Galaxy S6 with water damage won’t turn on, won’t charge wirelessly, other issues

Our today’s troubleshooting article fixes some #GalaxyS6 problems. Just like most of our articles, cases mentioned in this one are taken from letters we receive from our ever-growing readership. As the title suggests, we address some basic questions about what to do when a phone gets wet or won’t charge wirelessly. We also cover some basic things regarding malware infection so we hope you’ll get something helpful out of this piece.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem 1: Galaxy S6 with water damage won’t turn on

Hi. Around 3 weeks ago, I dropped my S6 into the toilet, where it turned off almost immediately. I put the phone in the rice for around 2-3 days, and then wouldn’t turn on when I tried. I plugged in my fast charger and it would show (most of the time) that it was charging, charging to 100%. However, when I try to turn it on, the phone flickers between the lightning bolt symbol then goes back to 0%. I then tried holding home/power/volume down button to get to the blue screen, where it gives me the option to ‘restart phone’. When I click this, the phone loads up normally and functions normally (although sometimes turning off as if not providing enough power). The phone only works when plugged in to a fast charger, not a standard charger and as soon as you unplug the charger, the phone turns off instantly (no shutting down process).  To summarise:   The phone shows that it is charging when powered off (i.e the percentage will fill to 100%, although slowly) When you try to power the phone on normally, the phone resets back to 0% To turn on the phone I must hold down home/power/volume down and press restart phone (this only works when using a fast charger) When it boots up, it functions normally, expect for the battery percentage in the top right showing 0% and not increasing  When you unplug the charger, the phone will turn off instantly (i.e no shut down process) My first inclination is that it is the battery, but I am no expert and would not want to buy a replacement battery for it not the be the problem. I would greatly appreciate any input you could provide me. Kind regards. — Steve Stephenmccormick98

Solution: Hi Steve. The Galaxy S6 does not enjoy water resistance protection just like its successors — the S7 and S8 — so it’s safe to say that water must have found a way inside. And since water and electronics don’t mix well (even for water resistant devices), problems can be expected right away. Moisture or liquid inside the motherboard can cause a short circuit of components which may lead to a series of problems. For example, if liquid causes a short circuit in the battery, it may damage it permanently causing the phone to not turn on later on. In other bad battery cases, a phone may reboot on its own because the battery can no longer maintain the required power to the motherboard. In the long run, presence of moisture or water in the motherboard may corrode the exposed metallic parts, permanently damaging them.

First aid for a water damaged smartphone

Exposing your Galaxy S6 to water can lead to two situations:

  • either it succumbs to problems right away or,
  • continue to appear to work normally until the point that a long term damage takes its toll.

There’s really no telling what happens to an electronic device that’s exposed to water. In some cases, it’s the first situation while in others, it can be the second. Issues that will follow depends on the scope of water exposure, and what components are affected. If you’re lucky and water did not touch any critical component (highly unlikely in your case since you’re having problems immediately), the rice trick may help. In a lot of cases, putting a wet device in a bad of rice is useless. Here’s why.

Ideally, you are supposed to turn the phone off and remove the battery after you took the phone out from water. This is to prevent shorting components. The longer the battery stays connected to a wet motherboard, the higher the chance of it causing permanent problems. That you never did immediately after the incident must be the reason why your phone is acting the erratically at this time. We understand of course that doing this ideal step is difficult for an average user because the Galaxy S6 battery is non-removable.

The next best thing to do right after removing the battery is to dry the device. This can be achieved by doing the rice trick, or with the help of more advanced tools used by professionals in repair centers. The main goal is to remove the water from the system, down to the last moisture. To facilitate drying more efficiently, you are supposed to dismantle the phone by disconnecting all removable parts from the logic board. By doing so, drying them up can be done faster. This is especially important if you go the rice trick route. Putting a fully assembled phone in a bag of rice is pointless. You can’t expect to dry the insides of the phone completely.

Let a professional do an assessment

Because water damage almost always results to hardware malfunction, it’s highly recommended that you let someone who does smartphone repair for a living handle the job. This includes the drying process as well as the possible repair or parts replacement that may follow. There’s no amount of software tweaking that you can do to fix a water damaged phone. For example, in your case, you can’t hope to bring the phone back to its normal working order by doing a factory reset to it. The symptoms you’re experiencing right now are consistent tell tale signs of either a bad battery issue or a power management IC failure. Both of these issues can only be addressed by repair so you should send the phone in. If you can’t let Samsung fix the device for you, consider letting an independent service center do the repair.

Problem 2: Galaxy S6 stopped charging, won’t charge wirelessly

My Samsung S6 edge suddenly stopped taking a charge on Friday evening. I fiddled with it, tried different chargers, and then plugged it into my laptop. The laptop immediately said the device had failed and the phone kept “hiccupping” in and out of charging.  It was totally stationary but acting like the cord was being jiggled.  I turned it off and miraculously it took a full charge.  I have not been able to repeat that since.Â

I took my phone into Verizon today and the tech noted that the cable port seemed loose and had some gunk in it.  He dug some pocket lint out of the port and was able to get the cord to lock in and start charging.  He suggested getting a wireless charger or take it out to be repaired.  By the time I got home with the wireless charger the phone was completely dead.Â

I placed the phone on the wireless charger and it immediately started flashing red (which is bad) and went to troubleshooting.  None of the options seemed to apply except if my device is Qi-enabled.  Figuring there might be a setting to change, I tried plugging it in to the computer again to give it enough juice to boot up but this time it brought up the black screen with the grey battery shaped icon and the lighting bolt for a period of several minutes, but it doesn’t actually take a charge.  Now I have a dead phone…am I missing something?  Should I just take it in to be repaired and return the wireless charger? PS:  I always update my OS but I have no idea which one I have right now…it did update recently within the last two weeks or so. — Matthew Etu

Solution: Hi Matthew. If your phone no longer charges and doesn’t turn back on, the only practical way out for you is repair. In order to perform software troubleshooting (which may not have any value in your case at all), you need the phone to turn on. A totally dead phone usually means hardware is malfunctioning. Only on rare occasions that a serious software issue prevents the phone from turning back on. In most cases, bad software will still allow the phone to turn on although Android may not load at all. Since your case is a total No Power issue, you need to have the hardware checked, especially if you’ve already tried charging the phone via regular cable and wireless charger.

Problem 3: Galaxy S6 infected with malware, screen turns black and won’t turn on

I was having an issue with the phone and received a replacement phone but now it’s happening with this one too. Every now and then the screen will go black and nothing will turn it back on but holding down the power button and volume down button. It does turn back on after that but then after awhile it will happen again. When this happens I cannot get goes to my voicemail and it won’t charge.  I found this started to happen after I received a warning notice on my phone saying I have 4 virus and need to install this app and not to go any further or I will lose all my info.  I was told that this is a scam and somehow phone was hacked and these people want me to pay and install the app. I don’t know if this has anything to do with why my phone is acting this way but I thought you should know.  Please advise.  Thanks. — Carole Huber

Solution: HI Carole. If the same exact symptom happens in your replacement phone, that should tell you that you have a third party app problem. One of your installed apps must be hosting a malware or allowing a malware to spread or install other apps. Most malicious software today aim to steal data and personal information, as well as to push advertisements so their developers can gain profit. They can take many forms and can sometimes appear to look like legitimate apps that will tell users to install a particular app to remove a virus. To clean up your phone, make sure that you perform a master reset first. After that, make sure that you go over your list of apps and ensure that you only install good ones. Malware and viruses are spread by apps. To prevent re-infecting your device with a virus, be strict what app you add. Some apps can look harmless but their developer may have malicious intents for them. Remember, once an app is installed, a developer can potentially steal whatever information there is in your phone, including your browsing habits and personal information. Some bad apps are initially legit but when updated, they can transform into malicious versions, or allow other apps to be installed without your knowledge.

A good rule to follow when it comes to apps is by sticking to those built by major developers. Avoid installing apps from unknown developers. Remember, there’s really no free app. Creating an app is expensive and developers will find a way to recoup their resources in creative ways. Some do it by stealing personal information then selling them to hackers. Others forcefully takes your system captive to allow them to show ads at will. Ads shown to you are frustrating but bad app writers make money out of them.

If your phone will get infected again, you only have yourself to blame.

If you haven’t tried doing a factory reset before, here’s how:

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power keys together.
  3. When the device powers on and displays ‘Power on logo’, release all keys and the Android icon will appear on the screen.
  4. Wait until the Android Recovery Screen appears after about 30 seconds.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight the option, ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. Press the Vol Down button again until the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted and then press the Power key to select it.
  7. After the reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key to restart the phone.


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Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues.

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