Is Sabrent 4 port usb-a hub safe to use after water spill?


newmann

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I have a dell xps 15 9520. Last week or so, I had water spill all over my desk. My laptop is connected to 2 external monitors via usb-c to displayport and hdmi to dvi cable. The usb-c port on my laptop... has a Dell supplied 2 in 1 Dell 20A adapter that has an hdmi port and a usb-a port. So that hdmi port is connected by hdmi to dvi cable to my asus monitor. The usb-a port i plugged in the sabrent usb a 4 port hub to give it more usb a ports since this laptop has 0 usb-a ports. The 1st usb-a port is wireless mouse dongle. The 2nd usb-a port I use wired keyboard. I normally leave the 3rd and 4th usb a port empty. I normally use one of the ports with a cable matters ethernet adapter for wired internet but having issues with it so not using it. And I would use the last usb-a port for a usb flash drive sometimes etc.


The thunderbolt 4 port is used for usb-c to displayport for my main 32' 4k monitor. The 2nd thunderbolt 4 port is for my dell charger.


Now when I spilled water over my desk, the water touched the sabrent usb a 4 port hub. I took bounty towel and tried to wipe it as quick as I could. I don't believe any water touched my laptop though. Now a bit after this, I turned off my laptop for few hours. Also when this occurred, there didn't seem to be any issues at all. But I am pretty sure water went into the holes of the sabrent usb a 4 port hub especially the 3rd and 4th ports since those were empty etc. The 1st 2 usb-a ports was plugged in with wireless mouse dongle and wired keyboard so most likely water didn't get in there that much? So far no issue at all with the 1st 2 usb-a ports with the wireless mouse dongle and wired keyboard.


My question is... are there any safety precautions I could take before attempting to plug something into the 3rd or 4th usb a port? Such that if i plug in a cable matters ethernet cable or usb flash drive... it not only could cause damage to it... but it could cause damage to the Dell 20A 2 in 1 Adapter which it is connected to... but also my main dell xps laptop? I heard you could short your laptop this way?


The thing is earlier in the week, I had a usb error message showing in device manager and I am not sure if that is because of my sabrent 4 port hub or if it could be my 24' asus monitor. My asus monitor has been acting up a lot as one of the buttons seem to be stuck. But now that usb error message is no longer there. This is the message it showed below but not there anymore. I thought it was the sabrent 4 port hub because it says bad usb but is it possible its the usb a ports on my asus monitor which I never use?


It's under Universal Serial Bus Controllers and shows as


Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)


Does anyone have any advice on what I could do to test my sabrent 4 port usb a hub safely in this situation? Is it safe plugging in a flash drive into either the 3rd or 4th port? Should i plug this sabrent 4 port hub into another laptop and then plug in a flash drive to test? Do I need to use a hair dryer and blow the sabrent 4 port hub to remove any possible water that still remains? The main thing here is I do not want to risk damage to my main dell xps 15 9520 system. At the moment I am only using the 1st 2 usb-a ports without any issue. However, I would like to also use the 3rd and possibly the 4th usb-a port as well but am concerned if connecting something to it could possibly short the port hub and then the Dell 20A 2 in 1 Adapter and finally the laptop itself?
 

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jimbo45

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Hi there
As these are cheap -- why take a risk -- however if completely dry and water was clean water it should be OK.

Don't dry it out in an Air fryer though !!!!!!!!

"Risk to reward ratio" !!!!
 

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Winuser

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If you let it throughly dry it should be OK. If it has vent holes use a blow dryer on the cool setting to air dry it. You can also place it in front of a fan.
 

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Mooly

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The problem with any spillage onto electronic equipment is the corrosion and 'fretting' that occurs to wires/components/PCB traces due to electrolysis should there be any power applied to the area that is wet. If there is no voltage present plain water will just dry. If voltage is present you get this reaction.

Without a detailed examination it is impossible to say whether anything is damaged or not.
 

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newmann

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Well I bought a new sabrent 4 port usb a hub because the old one... my old xps laptop had thunder zap in it where the hdmi port went bad and the cable matters ethernet adapter with the ethernet cable that was plugged in the last port fried. I tested the last usb a port on that old sabrent 4 port usa b hub and it worked fine but didn't want to use it on this new xps laptop.


But because I got water over it, that is more than enough to toss it away? It was drinking water that spilled on it but the thing is this is a plastic bottle that I refilled with drinking water... but it originally has sugar in it as the original drink in that bottle is something else.


The thing is it has been over a week and there doesn't seem to be issues with the 1st or 2nd usb a port on this new sabrent port hub. But testing the 3rd and 4th usb a port is too risky then? So if i connect a usb flash drive to either of these ports, what can happen? What about putting it under a ceiling fan? Well I just do not know about the other usb a ports. So what do I do here? I would like to use the last 2 usb a ports occasionally.
 

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Winuser

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Well I bought a new sabrent 4 port usb a hub because the old one... my old xps laptop had thunder zap in it where the hdmi port went bad and the cable matters ethernet adapter with the ethernet cable that was plugged in the last port fried. I tested the last usb a port on that old sabrent 4 port usa b hub and it worked fine but didn't want to use it on this new xps laptop.


But because I got water over it, that is more than enough to toss it away? It was drinking water that spilled on it but the thing is this is a plastic bottle that I refilled with drinking water... but it originally has sugar in it as the original drink in that bottle is something else.


The thing is it has been over a week and there doesn't seem to be issues with the 1st or 2nd usb a port on this new sabrent port hub. But testing the 3rd and 4th usb a port is too risky then? So if i connect a usb flash drive to either of these ports, what can happen? What about putting it under a ceiling fan? Well I just do not know about the other usb a ports. So what do I do here? I would like to use the last 2 usb a ports occasionally.
You spilt water on the new 4 port hub, or you bought a new 4 port hub? If you're using port 1 and 2 on the USB hub that you spilt the water on, why would port 3 and 4 be a problem? IMHO the problem would be all or none.
 

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I have found that a small amount of isopropyl alcohol (the 90% plus pure variety) to flush out remaining water can be helpful. Then the alcohol itself dries much quicker.

But use caution. Don't use around heatsinks where it can flush away thermal paste and such.
 

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I have found that a small amount of isopropyl alcohol (the 90% plus pure variety) to flush out remaining water can be helpful. Then the alcohol itself dries much quicker.

But use caution. Don't use around heatsinks where it can flush away thermal paste and such.
Another way is to wrap it in cheese cloth and place it in a container of uncooked rice. I know a couple of friends who did this with their cell phones.
 

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newmann

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I had an old sabrent 4 port usb a hub with my old xps 15 9550. There was thunder and electricity zapped on that old laptop and hdmi port fried and in one of the old sabrent 4 port usb a hub which I connected a cable matters ethernet adapter with ethernet cable... that cable matters ethernet adapter fried and I tossed it out. But when I tried plugging a usb flash drive to that old sabrent 4 port usb a hub to it, that last usb a port still worked. But I no longer use that old sabrent 4 port usb a hub anymore as I didn't think good idea to use it with a new laptop in the xps 15 9520. So I then bought a brand new sabrent 4 port usb a hub.


I then got water spilled on table while my new xps 15 9520 was on and water touched the new sabrent 4 port usb a hub. At the time, only the 1st 2 ports had something connected... wireless mouse dongle and wired keyboard. So it would be hard for much water to get inside those usb a ports. Now on usb a ports 3 and 4, there is nothing connected inside of it. So when water spilled on the table, I am assuming water most likely got inside ports 3 and 4. Does that make sense? I don't think any water got inside port 1 and 2 because those 2 usb a ports had something plugged in already so hard for water to get inside?


So ever since that happened... there isn't any issue at all with usb a ports 1 and 2 as with my wireless mouse dongle and wired keyboard. But I am not sure if connecting anything to ports 3 and 4 is risky or not. If I connect something to those last 2 ports, it would most likely be a usb flash drive. So you say if there is nothing wrong with ports 1 and 2, there should be no problem with ports 3 and 4 because the probably would be all 4 usb a ports or none? Is there a reason why? I mean... couldn't the 3rd or 4th port not work? Does anyone here agree with this? Because I can certainly imagine if say this wasn't a water issue but say someone jammed the 3rd or 4th usb a port so hard and damaged it... wouldn't the 1st and 2nd usb a ports be no problem?
 

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Mooly

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One single blob of water the size of one single big raindrop is big enough to cover many of the super tiny SMD parts (surface mount devices) used in modern electronics.

You spilled water over it, it then had problems... so everything points to it having suffered 'water damage'. You would need to open it and check, but I suspect if this has happened then it will be too late to fix although there is nothing lost trying.

Dealing with spillage was part of the day job many years ago.

Look at the first image here:
 

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Winuser

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I had an old sabrent 4 port usb a hub with my old xps 15 9550. There was thunder and electricity zapped on that old laptop and hdmi port fried and in one of the old sabrent 4 port usb a hub which I connected a cable matters ethernet adapter with ethernet cable... that cable matters ethernet adapter fried and I tossed it out. But when I tried plugging a usb flash drive to that old sabrent 4 port usb a hub to it, that last usb a port still worked. But I no longer use that old sabrent 4 port usb a hub anymore as I didn't think good idea to use it with a new laptop in the xps 15 9520. So I then bought a brand new sabrent 4 port usb a hub.


I then got water spilled on table while my new xps 15 9520 was on and water touched the new sabrent 4 port usb a hub. At the time, only the 1st 2 ports had something connected... wireless mouse dongle and wired keyboard. So it would be hard for much water to get inside those usb a ports. Now on usb a ports 3 and 4, there is nothing connected inside of it. So when water spilled on the table, I am assuming water most likely got inside ports 3 and 4. Does that make sense? I don't think any water got inside port 1 and 2 because those 2 usb a ports had something plugged in already so hard for water to get inside?


So ever since that happened... there isn't any issue at all with usb a ports 1 and 2 as with my wireless mouse dongle and wired keyboard. But I am not sure if connecting anything to ports 3 and 4 is risky or not. If I connect something to those last 2 ports, it would most likely be a usb flash drive. So you say if there is nothing wrong with ports 1 and 2, there should be no problem with ports 3 and 4 because the probably would be all 4 usb a ports or none? Is there a reason why? I mean... couldn't the 3rd or 4th port not work? Does anyone here agree with this? Because I can certainly imagine if say this wasn't a water issue but say someone jammed the 3rd or 4th usb a port so hard and damaged it... wouldn't the 1st and 2nd usb a ports be no problem?
if enough water got inside of your USB hub to do any damage, the whole hub would be ruined. Not just port 3 and 4. Having something plugged into port 1 and 2 did't make them waterproof. If your still worried about the hub being damaged, I would just buy another hub.

Edit: A little info about water and electronics. How to save electronics and hardware from water damage.
 

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