Is it dangerous? What will happen to me and the PC?

It's a serious question. The other day I almost spilled a bottle of cola inside my PC (the case was open).

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    What is this, national destroy a computer day? – Fred Apr 4 '10 at 19:27
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    seriously? you have to ask? – squircle Apr 4 '10 at 19:28
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    I am fascinated by electricity. – Tomasi Apr 4 '10 at 19:29
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    Go for it - if you're really lucky you'll win a Darwin Award: darwinawards.com – Paul R Apr 4 '10 at 20:56
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    "cola" and "water" are not the same thing. immediate short-circuiting effects will be similar, but their corroding effects (on anything that survives the initial short-circuit) will be very different. – quack quixote Apr 5 '10 at 0:52

You are likely to create many new circuits on your motherboard, mostly of the short-to-ground variety. If you are extremely fortunate, the power supply will blow before you discover the incandescent CPU, or find a ground outside the computer case. It is possible nothing will be fried (my wife once put her powered-up phone in a glass of water and it survived), but I would expect several somethings would be destroyed. At least one something that is destroyed will not be easy to replace. YMMV. Don't try this at home, let Mythbusters do the test.

  • Even non waterproof phones are almost waterproof. They have lots of glue unlike PCs which use screws – Suici Doga Jun 3 '16 at 13:19

It is possible for some electronics to survive being exposed to water briefly if they are

  • powered off already
  • very very quickly powered off

... and allowed to dry thoroughly before being powered on again.

I feel I should point out, however, that the more conductive the liquid, the worse the result. Even with distilled (pure) water the results will be .. unpleasant.


With a high probability first of all it will shut down, in a very fast way and maybe with some special effects (sound, sparks) and it might also take all your flat's lights with it - depends on your fuses.

If you try to restart it directly after its shower, same effect.

After waiting for it to dry (with opened case, maybe take out cards and hard drives) you have a little chance that it will work fine, a very little chance. It's more likely you will have to replace some components, broken from an electric overload or just by the water.

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