10/31/17 Tech Talk Tuesday: How to Limit Water Damage When an Instrument Gets Wet

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How to Limit Water Damage When am Instrument Gets Wet

Every summer we see a great deal of severe weather, and with it a large increase in water damaged instruments. You may be caught in a sudden rain storm, or severe weather could cause flooding in an office storing your survey fleet. Whatever the cause, here are some solid tips to reduce the damage to your instruments in the event they get wet.

  1. Most Trimble Survey Instruments are Water Resistant, not Waterproof:  Don’t let your instruments become submerged in water, and if you are caught in a driving rain, take cover and do not test fate. Even though most Trimble Instruments are protected against dust, in most cases they are not able to be immersed in water or protected against torrential rain or high pressure water ingress. See your user manual about IP Ratings, abide by them and make sure you do not push an instrument to its limit.
  2. Power Down and Remove the Battery – It can be tempting to test if the instrument is still functioning, however keeping the power on can severely damage the instrument. If water has soaked into the internals of the instrument, the boards and power supplies can short. Always play it safe, power down the instrument and wait until it has completely dried before you power the instrument back up.
  3. Let the Instrument Dry for 24 Hours – Because steps one and two.
  4. Never Put a Wet Instrument In Its Case – It can be very tempting to put the instrument back in the case when it is not totally dry at the end of the day, but this can cause more damage to the instrument than the initial water damage. Putting an instrument in the case wet will cause the atmosphere within the case to become highly humid. This combines with the dry air inside the instrument and causes a vacuum effect that draws the warm and humid air into the instrument. This is especially true with optical instruments and can complexly destroy a telescope if the wet air gets inside.  
  5. Time is of the Essence – If you find your instrument has been water damaged, bring it in for service immediately. If water is allowed to sit within an instrument for a long period of time, it will corrode the internals rust out the contacts. Once that happens the damage may uneconomical to repair.

 Accidents do happen and if you do find yourself with a water damaged instrument, bring it to us for service immediately. We will do everything we can to make sure you and your instruments are repaired and able to be redeployed to the field quickly. We do have priority service options to give you flexibility in emergency situations and your instrument may even be eligible for warranty renewal if repaired in a timely fashion.

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