Shooting pictures on a cliff in Hawaii when a wave crashed into the side of the cliff, and the resulting splash gave me and my T3i a good shower. The camera was never submerged at all, it remained in my hand the entire time. However some water from the wave did splash on the camera. As soon as we dried the camera off, it would not turn on.
We went to the hotel and tried the rice in bucket trick for a couple of days. The camera did come back on, but only for about 60 seconds. We left it in the rice for a few more days. The camera came back on again, but while trying to set the date, time, etc it went off again.
Put it in rice for another week, just pulled it out, and now its not coming on at all.
Is it repairable?
If not, does it have any salvage value? I hate to just throw it in the trash.
Solved! Go to Solution.
"Cameras can often recover from amazing large deluges of relatively clean rainwater ..."
Actually the best thing you can do if you get salt water inside a camera is dunk it in fresh water ASAP.
Vodka may work even better. The alcohol makes the solution a bit wetter than water, which is arguably what you want, and will promote more rapid drying, once you've poured out the salt.
Although it sounds extreme, if your electronic device gets salt water in it IMMEDIATELY removing the battery and thoroughly flushing it with multiple distilled water baths followed by proper drying may save it. But the battery must be taken out immediately and the salt flushed before it does it corrosive damage.
Whether this works largely depends upon whether you got the battery out before bad things happened. And of course proper drying must be done after the salt/mineral residue is flushed.
If the damage was due to fresh water this extreme intervention should not be followed.
Note that most tap water along with most bottled water has quite a bit of mineral content and flushing with this stuff may do almost as much harm as the original incident.
For isolated water exposure WD-40 was originally developed as a water displacer for firearms and other outside use items and it does this very well. But this formulation of light distillates of petroleum on a sensor or inside a lens would be very difficult to remove so it isn't something to be used indiscrimately but works well on circuit boards and in switches or controls to displace fresh, not salt, water before it causes damage. Any salt must be flushed with distilled water before trying to displace or dry.
Alcohol will combine with water but except for the very pure types will leave its own residue signature behind when if finally evaporates; alcohol is generally OK to clean electronic components but it will attack many types of seals and other components which is one of the reasons ethanol laced gas creates problems with vintage vehicles.
"... thoroughly flushing it with multiple distilled water baths followed by proper drying may save it."
No doubt salt water is the kiss of death but I doubt a camera would survive your remedy either. For one thing I don't think the shutter would survive, at any rate it would no longer have the mandatory specialize lubricants. If it did survive the multiple distilled water baths it would not last long. Water and cameras are a bad combination with the water usually winning.
"... tried a third time and my camera worked ..."
The worse thing you can do is turn on the camera when it is still wet inside. It can take weeks to get all the moisture out of a camera. This is why salt water is so very much worse. The salt corrodes the insides as it drys.