If your drone somehow falls into the water and gets wet, it’s necessary to take immediate action to recover your drone from severe water damage. So if you are kind of this situation don’t worry follow this step-by-step comprehensive guide to recover your drone. Also later we will talk about some tips to prevent your drone from getting water damage on your future flights.
Steps to recover your drone from water damage.
- Retrieve it quickly from the water or saltwater.
- Remove the battery and dry it to prevent electrical damage.
- If the drone fell into saltwater, rinse it with fresh water to remove salt residue.
- If you’re comfortable doing so, disassemble the drone to let it dry thoroughly.
- Gently dry it with a clean cloth.
- Place the drone and its components in a bag of silica gel or rice to absorb moisture.
- Let the drone dry for at least 24-48 hours in a dry, cool place.
- Inspect the drone for any visible damage components or loose connections.
- If necessary, replace damaged components or parts.
- Properly reassemble the drone.
- Power on the drone gradually to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
- Calibrate sensors and update the drone’s firmware.
- Conduct a test flight in a safe, open area to ensure everything is working properly.
Step 1: Retrieve the drone quickly from the water or saltwater.
- Exposure of internal components to water, especially saltwater, can be highly corrosive and damaging to those parts.
- The longer the drone is exposed to them the higher the likelihood of irreparable damage.
- Therefore Retrieving it quickly can minimize the exposure to water and also reduce the risk of permanent harm.
Step 2: Remove the battery and dry it to prevent electrical damage.
- After retrieving the drone, Removing the battery from the battery is crucial unless the electrical components can short-circuit leading to severe damage to the internal circuitry due to the presence of water.
- After removing the battery make sure to dry it, as water damage to the battery can lead to swell the drone’s battery. Use a towel or paper towels to gently pat it dry.
Step 3: If the drone fell into saltwater, rinse it with fresh water to remove salt residue.
- Saltwater is highly corrosive due to the presence of salt (sodium chloride).
- The exposure to saltwater can rapid the corrosion of internal and external metal components including the frame, motors, and electrical contacts.
- Also, as salt water is conductive, it can create short circuits and damage electronic components inside the drone. Therefore, rinsing with fresh water helps to remove the conductive saltwater and reduce the risk of electrical damage.
Step 4: If you’re comfortable doing so, disassemble the drone to let it dry thoroughly.
- Leaving the drone to dry without dissembling might not be effective as the water can be trapped in internal components. Therefore dissembling the drone and leaving the drone, makes it possible to remove and dry water stuck inside the internal components.
- Trapped water inside the drone can cause short circuits if it comes into contact with the electrical components.
- Also, If the water is left inside the drone, it can lead to corrosion of the electronic components over time.
Step 5: Gently dry it with a clean cloth or towel.
- Next, gently pat the drone with a clean cloth or paper towels and remove excess moisture.
- Avoid rubbing or applying excessive pressure. A gentle touch with a clean, soft cloth minimizes the risk of scratching or damaging the drone’s sensitive exteriors such as the camera and sensors.
- Don’t use direct heat sources like hairdryers to dry the drone as it can damage and melt the sensitive electronic components inside the drone, including the circuit boards, soldered connections, and delicate sensors.
Step 6: Place the drone and its components in a bag of silica gel or rice to absorb moisture.
- Place the wet dissembled drone or components in an airtight bag or container with the desiccant-like silica gel to maximize moisture absorption.
- Silica gel and rice can effectively absorb moisture from their surroundings. So when you place the wet drone or its components in a bag with silica gel or rice, It pulls moisture away from the components, promoting the drying process.
- Also, Silica gel and rice can accelerate the drying time compared to air drying alone.
Step 7: Let the drone dry for at least 24-48 hours in a dry, cool place.
- Then after storing the dissembled drone or components inside an airtight bag or container with the desiccant, leave them in a dry, cool place for at least 24-48 hours to ensure thorough drying.
Step 8: Inspect the drone for any visible damage components or loose connections.
- Carefully inspect the drone to identify which components or parts such as sensors, motors, and circuits are damaged to obtain the correct replacement parts.
Step 9: If necessary, replace damaged components or parts.
- As damaged components can impair the drone’s functionality and performance, they need to be replaced to ensure that the drone can operate as intended.
- Obtain genuine replacement parts and components from drone manufacturers or authorized dealers.
- Make sure to Refer to the user manual or manufacturer’s guidelines for instructions on how to replace the damaged components.
- If you are not comfortable with replacing damaged components consider contacting the manufacturer, consider seeking professional drone repair services.
Step 10: Properly reassemble the drone.
- After properly drying the internal parts and replacing the necessary parts, reassemble the drone properly and safe.
Step 11: Power on the drone gradually to ensure it’s functioning correctly.
- After assembling the drone, insert the battery and power on the drone. Make sure not to attach propellers on the first try.
- Pay attention to the drone’s responses, such as LED indicators, motor responsiveness, and communication with the controller, and make sure the drone is behaving usually.
- Check whether the camera, GPS, IMU any other features specific to your model do function properly.
Step 12: Calibrate sensors and update the drone’s firmware.
- Once the drone is powered on properly and components like the camera, motors, IMU, and GPS working recalibrate them to work them properly.
- Then make sure to update the drone’s firmware and related software to the latest in order to avoid possible bugs.
Step 13: Conduct a test flight in a safe, open area to ensure everything is working properly.
- Once the drone is properly checked and calibrated, visit a safe, open area for a test flight as allows you to assess the drone’s overall functionality.
- Attach propellers to the drone in the proper order and power on the drone.
- Take off and hover the drone a little bit away from the drone and determine if the drone can maintain stable flight and respond accurately to control inputs.
- Once the drone is determined stable, test GPS and navigation features as they may be affected by water exposure.
- Then maintain a strong and stable connection with the remote controller and fly at various distances and altitudes within a safe, open area to test the drone’s range and signal strength.
Tips to prevent your drone from getting water damage.
Below are several practices that would prevent your drone from getting water damage in your future flights.
- Consider installing floatation devices on your drone to prevent sinking.
- Fly within a suitable range considering the battery life, signal strength, and recoverability.
- Always check the weather forecast before flying.
Tip 1: Consider installing floatation devices on your drone to prevent sinking.
- Installing flotation devices to the drone can help prevent your drone from sinking and becoming irretrievable if it lands in the water.
- With the flotation devices, your drone remains floating on the water’s surface, it makes it easier to locate and retrieve the drone if it lands in a body of water.
Tip 2: Fly within a suitable range considering the battery life, signal strength, and recoverability.
- Flying within a suitable area and range allows you to plan your flight path and duration based on the drone’s available battery life to prevent the drone from running out of power and crashing into the water.
- Staying within an area with strong signal strength ensures reliable communication between your remote controller and the drone. Otherwise, weak or lost signals lead the drone to drift and land in undesirable locations, including water.
Tip 3: Always check the weather forecast before flying.
- Check the weather forecast and choose a suitable area before flying as severe weather conditions can push a drone off course or make it more challenging to maintain control, increasing the risk of accidents near water bodies.