How to Repair a Digital Camera with Water Damage

A camera on a white background.
  • 48-168 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-50
What You'll Need
Silica gel crystals or rice

Water damage can seem like a serious problem for digital cameras, but it is entirely possible to repair the damage. You don't have to be an expert in digital camera repair — it just takes just a few simple steps to rectify the problem. For this project, you will need to work in a dry, well-ventilated space and follow these steps.

Step 1 - Diagnosing the Problem

Before you fix your digital camera, you need to diagnose the severity of the problem. How much water did you get onto the camera? Was it completely submerged or was it only exposed to a few drops? The more water the camera was exposed to, the more damage is likely to have occurred.

Step 2 - Turn the Camera Off

This is perhaps the most important step. Once you turn the camera on, it can make the problem much worse. Always leave the camera switched off until it has completely dried.

Step 3 - Dry Out the Camera

There are two ways in which you can dry the camera. First, you can place the camera in a well ventilated, dry area. Make sure that you remove or open the camera doors and shutter. That way, air will get into the camera and eliminate the moisture.

Alternatively, you can place the camera in a box filled with rice or silica gel. If the camera didn't get excessively wet, you only need to leave it in overnight. If it was exposed to a lot of water, you should leave it in the box for up to a week. It might be worth leaving the camera for a week regardless of how much water it was exposed to. That way, you will know that you have left it in long enough.

Step 4 - Use Your Hairdryer

If the camera hasn't been exposed to too much water, a hairdryer might be the best solution. It will gently dry the inside of the camera. Do not use the higher setting on the hairdryer. If you do, it could force the water around to other areas of the camera. That will cause further damage that may be irreversible.

Step 5 - Fix Salt Water Problems

If you drop the camera in salt water, the damage will be more extensive. Salt is corrosive. Unless it is quickly cleaned, your camera could end up completely ruined. Take your camera apart as soon as possible and wipe it with clean water. Once you have cleaned the salt water, follow either of the previous steps to dry the camera.

Step 6 - Add New Batteries

When you have dried the camera, you may need to add new batteries if it still isn't working. That will most likely be the last possible solution. If it doesn't work, you will need to either replace the camera or take it to a repair store for further inspection.

By following these steps you can easily repair a digital camera with water damage.