Laptop Repair Company Reveals Top-10 Liquid Spills That Kill Laptop Computers

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Liquid spills are the root cause of most (60%) laptop repairs, according to laptop repair company MicroReplay. The company lists their Top 10 list of liquid spills that damage laptops and notebook computers, and offers advice to laptop owners on what to do if they spill liquid on their computer.

We recommend laptop users drink their coffee black. No sugar, means less corrosion.

Liquid spills on laptop computers generated some 60% of repairs sent to MicroReplay in 2009, according to company CEO Joe Kouyoumjian: "On any given morning, 20 to 30 broken laptop computers arrive at MicroReplay, needing to have various liquids extracted from their lifeless corpses. Many shiny new, Black Friday purchased computers are sure to meet one of these liquids."

The average cost to fix a dead-on-arrival laptop computer from a liquid spill? About $600. And while liquid spills represent fully 60% of laptop computer repairs, these Top-10 liquid-culprits may surprise you.

#10: Nail Polish Remover (less than 1% of spills). This liquid is designed to dissolve lacquer, so it easily dissolves the coating on your notebook computers' internal logic board, faster than you can accidentally change lanes while painting your toenails.

#9: Bodily Fluids (1% of spills). Yes, one woman claimed breast milk killed her laptop. Most common bodily fluids that kill laptop computers cannot be listed here--way too gross.

#8: Hard liquor (2% of spills). Hard liquor runs the gamut from pure ethyl alcohol (Grey Goose or Kettle One vodka) to syrupy, sugary goodness (brandy, White Russians, Pina Coladas, and other drinks served with an umbrella). The more sugar in the drink, the worse the corrosion that occurs to laptop's internal parts. The sugar, usually sucrose, dries to form a natural bridge across circuits, assuring a very sweet short-circuit.

Expert lush tip: The more likely the drink is to be served with an umbrella (you tough guy) the more important it is that you keep it away from your laptop.

#7: Hot Tea (3% of spills). The tannic acid is again a effective conductor that will bridge circuits, create shorts, and burn out components.

#6: Sea Water (5% of spills). Salt water is among nature's best conductors, and one of the most corrosive liquids known to man. It's the NaCl (Sodium Chloride) that works the magic. Ever wonder why most ocean going vessels not painted faithfully look like floating buckets of rust? Dear Lord, leave your computer in your hotel room on vacation. Ocean versus laptop? Ocean wins. Every time.

#5: Beer (6% of spills). Beer drinkers can't seem to hold their liquor around their laptops, either. Beer is part water, part sugar, part brown goo. American lagers, as well as Mexican beers such as Corona or Dos Equis, are lighter than many imported brands, and may do less damage to laptops.

#4: Wine (10% of spills). It seems laptop owners drink even more wine than beer. Wine is the double-fisted Kung Fu punch of liquid spills--sugar and acid combine into a corrosion stew. Like the hard liquors mentioned above in #9, wines contain ethyl alcohol (12-20%), along with remnants of the processing including yeast, sugar, sulfite preservatives, grape parts, and acetaldehyde. Together, these work as both a corrosive soup and a circuit shorter.

Tip for wine-lovers "If you plan to drink and surf the web, may we suggest a nice white instead of red," suggests Kouyoumjian. "A light Pinot grigio or gentle Chardonnay does slightly less damage than a rich, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon in our experience.

#3: Soda (12% of spills). Coke drinkers seem to spill a lot of drinks on their laptops. Perhaps it's the caffeine? Soft drinks are extra-corrosive due to the sugar and acidity (dissolved CO2) of the liquid, which we are told works well in cleaning rust off of bicycle wheel rims…

#2: Water: (20% of spills). Ironically, it's not the water that's the problem - it's what's in it. Laptop boards are often completely immersed in a liquid called "ultra-pure" to clean damage from liquid spills, including water. Tap or bottled water contains minerals which account for its conductivity and its ability to cause corrosion, leading to the death of your laptop. You may recall from your high school chemistry days, that distilled water will not conduct electricity, but add a few grains of salt or other mineral and voila, we have a short circuit.

#1 Most Common Killer Of Laptop Computers: Coffee. (40% of all spills). Perhaps it's because we drink coffee to wake up and sometimes we're still clumsy in the mornings? Perhaps it's because our hands are shaking from all the caffeine? Either way, spilled coffee on laptops is a computer killer. A complex brew of exotic chemicals, caffeine, cafestol, caffeic acid, and myriad additives like dairy cream, powered cream, sugar, Aspartame (Equal), saccharine, sucralose (Splenda), and more.

Expert tip: "For whatever reason, drinkers of Starbucks Coffee lead in incidence of spilling the black magic liquid into their laptops, followed closely by drinkers of Dunkin Donuts coffee," according to Kouyoumjian. "We recommend laptop users drink their coffee black. No sugar, means less corrosion."

Kouyoumjian advises that if you've spilled liquid on a laptop:

·     Unplug the computer and remove the battery: Your computer uses electricity, even when the main power is off. The presence of that electric current accelerates the corrosive process that damages the circuit boards inside.

·     Ship it overnight or go immediately to a qualified repair facility: Liquid spills that are cleaned professionally within days can save your computer 90% of the time.

About MicroReplay (

MicroReplay provides complete mail-in laptop computer repair services for Apple and other laptop computers, including bona fide component-level repair of failed and damaged logic boards, difficult to fix liquid spills and tough abuse cases such as dropped/immersed systems and broken laptop screens. MicroReplay offers the best service using knowledge developed from over 24 years of experience in the industry. Using the-highest quality parts, highly-skilled technicians, and the latest test and repair equipment, MicroReplay diagnoses and repairs even the most difficult problems, including those which others have said cannot be fixed. The company serves all types of customers, from individuals to large companies to schools and institutions of all sizes. MicroReplay is located in Billerica, Massachusetts and can be reached at: 978-262-1340

Contact Judi Durand: 703-725-6017


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