SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --It's one of the biggest reasons a cellphone breaks -- the phone is dropped into a toilet or even a swimming pool and it stops working. A company claimed they had a device that dries water-soaked phones in 20 minutes, so 7 On Your Side put the device to the test.
TekDry co-founder Eric Jones just did with his cellphone what should never be tried at home. He calmly dropped it in the toilet.
"So you see the bubbles coming out of it. I think most people would have foregone their pride and dove in after it by now," Jones said.
Jones developed a device called TekDry that puts cellphones back in working order 20 minutes after being placed in the device.
The extended warranty service Square Trade lists phones in water as the number two reason for damaged smartphones, right behind dropping it on a hard surface.
Just five minutes earlier, Jones was showing off a picture of his two children, Emily and Wilson, on his phone. Now he's moving quickly to save his pictures and the phone.
"So there's really two keys for a successful rescue. Number one is don't plug your phone in and if you can, turn it off and removing the batteries is even better," Jones said. "Number two, the sooner you get it to us, the better your chances are."
TekDry is located inside a kiosk, and the device looks like a big pressure cooker.
"So basically what we're doing is evaporating the water and we're able to just evaporate it into the atmosphere," Jones said.
Jones has an animated chart on his laptop that measures the amount of moisture that is being removed. "I can't tell you how hot it is, but I can tell you we keep it in a safe temperature that's within the manufacturer's specifications," he said.
When asked about the popular notion that sticking a cellphone into uncooked rice will dry the phone, Jones said, "It certainly can't go inside your phone and pull that moisture out like we can. During the time that people are waiting on rice, that water can be sitting in there causing corrosion and further damage."
Moments after TekDry finished drying Jones' cellphone, he talked to his daughter Emily in Denver.
Right now, TekDry is a mail-in service only available at tekdry.com. Eventually, they hope to have kiosks set up at local retailers where phones can be restored while customers wait.
The price is $69.99 plus the cost of mailing and the customer will only be charged if the phone is fixed.