Did you end up dunking your precious smartphone into the water and losing your mind over liquid damage indicator? Here’s our official guide on how to detect and verify the Samsung liquid damage indicator and ways you can prevent or reduce the impact of water damage after the incident.

Liquid damage protection has been a hot topic for years in the smartphone world, and all of this was put to a stop with the introduction of water-resistant smartphones. Today, every major Android device manufacturer, including the mighty iPhone comes with water resistant features to some capacity, but the risks of water damage are never diminished.

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A lot of problems with your device may come from water damage and that’s why you need to know how to check your phone for water damage. In order to check for water damage, you have to remove the case from your device and pull off the battery. However, since most Android devices today come with battery sealed within the rear panel, this option may not be for everyone.

First aid to preventing/limiting liquid damage

Unlike most hardware issues with mobile devices that present itself right away, the extent and impact of water damage are not always immediately apparent. Users have reported that liquid damage starts to affect devices hours after it came in contact with water or any other fluid.

This makes it necessary for you to do something about your liquid-drenched mobile phone right away to avoid and limit the effects of water damage. Here are some of the preliminary steps you can take when dealing with a device that has recently come in contact with fluids.

samsung j5 water damage indicator

  • Switch off the device right away and do not turn it on while still being wet. The liquid could well reach the circuit board and since liquids are bad conductors of electricity, it could destroy your device.
  • If you have a mobile device like the Samsung Galaxy S5 that comes with a removable battery, pull the battery out and leave the device on a dry towel. On a device with fixed battery panels, you can eject the SIM card and MicroSD slot.
  • Got a mobile case installed for protection? Take it off right away and set it aside avoid any residual liquid getting collected in the corners of the case.
  • Avoid taking apart the device even if you’re experienced with the tools. Taking apart the device while being wet would make it easier for the moisture to reach parts of the battery and the circuit board.
  • Avoid blowing into the phone’s speakers, microphone, and the charging port as it could do more harm than good. The water droplets could easily reach the exposed connectors and cause it to either oxidize or destroy the circuit together.

How to save your water damaged phone

With the basic do’s and don’ts discussed to when it comes to liquid damage indicator protection, there’s more you can do to save your beloved device. Admittedly, entire enclosed construction of most modern Android devices does make it harder to prevent liquid damage.

However, even non-IP certified devices come with some water resistance to an extent, and the chances that your phone might just be fine are higher when you act on the following steps.

1. Towel up your device

Right after you take your device out of the water, avoid shaking it vigorously and simply place it down on a dry towel or dry tissues on a slightly tilted angle. Most of the liquid will rush off by itself, and the residual water will be collected into the dry towel, so don’t try to force any of it out.

liquid damage indicator

2. Vacuum out the moisture

Instead of blowing on your phone and pushing the harmful liquid back into the casing, take it to a vacuum. Use the tiny nozzle attachment that most vacuum cleaners come with and suck up everything you can from the tiny nooks and crannies. For sealed devices, make sure you place the vacuum nozzle on the MicroSD and SIM slot to get any of the remaining moisture out.

3. Ziplock and rice to the rescue

Possibly one of the most popular tricks to Samsung liquid damage indicator protection and for all others devices. Get hold of a medium size zip lock bag, fill it up with a bag of uncooked rice and place your water-drenched phone right in the middle of it.

water damage indicator galaxy s5

You can also get yourself one of the quick dry pouches from one of your local mobile stores and avoid the messy rice business. The rice, as well as the gel in the dry pouch, should help soak up any remaining moisture from the phone when left aside for a day or two.

4. Be patient

It might be tempting to open up the bag of rice and switch on your mobile phone in just a couple of hours, but that mistake could very well cost you the device. Like all good things in life, you need to be patient to make sure that the hazardous threat of water damage has passed over.

After waiting for a few days and turning on your device to find it not working, you can try putting it on a charge and see if it works. Even with a survivor of the water damage accident, you need to monitor the device for a few days to see if the display, battery life, or the hardware elements of the device have been affected.

How to check for water damage using the Liquid Damage Indicator (LDI)

If you’ve been a mobile user long enough, you’ve probably looked at your device battery and the back panel and noticed a bunch of stickers. These tiny white stickers come in circular and rectangular shape, and not only cover some of the screws on the back panel, but are also present on devices with a non-removable casing.

These stickers are fitted by the manufacturers and are called LDI, which stands for Liquid Damage Indicator. The LDI is a small indicator located inside the battery and also on the battery itself. This tool is very useful if you want to check your device for water damage.

Usually, water damage causes your device to overheat, or prevents the battery from charging. Whether you’re experiencing sound issues on your Android devices, microphone problems on your phone, or battery issues, these could all be tell-tale signs that your phone has been water damaged.

First of all, in order to know that your battery isn’t affected by water damage, the LDI has to be solid white or white with small X’s colored in pink or purple on it. Here is an example of a non-affected Samsung liquid damage indicator:

samsung galaxy j5 water damage

If your device was exposed to moisture or water, the LDI will turn solid pink, red or purple. Here is an example of a water damaged device:

samsung j5 water damage

Depending on your device model and battery size, the Samsung liquid damage indicator may not always be available right on the battery. In some case with devices that have an accessible back panel, you can find the LDI stickers on side screws and sometimes even near the charging port as well.

For instance, on most Galaxy devices, the Samsung liquid damage indicator can be found by looking at the bottom foot of the battery. Moreover, the LDI sticker on non-accessible panel mobile phones is located inside the SIM slot as seen in the image down below:

water damage indicator galaxy s5

In the case that you discover a positive LDI, meaning that your device was affected by water, you will have to take your device to get it repaired. These type of repairs are not covered by Samsung’s Limited Warranty despite the fact that most flagship devices from the company in modern times have been IP rated for water resistance.

If you do end up with water damage, you will need to pay a fair sum to have the water damaged to repair, regardless of your warranty. However, several manufacturers into Samsung offer damage protective services that cover water damage as well.

How can I prevent liquid damage in the future?

Let’s admit it, the easiest way to not water damage your phone as well, not dipping it and sliding it into the water. Since life isn’t that simple and most of us don’t like to liquid damage our devices on purpose, prevention is the cure that will work 100%.

Even for devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus that comes with IP68 water-resistance rating, a pool can be too deep. This is why you can find cases and gadgets that are exclusively designed to keep your mobile device safe when around the pool or during your day at the beach.

A quick DIY waterproof case

If you don’t have a pool in your backyard or a beach nearby, you rarely are going to need a waterproof phone case to protect your device. However, in case you do head out to the coast or encounter heavy rains on your walk home, a quick DIY waterproof case can be the difference between a working phone and a dead one.

DIY waterproof case

You don’t need to spend hours working on a waterproof solution to your phone protection since something as simple as a zip lock bag will do the trick as well. There’s always an option to vacuum seal it in plastic with the one you have around the house, drop it into a slim vacuum packed jar, or just drop it into latex and get some protection right away.

Just for kicks and giggles, check out the video below to see how well these DIY options would work in protecting your phone (you’d be surprised!)

Get yourself a waterproof case

Especially for the beach crabs among you, a better investment than buying a brand new phone after every visit to the waters is getting a waterproof case for your device. Since the capacitive display of devices does not work under water, the only thing you can do with your phone under water is taken pictures.

Unless you’re an iPhone user who has all the major accessories manufacturers running in circles around it, finding a compatible waterproof case can be pretty hard. This is why universal waterproof cases are the hottest thing right now, as they allow you to protect your device from liquid damage regardless of the make, model, and size.

Get yourself a waterproof case

Simply tuck in your phone, make sure that the upper seal is placed and dive into the local pool or surf your way through the coast without having to worry about the Samsung liquid damage indicator turning red or pink. Moreover, you can also get the floatable version of these waterproof cases to make sure you don’t lose your phone out on the tide.

Have you ever been haunted by the problem of liquid damage and have the liquid damage indicator turn the ominous red color? Did you have water damage problems on your phone and were able to fix all the symptoms with our guide? Tell us all about ’em on our forum and help others like you find better solutions to everyday Android problems.

And as always, we end with an invite: don't be a stranger and join our community - be a part of the conversation where we help each other out, discuss the latest and greatest, and make the best of our tech.



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View Comments

  • rick Ostberg

    any tricks to drying out? Battery and phone LDI’s show dark pink x’s. where do I take for repair if necessary? Can I replace battery?

    • Andrei M.

      It’s best if a professional looked at the phone, to make sure nothing more than the battery was damaged.

      Or you could post on our forum (http://forum.updato.com/) and have the community take a look!

  • ajay

    hi all

    my phone fell inside a bucket full of water, my galaxy grand battery is showing black rectangle instead of white or red what to do?

  • help please

    same here, my galaxy note 2 battery is showing black rectangle instead of white or red what to do?

  • Liz

    The second photo is NOT a tripped water sensor. The old sensors are solid white and turned pink to red when exposed to water. It was easy to fake by replacing a pink sticker with a white one, or even painting with white paint. The new stickers show the x marks as shown above. The x marks “bleed” to show water exposure. They are in several places inside your phone. It is harder to fake and find all the stickers since adding the x marks.

  • charles santiago

    Where can I get my galaxy mega fixed at please?

    • Henry Carter

      Fix your Galaxy Mega at an Authorized Samsung Repair Centre such as The TechKnow Space (has Toronto and Mississauga Ontario locations). The repair all phones in 1 hour.

  • Anne Barrowcliffe

    i purchased a s3 on ebay said it would not charge but at time i only needed the phone for housing as i had tried to replace my screen, anyway i now found a use for the motherboard it all works fine except the torch on back won,t stay off and i can see some evidence of water damage following your info on it. Is there any way off repairing/ disableing it myself

  • P Madhusoodanan

    I am using a Samsung Smart Phone ACE 2 model number GT-18160 build no J2054K 18160XXMC8. This phone was bought by my son from London about 3 years ago, but I started using it for last one year. For the last 3 months or so, most of the time when the phone is on, a small window (Network error. Check your network and try agai n) is appearing on the screen and there after I am unable to operate the phone. I am using BSNL network. Recently I changed the SIM card. This is happening even in front of the mobile tower. Ur local service shop at Kannur (Kerala – India) is not attending this phone since it was bought from UK. I would be grateful if u can provide some remedy so that I can use your product without any problem. Or atleast advise ur Service Stn at Kannur to attend my phone Thank u.

    P Madhusoodanan, Sagarika, Opp P&T Qtrs, Taliparamba 670141, Kannur, Kerala (India)

  • michael craanen`

    thats not an accurate picture. the one that you said is marked as liquid damaged is not. that is what they look like out of the bag when we recieve them. I work for a phone store. when they get wet, the x’s run to make it look solid pink.

  • Kimberly

    My Samsung Galaxy S5 just got water damaged yesterday, and my stickers look like the one in the 2nd picture. Lots of little red x’s. But now it’s working fine. Nothing was damaged terribly, it just wouldn’t charge for a bit. So I stuck my phone in some rice for 4 hrs, and now it’s charging fine.

  • janelle

    Mine is black what does it mean

  • citichik

    The picture you show of a damaged LDI shows white with pink x’s but you mention that a non-damaged LDI will be either solid white o white with pink x’s, which one is true?

    I don’t recall my device ever getting wet, but it is white with little pink x’s. Is it damaged or not?

  • Jamie

    Please if anyone knows what it means to have the indicator on both my phone and my battery go black please email

  • Linda

    My phone has never got wet but my phone plus my battery has pink x’s. why?

  • MTHALES

    In first cause, in this cases you need to take off the battery, do not charger never, and dry the device at the sun or with fun
    Step one

    1Put on rice
    2SD memory card clean with a brush tooth surrdentely with toothpaste

  • Nicola Plunkett

    Hi, my friend has a Samsung Galaxy edge that has recently stopped working. He’s only had the phone 6 months so sent it back to be repaired. They have told him that his phone cannot be repaired because it is water damaged but his phone has not been dropped into water or been anywhere near a wet surface. Does anyone know what can cause this to happen if the phone has not been dropped in water? And what can be done about it? Thank you in advance. Xx

    • Toady

      He probably peed on it but was too embarrassed to tell you.

  • CHRISTINE ANDERS

    My A3 camera failed, but had a connection problem from day one – I would be talking and the person I was calling said that there would be periods of no sound. I reported this to vodaphone who checked the signal and said that it was fine. It could be a faulty handset, I was unable to get to a shop as I had just had an op and was housebound. Three months later when I was back mobile the camera failed. I returned it to a vodaphone shop who sent it for repair. The prognosis was Water Damage. The phone has never been near a sprinkle of water and it is in a case, dont understand how water would access the phone. Please help as I am now battling to get my phone replaced

  • CHRISTINE ANDERS

    My A3 camera failed, but had a connection problem from day one – I would be talking and the person I was calling said that there would be periods of no sound. I reported this to vodaphone who checked the signal and said that it was fine. It could be a faulty handset, I was unable to get to a shop as I had just had an op and was housebound. Three months later when I was back mobile the camera failed. I returned it to a vodaphone shop who sent it for repair. The prognosis was Water Damage. The phone has never been near a sprinkle of water and it is in a case, dont understand how water would access the phone. Please help as I am now battling to get my phone replaced

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool