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Spilled water on laptop, did I kill the battery or what?

by magnusanimus / July 1, 2013 12:09 PM PDT

Hi, so I have an Asus X53E notebook, running Windows 7. About 10 minutes before I had to leave for work 2 days ago, I spilled a cup of water on the left side of my laptop. This is where the AC adapter plugs in. I panicked, turned it on it's left side to drip while soaking it up (the keyboard) with some paper towels. I swore for like five seconds of silence I heard something make a burning out sound. I unplugged the adapter as an afterthought and noticed the battery charging light would stay on even though I unplugged it. I had to leave so I just left it with the screen open, upside down on my couch. I came home later and took out the keyboard but saw no water or liquid spots at all. I used some compressed air to clean the fan since I had it opened anyway.

Now my problem is this: When it's plugged in and it says "plugged in, charging" with the battery light on, when it's plugged out it still says "plugged in, charging" with the battery light still on. It stays on until I plug it out, turn off the notebook and take out the battery, and put back in the battery. Then the battery light is finally off, until I plug back in the AC adapter then it's back on permanently again! But the battery is stuck on the same percentage, it is not charging at all.

So I go online and try a method that a lot of people say to do when the battery isn't charging. Plug it out and let it run the battery dead, then plug back in the battery and let it fully charge then turn on back computer. My battery was stuck at 40%, I let it go down to 0%, usually by 5% the notebook would have already saved and shut down but since it was "plugged in, charging" it let it go down to 0% stayed on for another three minutes then shut down with no warning. I left it to charge overnight after that. A day later and my battery is still at "0% available (plugged in, charging)"

Another suggestion was to update the BIOS, I downloaded it from the Asus website but, lo and behold, Winflash won't allow me to update the BIOS without the recommended at least 30% battery, while plugged in. I'm at a loss now. I ordered a new battery (A32-K53) but I'm afraid that isn't the problem and maybe I'll end up having to get it fixed, which is a last resort as I'm saving for another two semesters of university come September. If there are any suggestions or possible speculation as to what the exact problem/issue is and/or how I could go about fixing it, I would be very grateful. Thank you for taking the time to read my long post!

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by magnusanimus

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Blown charging circuit
by mitchcpi / July 3, 2013 2:51 PM PDT

It sounds very likely that you blew one or more components related to the charging circuit. That's not definitely very bad news. If you can find a competent repair shop, you may be able to have the charging circuit repaired. I highly doubt it's the battery itself. Hopefully the damage is limited to only the charging circuit and not anything to do with actual processing.

You have two separate issues. One is the lack of charging which may be related to a single component such as a voltage regulator. The other problem is the AC light staying on. This is usually an I.C. which may have the voltage regulation built in. I would certainly try to get this repaired. It isn't the type of repair where timing issues and flaky performance result from the repair. Nevertheless, the charging circuit is probably a portion of the main board itself. So the repairs are delicate with little room for error.

If you are really lucky, it could be an on board fuse or sacrificial land. Sometimes when a micro fuse blows, the device will show a trouble indication of an LED remaining on or lighting when it shouldn't be lit, as indication of trouble. The sizzling may be water hitting a hot device or heat sink inside. You probably won't be able to locate the fuse itself. I've seen very thin traces (lands) on the PC board, meant to sacrifice itself rather than burn out components. I hope you are really lucky. If not I hope you are just plain lucky regarding the laptop.

As a word of advice. If this or something similar happens again, immediately turn it off, unplug it, and pull the battery. It may be too late anyhow, but it won't hurt and may prevent further damage. Best of luck to you.

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You're probably right
by magnusanimus / July 4, 2013 1:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Blown charging circuit

Thank you!! This was just the information I was looking for! I couldn't feel comfortable not knowing what exactly needs to be fixed. I don't understand all the terms you used but I can pretty much visualize what you're saying and it makes complete sense given the location of the spill. I hope you're right. Unfortunately, if I end up not being covered by ASUS and it ends up costing more than, lets say $175, for parts and labour then I'd probably just save for a new laptop and deal with the problem as best as I can until then. Thank you for the best wishes, here's to hoping I'm covered!

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Check your warranty.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 1, 2013 11:40 PM PDT

My son picked up one of those under 400 buck k55n units and it came with a 2 year drop and spill warranty. That's your cheapest fix.

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I Was an Idiot
by magnusanimus / July 3, 2013 11:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Check your warranty.

Hi, thanks for your suggestion! I wish I could do that but unfortunately, even though I had the notebook for less than a year, I didn't sign up for the ADP warranty in the 60 days time. The day I got it from Best Buy I had created an ASUS account and registered my product but somehow didn't successfully sign up for the ADP and a few months later saw the booklet in the box while I was checking the user manual. The regular warranty says it only covers hardware...

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Since it is dead.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 3, 2013 11:16 AM PDT
In reply to: I Was an Idiot

Then why not try the usual? Open it up, pull the keyboard, unplug and plug each thing in and hope.

That burning sound is why I don't think this will be economical to fix. finds this to be in the 400 range so take a gander at the Asus k55n ds81 and the k55a line which I think include the drop and spill warranty.

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I think I just registered...?
by magnusanimus / July 3, 2013 12:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Since it is dead.

After I replied to your comment I decided it wouldn't hurt to try a late registration for the ADP Program (since I purchased the notebook less than a year ago) and I got a confirmation email! So I'm going to try and use it.

I want to try your unplug suggestion but when I pulled the keyboard and saw the two cables I wasn't sure which way to unplug them and not permanently damage them (disconnecting the keyboard spooked me enough). I guess I'll find a YouTube video for that though.

If the ADP turns out to be denied and the unplugging does not work, then Plan B: I had already ordered another battery and was looking into ordering an external battery charger next week off ebay in case the battery isn't the problem (in that case I'd switch the two batteries back and forth and charge the one I wasn't using). Everything but the charging issue is working fine so I could work with that for a year I think.

I checked out the price for a new motherboard and it's around $370 without tax and S&H so you're completely right, it's not worth it. Thanks for your alternative notebook suggestions. They're quite similar to the X53E/K53E which I'm very satisfied with but the K55A I think I would get for it's extended battery life. I'm so grateful that you brought up ADP too! Thanks again!

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