Water spilled into PC

Jan 8, 2019
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I've seen a lot of threads on topics like this but I'm still worried and would like a bit of help regarding my situation. I was using my VR and accidentally knocked over my cup of water, it spilled about 6-8oz inside my computer. I was in shock at first and tried to turn it off with the power button, and when that didn't work I manually unplugged everything and took out everything except the CD player, motherboard and PSU (the wires on the PSU were going throughout the machine so I unplugged it and did what I could). I still had audio when it happened, but my monitors both froze. Most of the water fell through the bottom filter or was still in the bottom of the case, and I've dried everything I could find and left it out overnight with the window open to let it dry out a bit. There were drops of water on the motherboard and GPU, as well as some on my hard drive, but I don't think any got inside the PSU, just on the outside case. The water was definitely blown across the inside by my top (CPU?) fan, because I found water droplets behind my motherboard as well. From what I've seen and heard so far, if it's just water I should let it dry out, gently clean it with some alcohol (99.9%?) and then try to test components individually, but I'm hoping someone can maybe share a similar experience or have the insight and knowledge to tell me what components might work/not work? I'm sorry for being vague, I'm at work and don't know any exact spec's (I originally got the PC from someone else who upgraded to a new one) but I know the GPU is a GTX 970. I can try to find out what type of motherboard, PSU, etc. if that will help, thanks to anyone in advance!
 


Yes, everything points to a motherboard problem. (hopefully only that) Note: getting a good education is way more important. You can always get a great system down the road.
 
bjj511, best thing you can do is like you mentioned. Test one component at a time. Eventually you will find what works and what does not. In all honesty, a short must of happened and finding it on the motherboard or any other component is not easy. Most likely the outcome will not be a positive one.
 
Jan 8, 2019
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Okay, thank you. From what I've heard, most people who dealt with water in their PC gave it lots of time to air out and usually its worked out, but I understand it's still very unlikely. I'm mostly just worried about the motherboard, which right now would be best case scenario and is what I'm hoping for if anything. I'll probably wait until tomorrow to try and put it back together, I didn't have the hindsight to take pictures of everything plugged into it, but I helped rebuild it fairly recently and kept most pieces together (I'm more worried about connecting everything correctly, but I can use the manual to help me with that). I'll try and post here again/update this post with any updates.

 


My bet is the motherboard is bad. Best of luck with the re build.
 
Jan 8, 2019
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On mobile now, no option to quote for some reason but thought I should post an update.

I checked over most of the motherboard for any residue, I haven’t unscrewed it yet to check the rest of the back side but I only found one spot that I probably missed in the initial drying phase where something was left over. I’m picking up some 99% isopropyl later today and going to clean that spot, as well as any others I may find. None of the capacitors were swelling or blown, and I didn’t see any signs of corrosion. There was still some dust on it from when I recieved it (most of it was cleaned off prior) and that hasn’t stopped it from working before, but as a precaution I will probably clean that as well. I’ll post some pictures when I get home from work and see if anyone else might see something I missed, but I know damage isn’t always visible so I’ll try to get everything up and running once the alcohol has fully dried.
 

shknawe

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Take a hand hair dryer and on low heat and blow dry the area where the water hit.
Let it sit open overnight and then repeat the blow drying. Then try a restart after inspecting for any moisture. I don't have to tell you how bad ANY amount of water is for a computer.
 
Jan 8, 2019
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Finally am able to update again!

First off, I'd like to apologize for the long wait between updates. I got pretty sick about an hour after getting home from work, and I've been recovering for the past few days. What I ended up doing yesterday night was use WD-40 contact cleaner on the motherboard, spraying down everything I could. I reseated everything and plugged things back in, but only the green PWR_LED light came on my motherboard. It's an ASUS Z-170 AR. However, nothing else turns on; I've read the LED only indicates power is being received on the motherboard. When I initially tried building it (as in when I first got it), I got similar results, and by switching around some cables I had managed to get it working - however, it's possible that in reseating everything, I may not have tightened a screw enough on the motherboard, or I had plugged something into the wrong place.

I suppose after all of this, I'm stumped. I don't have any extra parts to test, and I can't try to have someone repair the ones I have. From what I've seen online I don't know how to check my PSU, because when I do the paperclip test it won't turn on and I don't know how to plug things in so that it will power on one of my fans. It's also possible my CPU isn't seated properly, but I didn't really have an issue with that as it clicked in fine. When I tried to place the heatsink back on, it shifted a bit, could thermal paste possibly be the issue? Was I wrong to try and boot up the system? I feel this has raised a lot more questions than I can handle :/. I was really hoping to not have to buy a new component/components, since I don't have many finances at the moment, meaning it could be months before I can use it again
 
Jan 8, 2019
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Yea, I'm currently working part time, I have some cash but I was going to save it for school. Trying not to fall into any student loan traps. Had a spare heatsink with thermal paste pre-applied, so it was a normal amount. Also, I took out the CPU to clean it and reseated it, which is why it's possible that could've messed it up - but I was super careful and made sure it was orientated correctly, it clicked in fine, etc. Also, it's possible there is still some residue left on the back, which I'm pretty sure now is flux from the soldering; it probably came off initially by the water. I was also looking up some stuff at work and apparently I plugged a cable from the PSU into pins for a fan by accident, as well as forgot to plug something back into my hard drive; don't know how much either of those two matter, but I know even a few misplaced cables kept it from turning on when I first got it. It's possible some cable(s) plugging into my OS port on the motherboard might have to be plugged in somewhere else. I will probably try cleaning the back of it again and then attempt breadboarding. If it doesn't work still, I can maybe ask a friend, I don't know if he has any spare parts but his brother might. I'm pretty positive the motherboard shorted out though, I just don't know if that 100% means it's done for, especially now after trying to boot it up again. If anyone has a video that shows what exactly needs to be plugged in to test a PSU via paperclip, I can hopefully figure that out; I have a Corsair 600W. I know which pins to short, but I don't know how to connect one of my fans so that it powers on, since it needs a small load to start.

Worst case scenario I have to go back to my old alienware alpha and try to forget about my Vive and decent graphics for a few months :/
 


Yes, everything points to a motherboard problem. (hopefully only that) Note: getting a good education is way more important. You can always get a great system down the road.
 
Jan 8, 2019
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Yea, that's true. I'm pretty sure it's just the motherboard, my friend isn't able to help much in terms of testing though. My girlfriend has some connections so she's going to try and get me a deal, but it's definitely gonna be some time. I'm focused on education but I'm studying to be a graphic designer, and I had programs I was using on that PC, especially Tilt Brush and Photoshop. I can still kind of use Photoshop on the alienware (it tends to crap out), but Tilt Brush will just have to wait. Thanks for your help, I'll keep trying to figure something out!
 
Jan 8, 2019
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Sorry for the late update, but I've got great news! Turns out it was the motherboard; I either seated it wrong or missed some residue on the back, however I was able to get it working after another deep clean with contact cleaner, bread-boarding and a lot of luck! Huge thanks to those who helped, and hopefully this thread helps others with a similar problem! I've learned a lot and am taking a lot more precautions now when drinking water and gaming :D
 

assasin32

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Glad to hear it's working now.

A quick tip in case it happens again. Don't bother with the power button, rip out the power cord or turn off the power at the power strip. This way you remove the power source completely. And vacuum sealed cups that are leak proof are awesome. Knock it over, no mess and you can have an ice cold beverage for over 12hours if you buy the right one.
 

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