Are Walkie-talkies Waterproof? Here’s All You Need To Know

Do you use your walkie-talkie in wet conditions, or worried about the constant splashes of water ruining your walkie-talkie? Then it's time to know about waterproof walkie-talkie.
waterproof electronic device

Do you occasionally have to use your walkie-talkie in wet conditions? Or are you worried about the constant splashes of water ruining your walkie-talkie? Then it’s time to invest in a waterproof walkie-talkie.

There are waterproof and water-resistant walkie-talkies. These walkie-talkies protect the radios from damage caused by water in rain or other water bodies by using rubberized seals to displace the water.

But what’s the big difference between a waterproof and a water-resistant walkie-talkie? 

Water-resistant Vs. Waterproof Walkie-talkies

Light rain and water splashes do not affect the functionality of or damage water-resistant models. Thus with these radio models, you can effectively communicate with your group or companions.

Waterproof models have much better protection against water and other liquids. They work well in heavy rain and are also submersible in water. However, how long they can stay submerged in water and at what depth depends on their IP rating.

A walkie-talkie with an IP rating of 7 can stay submerged for 30 minutes at a depth not exceeding 1 meter. You can check more on what an IP rating means below, but it’s a test that measures the water-resistance factor of a gadget.

Another thing to note about waterproof two-way radios is that the waterproofing ability also applies to their accessories. Thus, it’s best to use branded accessories along with your radio.

Doing this also helps prevents you from accidentally breaking the waterproofing seal of your gadget. This damage can happen when you buy accessories that aren’t perfect fits.

What Is An IP rating?

The Ingress Protection, AKA the “IP” rating, is a two-digit number that signifies how well your two-way radio can withstand solids (like dust) and liquids (like water). 

The IP rating looks like this; IPXX, where the first X represents a digit from 0 to 6, and the second X is typically from 0 to 8. 

ip rating explained
IP Rating Digits Definition

The first digit measures the protection of walkie-talkies against solids, while the second digit is for liquids. 

Also, if the digit comes with an X for any of the numbers, in that case, it means this part of the resistance ability is untested and unknown.

The IP rating is a trustworthy test by an independent body, not the product’s manufacturers. Thus, this prevents any instance of a manufacturer lying about the water-resistance ability of their products.

Also, you can run both tests separately. For example, some manufacturers only do IP waterproofing testing. In cases like that, the IP code will look like IPX6, which means the water resistance ability is tested with trustworthiness.

Note: The second digit is the most vital factor when choosing a waterproof walkie-talkie. Why? Because it’s an index of how resistant your gadget is against light or heavy rain pour or other heavier water exposure.

Detailed Ingress Protection Scale For Solid Particles

Here’s what it means when the first number of your walkie-talkie’s IP rating is:

0No protection against solid particles
1Protects against solid objects larger than 50mm
2Protects against fingers and solids over 12.5mm
3Protects against solid objects like tools and thick wires larger than 2.5mm
4Protects against solids over 1mm like thin-sized wires
5Protects against dust particles. It’s dust-resistant but does not allow in enough dust particles that can cause damage to your radio
6A hundred percent protection against dust; it’s completely dust-proof
Solid Particle Ingression Level

Detailed Ingress Protection Scale For Liquids, Including Humidity And Water  

Here’s what it means when the second number of your walkie-talkie’s IP rating is:

0Zero protection against liquids
1Protects the walkie-talkie against water droplets that fall vertically
2Protects against water drops that hit the radio at an angle of 15° or less
3Protects against water sprays and rain at an angle not greater than 60°
4Protects against water splashes from all directions
5Protects against low-pressure water jet sprays. You can use wash them under a running tap if need be
6Protects against high-pressure water jet sprays
7Protects against immersion for 30 minutes. That is, it can only stay submerged (without damage) at a depth not more than 1 meter
8Protects against prolonged immersion in water bodies deeper than 1 meter
Liquid Particles Ingression Level

As you can see, IP67 walkie-talkies can offer excellent protection against dust particles. With this protection level, it is an ideal option for users in wet areas such as the seafront.

However, IP68 is the ultimate choice for people who work in a critical environment where it is usually submerged underwater. These radios can stay for an hour at a depth of more than 1 meter. However, you’ll need to check the exact water resistance depth with the manufacturer. 

The IP67 and IP68 two-way radios are great options for lifeguards and rigorous outdoor activities like mining, water sports, hiking, and construction.

kayak watersport

Features To Watch Out For When Purchasing Waterproof Walkie-talkies

  • NOAA weather alerts: Before you pay, check if the walkie-talkie has access to NOAA channels and weather alerts. These alerts can come in handy and help you prepare for any emergency weather conditions coming your way.
  • LED flashlight: This is helpful when it’s dark. Some LED flashlights automatically come on when the walkie-talkie is underwater; thus, it’s easier to find.
  • IP rating: If you want something you can use in light rains and has protection against water splashes or other forms of water exposure, go for radios with an IP rating of 3 to 5. But for submersible radios, an IP rating of 7 to 8 is right up your alley.
  • Long battery life: If you’re going hiking, you most likely won’t find a place to plug in your gadget. In essence, get a model with long-lasting battery life. 
  • Built-in SOS siren: There’s no guarantee that you won’t run into trouble and need help. But a walkie-talkie with an SOS siren function can sound to signal for help.
  • Range and sound quality: What’s the essence of a walkie-talkie if no one can hear you? Purchase good models that render crisp sound despite harsh weather conditions.
  • Floating feature: Check the size and weight because this makes it easy to use your device. Floating walkie-talkies stay afloat in water rather than submerging — they are lightweight and waterproof. This feature further helps to protect your gadget from being in the water longer than it should.

What To Do If Your Non-waterproof Walkie-talkie Falls Into The Water

Suppose your non-waterproof or non-water-resistant two-way radio falls into the water. In that case, the first thing you should never do is shake it violently with the hope of getting the water out. 

While you’ll find tiny splashes of water coming out, you’re also pushing the water to the inner part of the radio. In other words, you’re causing more harm than good.

This rule also applies to waterproof walkie-talkies. So, for example, if your waterproof walkie-talkie stays submerged in water way longer than its IP rating labeled, the water may still permeate.

Pro Tip: If the device has no water resistance level and you don’t want to buy a new waterproof one, wrapping it in a storage bag is a good idea to prevent most water leaked in. And in some extreme cases, you can use a condom to wrap it up – no joking, the condom is a versatile and helpful tool amongst adventurers to insulate waters.

How To Rescue Your Walkie-Talkie When Water Gets In?

If the unfortunate situation happens, the water gets into your walkie-talkie, which is not waterproof. You can follow the four steps to restore it to function as possible.

  • Please Turn It Off

If your device falls into the water while the power is on, turn it off, and remove the battery immediately. Turn down the power supply as soon as possible to stop the electric circuit gets short, rusting, and causing component damage.

Also, keep the radio power off if the water inside is not yet removed. Attempting to turn it on will only worsen the state of your radio.

Remember to dry the outer surface to stop more water gets in.

  • Get The Water Out

If you are not good at repair, the easiest way is to get the water out as much as possible without unscrewing it, and then put it into a can fill with desiccant, leave it for a time, and let the drying agent suck the water out of the walkie-talkie. 

How long you leave the device depends on how much water your radio fell in and for how long. One week should work in most cases.

The goal is to get the moisture out and leave the insides of your radio dry enough to get back to its feet. 

If the device is still functioning before you turn it off, and also no other things than water getting into it, it should work.

  • Test-run Your Walkie-talkie

After a while, bring it out, put back the battery, and turn it on. But before you turn it on, check if the display screen is foggy, as that’s usually a telltale sign of moisture.

Put the walkie-talkie back in the desiccant and leave it for more days if the screen is foggy until it completely dries out. 

And if it is still not working, then it’s time to have your manufacturer take a look.

Final Words

Waterproof and water-resistant walkie-talkies are helpful, especially for people who need to use them underwater or in harsh weather conditions. And the most crucial factor you can refer to is the IP rating.

Emergency features are also worth having as it might get dangerous while engaging in outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking. And, of course, a lightweight model is preferred.

About The Arthur
Picture of Kenny Zhang
I've been running a factory that manufactures two-way radios & their accessories. We want to share some knowledge and news about Walkie-Talkie from the sight of the supplier.

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