Mobile device manufacturers, including BlackBerry maker RIM, have to be constantly concerned about their devices coming into contact with water. If the water touches an electrified circuit board, impurities in the water can cause electricity to flow into pathways where it shouldn't, creating a short circuit. This short circuit can cause some severe damage to the electronics on the circuit board, and even render the device useless.
If you take the battery out of your BlackBerry smartphone and look at the end of it, you may notice a small, white sticker with a red line going through it. This sticker is a moisture indicator, designed to tell BlackBerry technicians when the battery chamber has come into contact with water.
Water Damage Issues
Moisture Indicator's Purpose
It can be difficult to determine if water has come into contact with a circuit board. Large amounts of water will generally show signs of rust or corrosion on the circuit board's components, but smaller amounts of water can destroy electronics without any kind of outward sign. Because water damage isn't covered by RIM's warranty, the company places a number of moisture indicators around the inside of the device, and on the battery. These indicators will inform any technician working on the BlackBerry, or the battery, that they have been in contact with water.
How a Moisture Indicator Works
Moisture indicators comes in a variety of styles, but all generally have the same function. Once the indicator comes into contact with moisture, the white on the sticker will change color. In the case of a BlackBerry battery, if the sticker has a red line down the middle, then the red will bleed into the white areas, turning them pink, if the sticker touches moisture. Since the stickers aren't in the same spot as any vulnerable components, a positive moisture indicator doesn't necessarily mean that the BlackBerry battery has liquid damage, but once the indicator is tripped the manufacturer reserves the right to void any warranty on the battery or the device.
Remedies For Wet Batteries
Generally, once a battery's moisture indicator has turned pink it will need to be replaced. It may be tempting to remove the moisture indicator, but apart from being unethical, water-damaged batteries can be dangerous when shipped with other batteries, as the internal components that prevent an unauthorized energy discharge may not be working. If you know that your battery has just gotten wet, you can immediately place it in a sealed container with a desiccant, such as silica gel packets or dry rice. Leave the battery there overnight before attempting to use it again. Also, if rust or corrosion appear on the battery's metal contacts, clean it off using isopropyl alcohol and a stiff brush. If the battery experiences issues after these remedies, you need to purchase another battery.