My Librem 5 got wet!

My L5 got wet and now it is not registering the battery or the mic. It also will not charge. I am on a trip and am wondering if there is something I can do now or if I need to get home and contact support?

That’s pretty awkward! I think the generic advice for any mobile phone is: shut it down and leave it off until it dries out.



In additional it could speed up drying out if you open the backside as much as possible (on own risk if you open electronic entirely, since you can break antenna or something if you’re not carefully enough).

Water is only dangerous for 2 things:

  • when device is on power (but not if there is no power - you can even clean SoC with water if power is totally off)
  • water + dirt that make things like lenses or monitor dirty where you cannot clean it

Camera and mic may work again later, but you should not test as long as it’s not totally dried out.

1 Like

I’ve read that wet smartphones should be placed in uncooked rice for a while to draw all the moisture out.


Yes, but it’s important to use distilled water.

Here is a rough guide: Accidents Happen, How to Save Your Phone When It's Wet - CNET . The Librem 5 is a bit easier to deal with since it opens up much better than the sealed cases for most phones.

No destilled water needed (and not helpful through it’s own dirt on surface that makes distilled water an electrical conductor). I guess batteries (for board clock etc) are not strong enough to damage anything, but this may should be analyzed before to be sure. Motherboards of desktop PCs can also be washed inside dishwashers and those use common water.

Maybe important to tell that it doesn’t work with all kinds of electronics (like never do this with power adapters!).

Corrosion. Don’t forget corrosion.

@ASwyD2 Do not turn on the phone, have the battery in, or keep it plugged in. When non-waterproof electronics get wet, priority #1 is always removing power from those circuits. Secondly, you need to do a tear down on the phone to remove all the moisture. The reason stuff isnt working right now is because of short-circuiting through the water. This short-circuiting causes the board to degrade even faster and possibly take out even more components due to the reversing flow of electricity. Lastly, the corrosion stage kicks in, where any water that was left on or under components starts to rust away those components.

To summarize, remove power entirely from the device (including batt), then as soon as possible disassemble and dry out completely; preferably by a professional. You can keep it in a bag of dry rice in the meantime with the back cover removed. Remove the cell board too if you can.


Thank you all for your replies. I dried it out and now it is charging again but the mic is still not working. I don’t have my small screwdriver with me to take off the inner back.