How To Fix A Drone That Fell In Water (And Mistakes To Avoid) (2023)

How To Fix A Drone That Fell In Water (And Mistakes To Avoid) (1)

Did the inevitable happen? Or maybe you just want to learn how to fix a water-damaged drone. Either way, we’ve got you covered with a complete guide on how to fix a drone that fell in water and some of the things you should avoid to prevent more damage.

What happens if my drone goes in water?

Even though in the majority of situations water damage is a dead end, some are lucky enough to prolong the life of their equipment if they act quickly enough.

Once your drone hits water or gets too much rain, its electronic speed controllers (ESCs) will get burned. ESCs manage the power of your drone’s motors, and once they blow a fuse, battery damage occurs.

If you don’t have a waterproof drone, your best bet is to avoid having it touch water by any means.If you want to waterproof any drone however and make it much safer, check out my guide on how to waterproof a drone.

How will water ruin my drone?

Drowning your drone will most likely ruin its battery. Even if you manage to get it fixed somehow, you should change the battery ASAP.

(Video) Dji drone fell in WATER!!!! what I did How to fix a drone that fell in water?

Not only that, but residue from the water may wreak havoc on its internal components, including:

  • Sensors
  • USB ports
  • Camera
  • Motors
  • Gimbal assembly

It’s not water itself that breaks your drone. In fact, a perfectly clean water would be a good insulator. But there’s no lab-clean water in nature.

Can you fix a drone that lands in salt water?

The salt in salt water is more corrosive, and salt water damage continues long after you think it’s back to normal. Still, knowing this after you crash your drone into the sea won’t help. Is there any fix?

In most cases, a salt water crash is harder to fix, but it’s possible. First thing to do if your drone falls in the sea is to take it out and carefully wash it with deionized water.

You want to somehow stop the corrosive effect of salt, and cleaning the board with deionized or distilled water does the trick, as strange as it may sound. Afterwards, you need to carefully rub your drone’s parts with isopropyl alcohol. We’ll go into more detail below.

Can my DJI drone survive water?

Some models are able to survive a quick clear water submersion, but generally DJI drones should not be used in any wet or moist weather conditions, not even mist, let alone rain or snow.

DJI drones are generally not built to survive water, and they are definitely not capable of handling submersion. Still, if the unwanted happens, act fast and take all the necessary steps to dry it. That’s the only way your DJI drone may survive.

Supposing you still want to fly your DJI drone out in the blizzard or heavy rain, it might be a good moment to start looking for DJI alternatives.

What about an FPV drone, can it survive water?

FPV drones have a few additional sensitive components compared to normal ones, but the situation is similar.

An FPV drone will not survive water damage if it’s let to sink for too long. Its main board and circuitry may get fried, and the motor speed controllers may end up useless. FPV cameras would break as water causes condensation.

Can a water damaged drone be repaired?

You can repair a water damaged drone, but 3 crucial factors come into play:

  1. How much it stayed in the water

Tiny particles in the water make their way inside your drone’s electronic components and short-circuits may happen. A longer time spent in water means potentially more damage.

(Video) Drone Mistake CRASH into Water (How to fix water damaged DJI mini 2?)

That’s why you need to take it out of the water immediately, but watch out for your own safety as well. You wouldn’t jump in a muddy swamp if your drone fell there, would you?

  1. Whether it crashed in clean or salt water

You already know what an enemy salt water is to your drone. It kills your aircraft in the long run if you fail to act quickly enough. Even a few extra minutes spent in salt water may mean your drone may be gone for good.

So, act even faster if your drone lands in the ocean or sea.

  1. Your drone’s model

Not all drones are created equal. Some are capable of detecting a faulty circuit and switching themselves off. Read the drone’s manual again or check with your manufacturer’s customer support to see if your aircraft has such capabilities.

Consider waterproofing your drone’s circuits

Waterproofing your drone’s insides will certainly prolong its life and protect it from humidity.

Two main types of waterproofing solutions exist:

  • Silicone
  • Acrylic

Silicone is better for drones as it can perform better at higher temperatures, while an acrylic coating may melt on circuits that get very hot.

The procedure is not very difficult. You need to take your drone apart, carefully clean its components and then apply the solution with a nail polish-type brush. Usually, the brush is included in the waterproofing kit with the solution.

Be sure to avoid applying the solution on controllers, ports, camera sensors and buttons.

Total cost amounts to around $100 if you do it by yourself. However, if you’ve never dismantled your drone, you shouldn’t start with this procedure.

Better than wrecking your equipment forever, you should ask for help. Do you have any tech-savvy friends?

(Video) How to Save a WET Drone After Being Submerged in Water

Waterproofing will add a layer of protection to your machine, but it won’t make it last forever. While the risk of irreparable damage is lower if you crash it into water, a thin layer of silicone is not magic.

So, the best way to prevent water damage remains getting a waterproof drone.

How do you fix a drone that fell in water?

Follow these steps:

  1. Take it out of the water as fast as you can
  2. Power it off and take the battery out
  3. Carefully take your drone apart
  4. Do a quick distilled water flush (if it fell in salt water)
  5. Dry your aircraft for as long as possible
  6. Turn it on again and assess its situation

1.Take it out of the water immediately

We can’t stress the importance of acting quick in this case. Your drone could have fallen in water for a million reasons, like having an aerial accident, not charging it properly and losing control, or you simply didn’t pay attention to flying.

Whatever the case, make sure you move fast and get it out of there fast.

2.Power it off and take the battery out

Right after you’ve got it out of the water, you need to power it off and take the battery out. Place it somewhere safe. Lithium batteries are known for their penchant to burst in flames if they become unstable.

You will take this to an authorized battery disposal centre at some point, but now focus on the next steps.

3.Carefully take your drone apart

It’s not necessary to completely dismantle your drone, although it’s best that you take it apart in as many pieces as possible. When the internal components are completely exposed, they will dry a lot better as air and heat will reach them faster.

  1. Start by removing the frame and motors
  2. Take out the camera and don’t forget to unplug its cable
  3. Remove any antennas and memory card
  4. Take out the landing structure
  5. Open the drone body
  6. Expose the internals

This is a general guideline that will fit most drones, but it’s recommended that you follow a tutorial for your specific model.

4.Do a quick distilled water flush (if it fell in salt water)

It may seem counter-intuitive, but if your drone fell in salt water, a quick distilled water flush helps remove electronically conducting micro-materials. Use deionised water for the best results.

So, now that the drone is laying open in front of you, take the motherboard and flush it well. Don’t rush it. Spraying the water would be ideal, but pouring will also do the trick.

(Video) How to recover drone crash in water (River, Sea, Ocean, Lake) - DJI Mavic Air 2 in 4K

Make sure you wash every corner of it, because even the smallest piece of salty residue is able to cause enough damage to render your drone useless.

When you’re done, use a toothbrush to apply a layer of isopropyl alcohol on the board. This will remove any water left on the components. The layer will evaporate quickly, but be aware that it acts like a solvent to conformal coating, so you may have to redo that.

5.Dry your aircraft for as long as possible

Now, gently move your drone around to remove any water still in there. If you took the whole thing apart and used alcohol for the rinse, you won’t have to do this.

There are many ways in which you could dry out your drone. The most efficient way is to simply leave it in a dry, cool place, until all the water evaporates, which means 4+ days.

Alternatively, you could blow air on the board with a hairdryer on the lowest heat setting. Hot air is not advised. You’re not trying to melt it, are you?

Or, you could put the board in the oven at the lowest heat level. As little as 30 minutes may dry it out completely.

Bonus tip: Some say that placing your drone in oats, rice or silica won’t do the thing. However, they absorb water and could technically work. Still, using grains to dry your drone’s motherboard may add more contaminants to it. You can’t really know how clean it is.

Are waterproof drones really immune to water damage?

A real drone enthusiast loves to fly anytime, anywhere, but if you want to fly in moist environments you need a drone that’s built to handle them.

Waterproof drones have tightly sealed frames that enable them to withstand any wet medium successfully. This special frame makes them immune to any type of water damage by blocking the passage of water through to the electronic components.

However, you should know the difference between water-resistant drones and waterproof drones. While the first may be able to fly in mild rain or snow, they cannot get underwater.

Thus, if you’re planning to fly by the lake, know that a water-resistant drone may still break if you crash it into the water. Waterproof drones are the only type that can survive submersion.


How To Fix A Drone That Fell In Water (And Mistakes To Avoid)? ›

If your drone gets wet, the first thing to do is disconnect the power supply. Then, dry with a hairdryer, or wrap the drone in a piece of cloth and immerse it in a bucket full of raw rice. Once you have dried it thoroughly, turn the power on and see if it is functioning properly. What is this?

Can a water damaged drone be repaired? ›

In 98% of cases it's cheaper to repair than to replace your DJI drone. We can repair water damaged drones, however we cannot always offer a guarantee. Guarantees on water damage repairs will be decided and agreed upon on a case by case basis. Seawater damage is rarely repairable however.

Will a drone still work after falling in water? ›

Once your drone hits water or gets too much rain, its electronic speed controllers (ESCs) will get burned. ESCs manage the power of your drone's motors, and once they blow a fuse, battery damage occurs. What is this? If you don't have a waterproof drone, your best bet is to avoid having it touch water by any means.

What do I do if my DJI mini 2 falls in water? ›

Apply airflow / low temperature heat to quickly evaporate water. I used a hairdryer set on medium speed, low temp, to blow air in through the drone's battery door for several minutes. Then rotated the drone a few times to allow it to dry from other angles.

How can you save a drone from water? ›

However, with a suitable buoy for the drone, you can minimize the possible damage. Because a buoy can prevent the drone from sinking after falling into the water and makes it possible for you to find the drone again. Restube automatic is a self-inflating buoy that is also increasingly used to rescue drones.

Can a water damaged device be fixed? ›

Some water damage repair involves a liquid cleaning, while others need replacement parts. You'll also have to pay for labor. These repairs can range from $30 to well over $500, depending on the phone model and type of damage.

How long does it take for a wet drone to dry? ›

If your drone lands in saltwater, retrieve it immediately and flush it with distilled water, allowing it to dry for five days. For freshwater landings, allow it to dry for several days and then power it back on carefully.

Will DJI replace a lost drone in water? ›

If you have the DJI Flyaway Coverage and DJI Care (which we did and I 100% recommend), they may replace your drone for you for free. But if you aren't under DJI Care and don't have the Flyaway Coverage, chances are that you won't be getting a replacement free of charge from DJI.

How long can drones stay underwater? ›

Several of the best underwater drones have long-lasting batteries that you can typically rely on for 3-4 hours. If the underwater drone has varying speeds, the higher speeds will often reduce your underwater drone's battery life.

Why can't you fly a drone at night? ›

Yes, both Part 107-licensed and recreational drone pilots can now fly their drones at night without having to apply for a waiver. However, drones flying at night need to be equipped with appropriate anti-collision lights that are visible up to a distance of three statute miles.

How much does it cost to repair a crashed drone? ›

In general, you can expect to pay between $200 to $600 for a repair job on your drone. The exact cost will depend on the type and brand of the drone, and on what repairs are needed, including how long the repair work takes, and on what replacement parts are needed.

How do you reset a drone after a crash? ›

You can normally find the reset button somewhere on the drone's body, this is usually on the underside. However, it can often be found hidden behind where the battery sits so don't fret if you can't find it straight away. The reset button can normally be pressed with a small pin or paper clip.

Does DJI warranty cover water damage? ›

DJI Care Refresh is a add-on coverage comprehensive warranty policy that will give you a peace of mind. Covers crashes, water damage, natural wear, and other accidental damage.

Are any DJI drones water resistant? ›

Dji Mavic Pro Has A Waterproof Rating Of Ip43. Dji Spark Also Has An Ip43 Rating. No Part Of Any Dji Drone Is Waterproof. Keep Dji Drone Out Of Water, Rain And Snow.

How waterproof are drones? ›

Drones are not waterproof. They can be damaged by water, and they need to stay dry to fly properly. If your drone is exposed to rain or snow for too long, the controls will become unresponsive, and it may have difficulty staying airborne.

Why can't drones fly in the rain? ›

Drones aren't water resistant or waterproof; thus, they can't fly while it's raining. However, other drone systems provide varying degrees of protection against water. The motor and the electrical components are essential. Numerous pilots put their drones through their paces in wet conditions to see their capabilities.

Why are drones not waterproof? ›

DJI models are believed to be waterproof; however, this is not the case. Their drones have air intakes that run over the various electronics to keep them cool. So, if it rains, water will be drawn into the drone through that intake, and the drone will eventually be damaged or destroyed due to that moisture.

Is water damage permanent? ›

Water will permanently damage most porous materials by shrinking or warping them, and mildew will damage them even further. And if you have a beloved piece of furniture you want to save, you could try isolating and drying it out, but the damage may already be done, especially if you see drywall water damage.

Does rice work for water damage? ›

Rice is a staple food, but it's not a solution for water-damaged devices. Don't fall for the urban myth that rice reverses water damage, so you don't lose your device. Also, even if your smartphone or other electronic device has an IP rating, it doesn't mean it's waterproof and you can freely dunk it in water.

Does water permanently damage electronics? ›

The water does not automatically destroy devices, but it can trigger problems. Even if your electronic device survives a water incident there is a chance of problems in the future. Water can cause corrosion, a chemical reaction, with metal and the circuit board.

How do you dry wet devices? ›

Use a can of compressed air to blow moisture out of the device. Place the item in a warm spot to dry and flip it over every few hours. A sunny windowsill works well. Do not place the device in an oven, and do not use a hair dryer or heat gun, as these artificial heat sources can destroy the device.

Should I fly my drone over water? ›

Flying low is a great way to get some up-close and personal footage when out there with your drone, but one should definitely take caution while flying near any sort of water. Water splashes could cause irreparable damage to the drone-- especially if the downward collision avoidance is turned on.

How much water can a drone carry? ›

We hypothesize that each drone can carry from 5 to 50 L of water.

Will DJI repair drones? ›

A must-have for your new equipment. Suitable for most camera drones and handheld photography devices, DJI Care Refresh provides up to three affordable replacements units within two years.

Does DJI fix crashed drones? ›

Malfunctions that are covered under warranty will be fixed or replaced by DJI for free. If your drone is damaged in use, you can have DJI repair your drone through DJI Repair Service (not free). You can also purchase a DJI Care Refresh plan to cover repairs or replacements.

Why can't you fly a drone above 400 feet? ›

400 feet is the maximum altitude the F.A.A permits a sUAS (small unmanned aircraft system), or drone, to operate at so as not to interfere with other aircraft in the sky. This keeps drones a safe distance away from airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft systems and helps prevents collisions.

How much does a underwater drone cost? ›

The 11 best underwater drones in 2021
Underwater drones with cameraBattery lifePrice
Chasing F1360 min$699
Geneinno Poseidon300 min$910
PowerVision PowerRay240 min$999
Chasing Gladius Mini120 min$1,099
7 more rows

What are the disadvantages of underwater drones? ›

Some models are able to collect benthic(the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water such as an ocean or a lake) samples The disadvantages of ROV such as: • Depth range limited by length of umbilical cable. Equipment needs a hard boat to operate. May be unable to access very shallow waters.

Can drones fly in rain? ›

Can drones fly in rain? Generally, drones cannot fly in rain, because – as mentioned – the most fragile and critical part of the drone (the motor and the electrical components) drones are neither water-resistant nor waterproof.

Why do police fly drones at night? ›

That's because the drones used in public safety use infrared cameras to observe and record scenes in the dark.

How far can police drones see at night? ›

Under ideal conditions, a typical police drone can see 4,000 meters or more during the day, but at night it can only see people 50m away. If you go beyond that distance, you can only see a blurry figure.

Does insurance cover lost drone? ›

For example, a fire or a windstorm may cause damage to the drone while in storage. If your drone is damaged by a covered peril, your drone may be covered under your policy's personal property coverage. Also, if your drone is stolen, personal property coverage on your homeowners insurance policy may cover theft.

How do I know if my drone motor is damaged? ›

The inspection method of the motor bearing is to remove the propeller and drive the motor to see how it sounds. The normal rotation has no noise, and the sound is strong. If the sound is noisy, and there are noises as if sand is inside, the bearing might have been damaged and needs to be replaced.

How much do drone jammers cost? ›

Today, jammers can be bought online for as low as $50.

Is it common to crash a drone? ›

How many times have you crashed your drone? Some other experts estimate that one-third of all drone owners will at some point crash their drones. For some people, for example, a crash can happen once every 3 years or even 5 years. Inexperienced pilots may crash their drones much more frequently than this.

When should you report a drone crash? ›

The remote pilot in command of the small UAS or drone is required to report an accident to the FAA within 10 days if it results in at least serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness, or if it causes damage to any property (other than the UAS or drone) in excess of $500 to repair or replace the property ...

What happens if your drone falls in water? ›

Once water gets inside, short circuits can occur and your drone may get damaged to the point of no return. Here are FIVE REASONS why you shouldn't even allow your drone to get wet. If your drone gets wetter than it's built to withstand, the electrical systems could suffer short-circuiting.

Does DJI repair water damage? ›

If you purchased DJI Care Refresh, water damage is covered under your policy. This means DJI will repair the damage or replace your drone. If you did not purchase DJI Care Refresh, you can try taking your drone to a DJI Repair Center, but in many cases, they are unable to repair water damage.

Can I buy DJI care after crash? ›

If damage or a flyaway scenario occurs to the product during normal use or from an accident, after completing the replacement service process, you can obtain a functional product from DJI. [1] Including paying an additional replacement fee; please click here to see the replacement fee.

What to do if DJI drone falls in water? ›

If your drone gets wet, the first thing to do is disconnect the power supply. Then, dry with a hairdryer, or wrap the drone in a piece of cloth and immerse it in a bucket full of raw rice. Once you have dried it thoroughly, turn the power on and see if it is functioning properly. What is this?

How do I make my DJI waterproof? ›

Can I make my DJI Drone waterproof? There is currently no way to completely waterproof your drone, but you can make it more water-resistant using a silicone conformal coating. This coating will protect the parts of your drone most vulnerable to water damage, but only if you apply it correctly.

Can I fly my drone by the ocean? ›

In general, the FAA does not have rules regarding drone flight at the beach. That means that you can fly your drone at the beach, provided that it's not a national park, or restricted by local ordinances. Keep in mind that you still have to abide by the general rules set by the FAA regarding drones.

What drones can land on water? ›

  • SwellPro SplashDrone 4 (Best Waterproof Drone with Camera) Specifications. ...
  • SwellPro Spry+ (Waterproof Drone with 4k Camera) Specifications. ...
  • SwellPro Fisherman FD1. Specifications. ...
  • PowerVision PowerEgg X. Specifications. ...
  • Parrot Hydrofoil MiniDrone. ...
  • Goolsky JJRC H31 Quadcopter. ...
  • Goolsky Q353 Triphian. ...
  • Geneinno T1 Underwater Drone.

Does DJI Mini 2 float in water? ›

Buoyant rods can be installed to allow the Mavic Mini/DJI mini 2 to take off and land on the water,it can allow let you Take a video on the water or sea. Lightweight, portable, easy to carry and install, It can use your DJI mini 2/Mavic Mini flying on the river and lakes,no worry about your drone sinking.

What is the cost to repair the drone? ›

In general, you can expect to pay between $200 to $600 for a repair job on your drone. The exact cost will depend on the type and brand of the drone, and on what repairs are needed, including how long the repair work takes, and on what replacement parts are needed.

Can drone motors get wet? ›

Drones and drone motors are not waterproof and should not be used in the rain because the electronics will be damaged, and the drone will be destroyed. If you are in the process of landing your drone and become caught in the rain, snow, or ice, you may probably get away with a slight mist or drizzle.

What is the failure rate of drones? ›

From a different point of view, sophisticated UAV systems have an overall failure rate of 25%.

Does Best Buy cover drone crashes? ›

Geek Squad Protection Plan

The Protection Plan offers the following benefits: Accidental damage from handling. If your drone fails or is accidentally damaged, we'll make it right. It's that simple.

What causes drone failure? ›

Common causes of drone crashes include:
  • Poor weather. Heavy rain/sleet/ice/snow can damage the internal parts of your drone, causing it to crash. ...
  • Flying past your line of sight. ...
  • Pilot error. ...
  • Skipping pre-flight checkup procedures. ...
  • Disconnected transmission.

Can I fly my DJI in rain? ›

Generally, it's not recommended to fly drones in rain, mist, high humidity, or over water bodies with strong winds. Many drones have venting holes that can expose the electronics inside to moisture. Once water gets inside, short circuits can occur and possibly damage your drone.


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