I spilled water on my router – what to do now?

Spilling water on your electronic devices is always a very unfortunate event. However, if you act very quickly you have a chance to save the device. When I say quickly I mean right away.

I am going to talk about routers here, but the same goes for modems and switches.

After spilling water on your router

1. React very quickly

Especially if the router was plugged in and working when the incident happened.

2. Do not turn the router on

Turning on the device or waiting to check if it is working is the worst thing you can do. So if it is on, don’t wait – Turn it OFF if there is a turn off button.

3. Unplug the router from the electricity – right away

And I can not stress this enough – be very, very careful. Do not touch the electricity socket, especially if there is any liquid spilled on or close to it. Unplug the adapter cable from the router itself, not from the socket.

Most of the routers do not have a battery. However, there are some models that come with a built-in battery. If your router has a battery you probably know about it – take it out.

4. Dry out the router

If it was a big spill – find out a way to take the water out. Place the router on some of it sides where there is a hole or an opening. Or shake it a bit if you need to – don’t go all crazy, do it gently!

The best way to dry out any electronic device is to put it next to a fan. If you don’t have a fan, put it at a dry place with a good air flow – outside or on a balcony, etc.

5. Wait for it

Wait at least 12 hours for the router to dry out completely. During this time do not plug it in or turn it on in any case.

Important note: 12 hours is the minimum for routers. For more complex electronic devices such as computers, notebooks, smart phones – wait at least 24 hours!

Spilling wine, coke, soda, coffee juice on your router

Clean water usually doesn’t damage the router directly. If you turn it off and unplug it on time, drying it out gives you a good chance of saving the device.

However, the situation with other liquids is a bit different. Wine, coke, salt water – because of their chemical structure they actually ruin the electrical components and the circuits within the router. Juice, coffee, cocoa are sweet and sticky which is also a problem. This is why most devices do not survive such spillings.

What to do then?

Read the steps above – turn off, be careful, unplug, pour the liquid out.

After you have unplugged all of the cables, you should try to open you device. Of course, that might not be possible for all models or you might not have a screwdriver… But if you can figure it out – do it.

Then use a clean, cotton cloth to absorb any leftovers from the liquid. Таке а Q-tip or a cotton swab, soak it with an alcohol-based cleaning liquid and clean the circuit.

Then again – let it dry for some hours. Assemble the device and hope it works.


Idea No 1 Move your router away from your desk or dining table.

If you have a wired connection (your computer is directly connected to the router/modem/switch with a cable) you might need to get a longer cable. They are pretty cheap, don’t worry.

Idea No 2 DIY It might sound funny, but put your router in a shoe box or any other carton box. Make small holes for the cables to go in and out.  Also, pinch some holes on the sides of the box so some air can flow in and cool down the device.

If you spill any liquid on the box, quickly take the device out of it and dry it out if needed. Then change the box. Still, this is a much better scenario than flooding the router/modem/switch directly.

  1. Gilbert
    March 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm



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