Spilled water on my framework. No longer works

I spilled some water on my framework. It really, really sucks, but also is a good exercise in reparability.

About an hour after spilling the water (I didn’t have the screwdriver with me so needed to find one, rookie mistake), I opened it and dried it as much as possible (using a soft cloth and a hair dryer).

Now the computer turns on (the power button lights up and I hear the fan) but the screen doesn’t turn on. I tried to connect to an external monitor but it didn’t detect the signal from the framework. After turning the computer on, the fan also starts turning really fast (way faster than when I was using my framework in the past).

How can I figure out what part is at fault or how to fix it?

What colour do the lights on the side change to when it is starting?

One side is yellow/green (the regular color) and one side is red

See this article for interpretation of the boot LEDs code:

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Make also sure that all connectors are well seated - I would recommend reconnecting every plug. Sometimes a connector isn’t pushed enough.

I think it is very important that you disassamble it as far as possible (or as far as you trust yourself and it is easy to disassemble and reassemble) and and let the individual components dry a few days or one week before turning it on again, so that you can be sure there is absolutely no moisture left in the machine.

Disassemble it and get some Isopropyl alcohol or Electronic cleaner and an old toothbrush, and rub the parts on the pcb that were affected or look corroded. Let it dry, and then try turning it on with as little components as possible


My comments based on way too many experiences.

The problem with just drying out electronics that have had water in them is not as much the water - but the minerals in it. Tap water has a lot.

When my mainframe years old got drenched by a pipe breaking, IBM brought in tons of Distilled water to rinse it out first and then dry it out.

Off the shelf “alcohol” is not great either… You need 99% pure - check the label. Many also have lanolin in addition to the water content.

2nd problem is the water causing shorts in the power delivery system. Unfortunately with a laptop or phone it’s hard to pull the power from the battery as soon as the water hits the inside. The shorts can cause the surface mounted resistors, transistors, etc to overload and fail.

Unplug all the connections you can - any can hold water, alcohol or worse wicked in. Clean and dry, let sit in room air and then reconnect everything… I wait at least 2 days myself.

Any device that has had liquid in it and has “recovered” from a clean and drying… I take back apart every 2 weeks to double check it for corrosion and re-seat all connectors.


Here are also some thoughts from iFixit on how to dry electronics:

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FYI that link doesn’t work directly. You have to click on the link to search for the subject and then scroll down to the wiki article about Rice.

But yes, iFixit is a good general resource for such things.

Just remember that the guides are often written by regular folks… Not necessarily experts in the field. Keyword: Guide

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Alright, @Raph how much do you want for it? Since it’s a framework I suspect one or more components will be dead however some of the more physical parts (like the case) will be just fine and will retain some value.

EDIT: Sorry wrong name.

I would suggest you contact Framework and see what they say about it. Replacing the motherboard is an option… Even if it may not be in the Marketplace yet.

there was/is probably water left under BGA chips + water for an hour while the battery was connected has probably corroded something
In your case, I would try to get the motherboard out, and wash out with 99% IPA then try to blow out under the chips with compressed air, if you dont have compressed air

I was thinking myself about a way to put a switch in the bottom of the case to cut the ground wire from the battery (maybe more dont know if there is only more wires for balancing or for power)
that would help in such cases, since you can only damage keyboard and screen with water and the electronis should be save then.
you would have time to open, clean everything out, wait additional time (rly not the moment when you wanna hurry) and it should be fine

I think I will try to implement something like this when my framework arrives and make a post here, also if someone else wanna do it bevore me, feel free, brings us all forward