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Posts: 2

GoPro with Salt Water damage, any ideas

Hi Community


I have just returned from diving in the Maldives and whilst on one of the dives at 25 Mtrs the water proof housing for my Hero 4 Black has cracked with a very small hair line fracture. I have three GoPro's with me at the time and it only happenend to one.


The end result is water has got into the protection frame and the Camera has some Salt Water ingress into the GoPro housing.


The strange thing is that the camera seems the charge but then it flashs blue and red lights? When switched on the Blue Light is light perminantly. The wifi nor bluetooth are switched on for reference and all the GoPro items are out of warranty. I have connected to Technical Support on live chat and they don't offer a repair service, which I appreciate.


Has anybody had a salt water problem before and any advice to help me try to repair would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to buy a new camera at present due to cost.


All the film was OK which is one positive but any advice would be appreciated.






Posts: 12,961

Re: GoPro with Salt Water damage, any ideas

[ Edited ]

This one is difficult to answer as there are different points of view and all could permanently damage your camera. At this point, you are beyond warranty (and water damage is not covered regardless) so you don't have to worry about voiding it with your attempts to repair your camera. However, it's worth reaching out to the GoPro Support Team first to see what they have to say

If, after contacting GoPro, you still want to attempt to restore the camera on your own then you might want to consider these steps.

1) Remove the battery and SD card.
2) Hold down the power button for a full minute to discharge any remaining residual power
3) With Distilled water, thoroughly flush the camera to get all salt deposits out
4) Allow the camera to dry for 3-5 days. (You can put it in a sealed bag of dry rice which may or may not assist in the drying process)
5) Flush the camera with a deoxidizing solution like DeoxIt D5
6) Allow to dry and then replace the battery
7) While holding down the shutter button, power on the camera
8) After the camera has fully powered on, release the shutter and then power off the camera
9) Download and extract the Manual firmware to your computer
10) Format your SD card in your computer and place the UPDATE folder on the card and then run the update on the camera

If the camera is still not working you can try replacing the motherboard or other camera parts but there is no guarantee to get it working again. You can find the parts here
and instructions on the repair here

Posts: 12,961

Re: GoPro with Salt Water damage, any ideas

From ifixit QA, this solution was given:
First do not turn on your camera and then you need to remove the battery as soon as possible from the camera to minimize further damage.''

Then you need to dis-assemble the rest of the camera and clean all the affected parts using Isopropyl Alcohol 90%+ to remove all traces of corrosion and water. Do not use "rubbing alcohol" as in some cases this is only 70% and is not as effective. If you do check the label to verify the amount

Here is a link that in general, describes the process.

You may have to replace the battery as it is very hard to recover a battery from water damage.

As always with electronics, especially surface mounted PCBs be gentle when handling and especially when brushing away the corrosion. You do not want to remove any components from the board.

Hopefully after you have done all this the camera might possibly work correctly again.

The link above gives you this information:

Cleaning Circuit Boards ¶
Completely disassemble your device removing all cables, opening all connectors and remove shields to access under them. To displace any remaining liquid around or under any components of the logic board submerge it completely in a suitably sized container filled with isopropyl alcohol. Ideally use a 90% or higher concentration available from a pharmacist or drug store. You can use distilled or deionized water as an alternative cleaning fluid, although this will take longer to dry. Avoid solvents such as ketone, acetone, or naphtha.
Use a toothbrush, small paint brush, or other soft brush to clean the logic board of any debris or deposits from the offending liquid. Use caution as you clean to avoid damaging or accidentally knocking off components of the logic board. Pay particular attention to the connectors and ends of ribbon cables to prevent corrosion of their contact surfaces. If you have an ultrasonic cleaner, you will be able to clean areas that a toothbrush can't reach (Ex: under chips) and more thoroughly clean easy to reach components.
Once you are satisfied that the logic board is clean and free of corrosion you may use a hairdryer on its cold setting and dry the logic board. Alternatively, the logic board may be placed under a desk lamp to gently warm it and dry out the cleaning fluid.
When the components are dry check the cable ends and connectors again for signs of corrosion or debris.
Reassemble your device with a new battery or one that you are confident is in good working order. If your device has been submerged it is likely that you will need a new battery. Lithium and other types of rechargeable batteries do not tolerate submersion well. Again, any sign of bubbling, bulging, melting, or discoloration on the battery indicates that it is toast. Dispose of it only at a battery recycling facility.
Once you have your device assembled, the real work of evaluating the damage begins. Look for what is working and replace parts in an organized fashion, not all at once. The likely order of failure in a smaller electronic device is typically:
Logic board

Your device has just taken a swim. What do you do?
In any situation involving the submersion or splashing of an electronic device in any liquid, the first step is to disconnect any power source as soon as this is safely possible.

Pay attention to your personal safety first! Use caution when disconnecting any device from household current or any other source. If you are standing in water or your clothes are wet please remove yourself from any potential shock hazard before even thinking about retrieving a submerged or soaked electronic device.
If the electronic device is still submerged and is connected to an external power source, find a safe way to disconnect it. If possible, find a circuit breaker or switch for that source of power and switch it off. Use caution if you choose to remove a plug or power adapter from an outlet that has not been switched off.
Retrieving a submerged or soaked electronic device that contains a battery presents its own dangers. A shorted battery may be a fire and/or chemical hazard. If you see or feel any heat, smoke, steam, bubbling, bulging, or melting avoid handling the electronic device.
If the device is still on, turn it off.
Rotate and shake the device to try to let any fluid drain out.
If possible, remove the battery.
If possible, disassemble the device to allow any remaining liquid to drain and to begin cleaning the internal components. This is particularly important with acidic liquids such as fruit juice or alkaline liquids such as laundry water.
TIP: Rice will not help!