How to Waterproof a Drone

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Updated August 25, 2022

New drone pilots often find out too late that their devices aren’t waterproof. Even the best drones often come without waterproofing, leaving the electronics open to damage. However, for those nervous about what to do if your drone lands in the water, don’t worry. Below, you’ll find all there is to know on how to waterproof a drone.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Most drone models don’t come with internal components already waterproofed.
  • Apply silicone conformal coating to the sensitive electronic components to avoid water damage.
  • For additional water resistance, apply an anti-corrosive spray to the drones, sensors, buttons, and connection ports.

Those who plan on using their drone around a lot of water might want to check out our guide on the best waterproof drones.

Insider Tip

If you live in an area with high humidity, you should still waterproof your drone even if you don’t fly it over water.

How to Waterproof Drone

Waterproofing is a simple process that every drone owner should understand, like replacing drone propellers or figuring out how to fix a drone battery. Many drones require waterproofing because of the sensitive electrical parts that quickly become damaged when wet. Because of the sensitive nature of what drones are powered by, it’s essential to make your device water resistant by applying a thin silicone coating to seal off the parts.

Any drone pilot interested in modifying and expanding their knowledge regarding how to design a drone should check out our article explaining how to make an obstacle avoidance drone. Finally, because drone usage is constantly expanding, it’s good to know how and what they look like in case you encounter one. For example, one common question is what police drones look like at night.

STAT: Business analysts at Forbes concluded that delivery service is 90% cheaper with drones than with cars. (source)

STEP 1

Take apart your drone until you can access the electrical components. If possible, remove the electrical components entirely from the drone frame.

STEP 2

Remove wrappers, heat shrinks, or coverings from your drone’s circuit board.

STEP 3

Clean the circuit board and electronics with isopropyl alcohol. You can use a toothbrush or Q-tip to apply the rubbing alcohol.

STEP 4

Apply a thin layer of conformal coating to the electronics (circuit board, receiver, flight controller). Avoid coating the switches, connection ports, or sensors.

Warning

Before waterproofing your drone, ensure first that it flies correctly. Once the silicone coating is applied, it’s harder to make adjustments.

STEP 5

Let the silicone conformal coating dry for the amount of recommended time stated on the bottle.

STEP 6

Once dry, flip the electronics over and coat the other side. Again, allow proper time to dry.

STEP 7

Spray anti-corrosion spray on the electronic components you didn’t cover with silicone conformal coating.

STEP 8

Once each layer is dry, reassemble the drone and test to see if it flies correctly.

How to Waterproof a Drone FAQs

Do drones need to be snowproofed?

Waterproofing your drone also protects it from the snow that might melt and get into the electrical components.

What should you do if your drone gets wet before waterproofing?

First, make sure the drone is powered off. Then remove the battery pack, rinse the entire drone with fresh water, and let it sit in a dry place for about 48 hours.

Do drones float?

Not all drones can float. Some drones have flotation features, but owners can modify their devices with floaties.
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