HP-48GX crackling keys


I had a smal mishap yesterday: I spilled some energy drink on my HP. I managed to clean it right away, but now the six keys on the far left make this "crackling" or "clicking" sound which just drives me nuts!!! Hoped that since the drink was "sugarfree", it would not be too sticky... wrong.
Otherwise it works fine, though.

Does anybody know how to "repair" this?
Do you think this problem will solve itself as time go by?



It will not get better, only worse in that it may start to miss keypresses. It's easy to clean.

Back up your programs, remove the batteries* and covers and give the unit a bath in distilled water. Press all the keys while it is underwater. Let it soak for five minutes. Press all the keys again. Take it out, shake out all the water from the unit, change your bath water and repeat the process.

Shake it out really well, put it in a warm place to dry, keyboard side up. A small fan blowing over it will speed the process. Give it 24 hours. Put the batteries back in and it should be good as new.

* - Failure to remove the batteries will result in a dead, non-repairable calculator. Liquids and 48's don't mix well when batteries are in place.


Just to confirm:
Batteries out, ok- no problem.
Covers: the only covers I can remove are those for the batteries and the top cover for the cards.

I cannot dismantle it any further.

Are you positive it won´t hurt my calculator?
(perhaps I´m just used to my cell phone, which "fractionize" far too easily)

Thank you!



It certainly is worth a try, but make sure you do no have the display itself getting wet. I think that is not the best for the calculator.

After taking it out of the water I would try to get as much water out as possible, maybe you can use a lectuce centrifuge or something like that so you can spin the calc already a bit dry ?


Let us know if it worked.



Distilled water will not harm anything electronic, the LCD display is glass and is totally sealed. Everything electronic, your cell phone included, was washed during the assembly process. So long as the unit is not energized and the water is shaken out of the device it will only clean it, not damage it. No need to spin dry, air drying is sufficent. Less risk of damage as well.

You are correct, the battery and port cover are the only pieces you can remove. This is only to allow more water to come out when you shake it. Just hold the unit tightly, don't send it across the room or to the floor. Press all the keys and shake again, do this until no more water can be removed.


Hi Isabel,

I know it seems counter-intuitive to dunk a piece of electronic equipment.

But what Randy is not telling you (because he is being modest) is that he has done this many times berfore, and it worked. He has fixed a lot of calculators :-)

Best regards,




Hey guys, and specially to Randy!

Thank you so very much... it worked out perfect! My beloved HP 48GX is as good as new again!
And Bill was right saying that it was "counter-intuitive" diving an electronical device into any fluid :)

Thanx again for your time and expertise,


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