Water + Home Computer =

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by SlamifiedBuddafied, Oct 13, 2015.

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  1. This is an issue I seem to have resolved, though I thought I'd share this and get some opinions from others who are fairly knowledgeable when it comes to personal computers hardware.

    So earlier this day Murphy's Law kicked in due to a carelessly placed bottle of water with no lid tipping and nearly falling onto my desktops tower, hardly spilling more than an 1/8 cup of water, but enough to incite panic. I immediately hit the power switch on my psu and promptly unplugged it to ensure no electrical charge was reaching any of the hardware. As for the water on, it splashed down through the top two exhaust fans, spraying droplets all over the motherboard, luckily the large heat sink attached to my cpu caught quite a bit of the water and kept it away from the cpu, leaving only the partially shielded gpu, an EVGA GTX 960.

    I went ahead and pulled every single component, noticing enough water was in the gpu to leak out of it. I went ahead and used a hair dryer with only the air setting on with no heat to get excess water off the hardware and left everything to sit and dry for about nine or so hours. After a quick look over everything I reassembled my rig and flipped the power back on. Everything seemed to be working fine for a moment. Then I began noticing some wonky stuff happening.

    Firstly, the hdmi television I have hooked up wasn't being detected what so ever. On top of that, my sound wasn't responding, 'nor was the xbox 360 controller which was hooked up. Well, first things first, re-install the drivers for said equipment. The sound and controller were no issue, but nvidia decided it didn't want to leave. So this involved having to delete everything involving nvidia. Not a big issue, though it had me worried I may have shorted something. Though I didn't smell any burning plastic or metal, that isn't always the case of a hardware malfunction and my experience with spilling liquids on a computer was limited to "oh shit, first time."

    Luckily, a clean install did the trick and I'm not seeing anymore problems after a wee bit of work.

    So my questions here are:

    How much water can modern home computers take in terms of water on live hardware?
    That and could problems arise later than I'm not experiencing now?
  2. If you want to see your computer die a horrible, painful death, pour any liquid on it and see what happens. The words "don't tempt fate" come to mind, with any amount of liquid. Seriously, this is like asking "just how far can my parakeet chew through the power line before killing itself?" Don't even tempt it. Just always assume the worst with any amount of liquid.

    If a fresh reinstall solved all your problems, then no. You're good. Water damage is quite noticeable on hardware in that it's a yes/no kind of question: Reinstalling software does not fix hardware damage, and hardware damage tends to be permanent unless you've got the time, knowledge, and parts available to try and solder broken shit. I custom-fixed my wireless trackball via soldering new mouse button switches on. Cost 3 dollars instead of 45 for a new mouse, but I digress, even then, a lot of hardware damage tends to just be straight up fatal and kills it. Any damage to a circuit board means it's totally done.
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  3. @Brovo I've ran a cpu and gpu benchmark, everything checked out on that end in all angles. No irregular temperatures, voltages or fan speeds. At the moment, I'm running MGS-V on it's highest settings at 1080 and am experiencing no changes there. So it would seem that nothing is wrong.

    But why is it that I had the re-install those drivers? Did the water somehow effect something somewhere? Or could it just have been the sudden shut off to the psu which corrupted the files somehow? And if corrupted files is a factor here, I can only wonder what else may have an issue that I've simply not encountered yet.
  4. Could simply be that when you took it all apart and put it back together, you put some things in different slots. That sometimes screws up Windows. As for why? Because it's Windows. Since when has Windows ever made sense?
  5. That's not how you do a liquid cooling system, Slamified.
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  6. ^ That's why I don't even want to tempt a Liquid Cooling System in my PC.

    If it were to ever get damaged, that could mean an internal spill, in which case my entire computer is gone.

    Though as a rule of thumb I keep my Computer covered.
    As in with something else on top of the Case.

    In my current case the Computer is sitting under my Desk.
    So the only way water will reach it is if I spill it at the desk and then the puddle begins to crawl it's way towards the computer.

    There's no risk of a direct spilling.
  7. All depends on how well the computer is built, how long it has been exposed to water, and if it was plugged in/turned on while being exposed to water.

    Taking it apart and putting pieces of hardware into rice can draw out a lot of the moisture.

    People think that using a hot blow dryer works, but it actually creates a bit of moisture so its not all that effective.
  8. Er... If your internal liquid cooling system is ever damaged to such a degree that it spills liquid into your PC, that generally means that the rest of the PC bought the farm too regardless of whether the cooling system was there or not. :ferret:
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  9. If it was just water, you will probably be ok as long as you've dried it properly. In general, what damages hardware are shorts, and electricity going where it shouldn't be, burning out transistors in chips or damaging the PCB. Water in general is pretty non-conductive, so as long as it wasn't mountain dew or really salty water, there's no problem there.

    That being said, there's no telling what sort of small damage you may have caused, which can manifest itself over time with aging of your components. Watch for graphical errors and blue screens.
  10. Well, I generally leave my computer on for twenty-four hours a day. Though it falls into sleep and hibernate modes after one hour and two hours. I've done every available system check, stress test and drive check possible. So for the time being, everything appears to be in the clear. I just panicked at the prospect of losing a thousand dollar machine to such a stupid accident.

    As for rice, I've never heard of using rice to dry out electronics. I'll keep that in mind. As for the blow dryer, I did use that, but only on the air setting with no heat. In the end, I think I was lucky due to circumstance and quick thinking to just shut everything off immediately. Because in the end, I'll admit that I spend quite a bit of time on my computer and aside from my home, car and insurance, it's one of my largest investments.
  11. You may or may not have reduced the long term stability of your computer. Since there's no upfront damage, any remaining small damage will be exacerbated by age, thermal, and/or electrical stress. As long as nothing's broken now, you can probably put it out of your mind.
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  12. Well, I took my PC to a friends dad who has spent a lifetime working with computers. He looked everything over and did quite a bit of poking around, said everything appears to be fine. But yes @unanun he said basically the same thing as well. Only time will tell. In this case, it just needs to live for at least another two years. Luckily, I still have the plan for my motherboard, gpu and cpu's repair plan which covers water damage. Still costs money, but nowhere near as much as a new product.
  13. Honestly if most of the major functions are still intact I wouldn't expect too much trouble down the line. Not to jinx you, but I think whatever damage done is as bad as its going to get, and if its not bad enough to kill your pc now then I'd think your fine. As a precaution however I would install some kind of program that can monitor your computers temperatures. One thing you could possibly catch early is a messed up fan or some other issue that could cause heat problems. Even that may be unnecessary though.
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