Have you ever run into this problem? You go to trade in for a new cell phone and the carrier rep tells you your current cell phone is water damaged. You know you haven't dropped it in the toilet, so what gives?

Most cell phones, iPods and other electric gadgets are equipped with a water damage sensor or "Liquid Contact Indicator" to help identify whether the device has endured any exposure to liquids, which is often the cause of a broken or dead phone. Manufacturers and carriers will use the indicator to decide if a gadget is covered under warranty because a liquid-damaged phone is not cosidered a factory defect, but rather a user-caused accident, thus voiding the warranty.

When your gadget comes into contact with water or other liquids, the sensor turns from white to red (or pink.) In Apple products, the "LCI" is located inside the headphone jack and in the USB port. In other cell phones, it is located under the battery, in the data port or other areas inside of the phone. Electronic gadgets can also have more than one sensor placed in a single item. In most cases, the phone needs to be submerged in water in order for the sensor to change color, however, over the years, consumers have claimed that rain, extreme moisture (such as a steamy bathroom) or even sweat have affected the LCI.

I can think of countless times I've jumped out of the shower with dripping wet hair to answer a call. Oops.

If you're perpeturally taking your phone into the bathroom, live in a very rainy place or go to the beach a lot, there are water-proof phones and cases available on the market. The moral of the story is you don't have to dunk your phone to set off the LCI, so be conscious of how you use it and properly protect it--cases, umbrellas and even a plastic bag can help. 

When we test the products we receive here at BuyMyTronics, one of our steps is to check for water-damage. This is a standard procedure for every item and we consider the gadget water damaged if the indictor is red or pink. Check for water damage before selling your cell phone to us, and you will know what condition your phone is in to get as accurate a quote as possible. 

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