Instructables

My camera works only when hot, why?

Introduction; I live at Thailand, and Thais have holiday named Songkran where other people splash water on each other, so i took my camera out to shot some photos of the festival, and someone accidentally splashed water over me and my camera! So i took the battery out immediately and when arrived home disassembled my cam, it was full of water! So i dried some of the water with toilet paper and used a hairdryer on first lvl heat to dry it more out, after that placed the camera in the container with silica gel for 10 days!
After 10-12 days i assembled camera and it worked, i was very happy. 

Problem: Now after like 6 months my camera stopped working, and i found out that when i leave it near heat source (my laptop hot spot on top of the processor, sunny place, or even on very hot day) it starts to work again. First the display acting weird and messy, than it becomes green, and i leave it for 3-4 min like that. so it heats a little bit more.and after that camera works normally! but if i leave it to cool down it stops again!

My Guess: I think i made a big mistake using hairdryer at all, and while in that process some of the connections could widened and made cold contact! I assume problem is somewhere on the main or power board since when i put the battery inside camera power control light doesn't respond at all.

Question: Anyone can help me with some tip where the problem could be, or the possible solution? The Nikon shop does not want to repair water damaged camera and even if so, it is very expensive that i could buy new camera!

Feel free to aks anyadditional questions!
Thank you

Picture of My camera works only when hot, why?
nikon-d3100-back.jpg
framistan1 year ago
You did the BEST thing by removing the battery immediately when it got wet. Then you did another good thing by thouroughly drying it out for a whole week in silica gel. The hair dryer is not as good an idea because they might overheat the board... it is better to place the camera in a warm place like on a windowsill inside the house where the sun shines on it but carefull to not overheat. The only thing you neglected to do was to WASH OFF THE WATER. Water contains impurities that can conduct electricity... such as pool chemicals or minerals etc. Because the camera was already wet, it would not hurt it to RINCE it off with 99% pure alcohol, or with a gallon of DISTILLED water. Then when the camera dries out, it will not have any residue of chemicals or minerals on it. You may want to go through the wetting, rinsing, drying out process one more time. this time rinse it off with pure distilled water first, then with some 99% pure alcohol. I have had success using this method years ago when some cable-tv technicians spilled a soda on his test tv set. I fixed 2 or 3 tv's that got wet from water or drinks spilled on them. If that does not work, then i have no further ideas. Be carefull with the alcohol around flames because it is flamable.
+1

BTW water dissolves in alcohol
and alcohol dissolves in either.
This sequence of chemical solvents almost always worked on
fouled PCBs,
speedfreakz (author)  iceng1 year ago
I found 2 different alcohols, one is alcohol from my GFs faculty that they're using to put plants in, and i tried using it one some old broken PC mainboard just to see the effect, and i think it is not good, since it takes a lot of time to evaporate 1 hour or more (i saw in videos other people using alcohol that evaporates almost immediately) Also i found hat the correct one is Ethyl-alcohol, and i bought one bottle of 70% of it in pharmacy but when i tried it on sample board effect was even worser. SO right now i am havign problems finding 90%-100% ethyl-alcohol since that is the correct one, and seems nobody is selling it. Anyone knows where to look for it?

I bought some sistilled water and measured PH of it and it is 7, which is good. And i think i can use it to wash board with that, now only to buy alcohol!
speedfreakz (author)  framistan1 year ago
Thank you very much for your answer, i was considering this method while ago but i was never sure about the details of the process. Can you be more specific about distilled water, how long do i need to keep camera in it and do i need to use some soft toothbrush to clean it or just submerge it in the water! I need to take capacitor/flash/battery off the camera right? Also about the alcohol, my girlfriend is a biologist and they use 100% alcohol for their plants, are you sure that alcohol is ok and can you explain the procedure of using it on my camera? Feel free to add any tips and ideas! thank you!
Nobody is an expert on this subject. but I have had success using this method on TELEVISIONS !!! The old tv's had high-voltage sections and TUNER sections that are highly sensitive to moisture. One TV i fixed had a soda spilled in it. I took it outside... took the back off of it... and used a garden hose to rinse it out FIRST !!! then the distilled water and then the alcohol dumped on it. Then gave it several days sitting in the sun to dry out. The TV worked perfect and the CATVtechnician was surprised that I fixed it. He thought he was going to get a BRAND NEW test TV! So, if this procedure worked on an old TV then it should be ok for a camera. However, nothing is certain. I can't guarantee it will not hurt plastics or gaskets but i don't see how it would hurt anything. The DISTILLED water rinses all the residue off the camera... then the alcohol rinse washes the water off. The alcohol evaporates quicker than the water, so it should work better than simply rinsing with water. There is no set time to rinse or soak it... just rinse and soak or whatever untill you feel it did a good job... then do the alcohol rinse. The camera may be toast, but the rinse I describe gives you a little hope you might fix it. BE SURE to let the camera sit in a warm spot for several days or a week so any residue of liquids has a chance to evaporate. If that doesn't do it, the camera is toast.
speedfreakz (author)  framistan1 year ago
I am having problems finding deionized water here at Thailand, i can find distilled one but i am not sure how pure it is! Also after the procedure it is not the problem about drying it since i have Dry box with silica gel (http://image.made-in-china.com/2f0j00gMbtUTujOciB/Plastic-Dry-Box-Dry-Cabinet.jpg), that will do the job! I am just concerned about the water purity!
speedfreakz (author)  speedfreakz1 year ago
also are you sure that alcohol will not damage the camera sensor or plastics??
rickharris1 year ago
I would put it in a warm dry place without the le se on for at least a week and keep my fingers crossed
speedfreakz (author)  rickharris1 year ago
I did that long time ago, and it helped at the moment but after some time camera stopped working!