Spilled Water on PC, what to do next?

Oct 21, 2018
14
0
10
0
Before I go any further, I would like to point out that I am very much lacking in hardware knowledge; my PC was built for me whilst I was at school by a family friend, and have never had to replace any parts so have VERY limited knowledge on what's inside my PC, where it all is, and what it all does (sorry:ange:).

So, this morning I had a pint glass of water sitting on my desk and I accidentally knocked it over using my headphones cable and it spilled about 90% of the water into the desk, which spilled off the side onto my PC. Although a lot of the water remained on the desk, and was absorbed by my mouse mat, there was still a substantial amount that fell onto the top and back of my PC case, where there are intake holes on the top of the case.

The PC wasn't on at the time luckily, but I almost immediately unplugged the power cable and everything else plugged in the back (this back panel is where the majority of the water ended up). I took the side panel off the PC and put it on its side (back panel face down) in attempts to physically drip out the majority of the water. I had a quick inspection inside the pc and luckily there wasn't much water in there, most of it that did creep in was on the side of the heatsink (think that's what it's called, the big block of metal plates) and on top of the plastic PSU casing.

I have left it open with a fan and fan heater aimed at it for the majority of the day so it has had a constant stream of fast warm air. To the touch, it seems as though most of the moisture has gone, but think I will leave it drying for another day or too.

My main questions that I need help with:

1. How long should I leave it to dry out for, considering the fan & heater set-up speeding up the drying.
2. Do I need to tilt the PC at all to make sure certain components are holding any water
3. Do I need to test the PSU incase there is water damage, as have heard this could fry everything else. (And how do I test it)
4. Anything else I need to inspect or make sure I do going forward.

I know this was a pretty long post but am in a bit of a panic as I work from that PC, so won't be able to for a while if it's dead.

Thanks,
Sammy :)
 

asoroka

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2009
1,201
0
19,660
228
As it was off at the time, you may be lucky.

If your work stored on the HDD is important, then I would remove the HDD put it into an external case and then back it up (from another pc).
The stuff on your HDD is the only thing tha can't be replaced.

After a couple of days of drying you can try the computer.
 

asoroka

Distinguished
Apr 19, 2009
1,201
0
19,660
228
As it was off at the time, you may be lucky.

If your work stored on the HDD is important, then I would remove the HDD put it into an external case and then back it up (from another pc).
The stuff on your HDD is the only thing tha can't be replaced.

After a couple of days of drying you can try the computer.
 

cpmackenzi

Reputable
Jul 11, 2014
163
0
4,710
12
I've done the same thing in the last year, but it was more than 10% of a pint glass, and PC was on, and I have an open top case too. I shut down right away and used a box fan to dry out everything. Also got some compressed air and really blew out my GPU, which took the brunt of it. After 2 days of air drying I put things back in, and had no problems.
 
I'd agree with 48 hours should be enough time.
Obviously, take a VISUAL inspection and check for water and also if possible get some paper towel and be careful with touching things to check if there is water.
If there is none, and you are sure there isn't in the PSU sloshing around, you should be good to go.

The PSU is more the concern for me, because it is a box and water can pool in it, which you cannot see, so would need you to turn it upside down or something to make sure water doesn't drain out all over the place.
You should be able to just remove the screws and tip it out without disconnecting things, if you don't know how to plug them back in then don't unplug them, but you get where I am going.
 
sammyrudkinchannel, the best way to test really is use your components in another unit and see the results or take it to be looked at by a professional. As it has many electrical components you never know what could have happened. Even if it has dried already.

Also, as you prone to liquid mishaps, it is a good idea to have a good back up plan in place.

Basically you want:

3 copies of any data you don't want to lose.
2 different mediums it's stored on (so 2 different drives in your computer, for example).
1 copy kept offsite, to prevent against disaster.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY