charging has been stopped.  To continue charging, use the original charger and cable that were provided with this phone.

Galaxy S4 The connected charger is imcompatible with this phone

Uh oh. What the fu..?

Then I noticed to the battery icon showed an ominous red X where the friendly lightning bolt used to appear.

Shit shit shit

As soon as I got home I told my wife.  After she finished screaming at me she found a bag of rice and buried it in the bag.  It looked like it was being swallowed by quicksand.

You’re IT right? You fix computers? Why did you leave the phone on!?

Yeah, there’s no recovery from this one.  I made a sophomoric, block-headed mistake that was only superseded in lunacy by that I time I drove from Atlanta to New York with zero cash, zero cards and zero sense…

Okay, let me stop confessing because you guys are really questioning my intelligence right now…

The Rice Trick Didn’t work

So I left the phone in the rice bag for about 24 hours; however, even though I could still turn it on the battery was virtually depleted and obstinately refused to charge.

I even completely dismantled the phone to dry it out quicker; however even my best efforts at fixing this were abortive.

Samsung Galaxy S4 with battery and USB charging port removed

I couldn’t focus on anything – at this point my mind was prepossessed with fixing the phone.

I was tired, pissed (no pun intended) but refused to acquiesce.

At my wits end: I made an ardent and honest prayer:

God, I made a major mistake and I can’t stop thinking about it.  I really messed up and now I’m afraid that I’m going to need a new phone.  But I can’t afford that and that’s going to unnerve my wife and I just wish… can you somehow just make my phone work again?

After sitting around for a few empty minutes my thinking suddenly became lucid.

I started to explore scenarios, and now galvanized by prayer, I decided to make a trip to the Verizon store and tell them what happened.

My Verizon Experience

I marched into the Time Square Verizon Store with my mind sent on being honest.

I figured the best thing to do is to just tell the truth and see if something good comes out of that.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by a trio of hip young technicians. Since I arrived at 10:30 in the morning the store was vacant and all attention was on my issue.

“Welcome to Verizon, how can we help you?”

“Hey guys, so … I dropped my phone in the toilet the other day and it has water damage.  I also took it apart and tried the rice trick but that didn’t fix it.  I know I’ve voided the warranty but is there anything you guys can do to help me?  The phone still turns on and works fine I just can’t charge it”

“Uh, wow okay…  … well maybe  – does it work with a wireless charger?

Flummoxed I squinted and asked:

A what?

“Yeah – here, give me your phone.  Brian, can you get the wireless charger cover for this gentleman?”

Wireless charging back for Galaxy S4

Brian darted out of a view with my phone and quickly returned holding a handful of gadgets.

He adroitly removed the back cover and replaced it with another cover which looked identical to the first one.  Then he plugged in a black charging base and placed my phone on it.

Wireless charger for Galaxy S4

The charging base looked like a miniature scale for weighing things; however, the luminous red glow coming from the bottom of the base was a clue that this was a very cool piece of technology.

Soon he looked up, narrowed his eyes and knowingly said with a smirk: “Yep, it works”.

Surprised and relieved I asked him how much for that wireless charging thingy.

He said it’s $80 for the charging station and the special cell phone cover; however, as long as I returned it within two weeks I wouldn’t have to pay anything.

Life goes on

Today my phone is happily charging on the wireless base but what am I going to do when my two weeks of grace desists?

Wirelessly Charging a Galaxy S4

I checked online and noticed I could buy a USB charging port for my Galaxy S4 on Amazon for a mere $11 bucks.

Given the cost is so low and replacing the USB board on the Galaxy S4 is pretty easy – I’m going for it.

USB charging port and microphone flex cable for Galaxy S4

I’ll let you guys know if this fixes it;  I checked the reviews and some guy said he fixed his water damaged phone by replacing this part so let’s see if it works for me.

The Bottom Line

Dropping your cell phone in a urinal is a bad thing but dropping it in the toilet would have been worse.

I think the shallowness of the bowl prevented the entire phone from going under.  Only the bottom third hit the porcelain which means the upper portion was basically unscathed.

But I’ve learned my lesson.  My phone fiasco vexed my wife and stretched my patience.  It was extremely frustrating because I’m usually very cautious about the way I treat my phone.  In fact, I pride myself on not need a phone case.

Ah! but God has a way of humbling me and this week is the consummate example of Him doing so.

Lesson learned: Don’t talk on the phone while peeing.  It can wait.

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Posted in Hardware, Mobile, Smartphones, Smartphones Tagged with:
  • 2 in 1 leather back door for galaxy s4,also to be a wireless charging case,cost USD3.9 each with many different color and pattern source from gadget2us
    http://blackberry-cn.com/product/red-textile-galaxy-s4-leather-battery-cover/

  • Bud

    I can almost ingest the fervent odors of this bright amber liquid as it splashed over the squeaky
    plastic. What a sight! The Gorilla glass slides so effortlessly against the porcelain
    bowl as it rattled along. Wow Vonnie, What a plight indeed! Thanks to Super
    Wifey for the rice and beans eh? Whew! You had me foaming in fear. BETTER
    LUCK NEXT TIME!

  • Roman

    So, did changing the USB Board work? My little brother semi dropped his phone in a Dog’s water bowl.

    • Hi Roman, yes changing the USB board actually worked. The hardest part about getting this to work is the ultra-tiny, fragile, light ribbon cable. Getting it to slip in the proper socket was a huge pain the ass. It took me a long time ( I think about an hour ) to finally get it back together but it actually worked ( and has been working for me since I posted this article ). If you need help just send me an email or something and I can personally walk you through it.

      • justinit_2winit

        Hey Vonnie, do I need to order a different replacement USB board if I have AT&T version of the S4? If so, do you know where I could find that part?

  • Zack

    I have the same problem, but i had not dropped it into any water at all, it just randomly started doing it

    • Hmm, Zach, do you mean your phone just doesn’t turn on? Assuming your phone isn’t rooted here are my suggestions… I’ll keep it brief with three thoughts:

      – Let’s start with the easy stuff first: Hold these three buttons at the same time to force your phone to reset and reboot: Home Button + Power Button + Volume Up button

      – Swap the charger. I’ve heard of cases where people were using a crappy aftermarket charger; replacing the charger fixed those issues

      – Try booting the Galaxy S4 into Safe Mode (Search my site for that article I published one a few months back) If it works here you probably have an app or two that are pissing off your phone.

      • TuBob Shakur

        You are the man. Booting in Safe Mode has enabled me to recharge my wife’s phone. I’m hoping that’ll buy us enough time until we can figure out what apps are pissing off the phone. Thank you.

  • GodzWill

    OMG! You are a lifesaver! A few days ago, I my S4 fell out of my back pocket and into the toilet. I quickly grabbed it out and with minimal exposure to water, I dried the phone, the case and everything I could reach inside the phone and continued to use it for a few hours like you did. Then I got the same “incompatible” error message as well as the “red x” on the battery indicator. After that, nothing. I also did everything one should not do, like charging it, trying to turn it back on and leaving the battery in and still nothing. At least 7 hours later, I submerged it in rice for two-three days and still nothing.

    In the meantime I’ve been using my father’s iPhone (I hate it). I want my S4 back! So I Googled how to fix my phone. I opened it but there was no corrosion or water damage that I could see. I Googled something about the battery and I found YOU! Thank you so much!

    I bought the wireless charger and charged it a little and voilà! It’s back up and running. I see everything that was there before! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I feel so lost without my Android. I understand how some love the iPhone (and I love my iPad), but some features are not quite what I want or need on the iPhone in comparison to my S4!

    I will check whether the battery will hold a charge but I doubt it, so I’ll replace the battery, invest in a new charging port and happily skip away with my S4!

    YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!

    • GodzWill

      AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!

      Here’s an update… the charging port arrived yesterday and today I installed it and replaced the battery. It was so easy! And I am now skipping away with my S4 in tact! YAY!!!!!

      • truth sayer

        The battery should be fine

        • GodzWill

          Yep everything was fine…except I never got the 4G back. It was either 3G or 1X. And with the traveling I do, I couldn’t risk not having service, so I gave up and upgraded to the S5 and I still love it.

  • Tom Seck

    This is how I dry out electronics and it hasn’t failed me yet. I get a big plastic cup, put the device inside, get a hairdryer and duct tape it to where it’s sealed into the cup. Then I turn it on low and let it run for a few hours, leaving me with a fully functional phone/camera, etc.

    • truth sayer

      There is a sifference between simple electronics and corcuit boards on computers. Once a piece of circuitry is blown due to water damage, it must be replaced.

  • Pingback: Why I ditched my Galaxy S4 for an iPhone - fixedByVonnie()

  • jason

    Ive replaced my usb board twice, it was working for a month and then the same problem occurred , it shows grey battery saying battery temperature too low… what should i do? Would wireless charger fix this problem

  • Kirti verma

    There can be many reason for a phone (iPhone, Android phone, and Windows phone ) to stop charging.

    1. Change the Wall Outlet or USB Port Plugged Into
    2. Check the USB Cable for Damage
    3. Reboot the phone
    4. Phone was damaged and not charge

    For more details kindly visit https://fixingblog.com/fix-phone-won-t-charge/