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- What You Need To Know About Water-Proof and Water-Resistance
- What Fitbits Are Good For Swimming?
- What About Shower Proof Fitbits?
- Is My Fitbit Waterproof When It Has A Water-Lock?
- Oops! I Dropped My Device In The Water
- What If My Fitbit Has Accidentally Ended Up In The Washing Machine?
- In Conclusion
Confused about whether your Fitbit is waterproof or not? Don’t worry. You are not the only one.
Is my Fitbit waterproof is something that most Fitbit owners ask themselves. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the water quality of devices. On this page, we will take a look at the difference between waterproof and water resistance.
What You Need To Know About Water-Proof and Water-Resistance
Oops! I am sorry, I forgot to mention splash-proof. When it comes to wearable devices, you will find that there are many different levels of what many like to call waterproof technology.
That is great, but it also means that confusion reigns supreme, if you know what I mean. Since I got into wearable fitness devices, I have lost count of how many hours I have spent explaining what can only be called different “water-proofnesses.” For instance, should you wear your Fitbit when you go paddleboarding? That is a question I asked myself recently.
Let’s start from the top and explore what it means when a device is splash-proof.
A splash-proof device is a device that can tolerate splashes of water. So, for instance, if you are washing your hands and get a few splashes of water on your device, it should be okay.
One thing that you should not do is submerge your splash-proof device in water. However, when doing the dishes, you need to take it off.
As always, there is one word of warning. Splash-proof devices are not tested under pressure at all. That means you may find your splash-proof device will take on water when you wear out in a heavy rainstorm.
When wearing a splash-proof device in heavy rain, you need to make sure that it is covered up and not exposed to the rain.
A better name for water resistance would be humidity protection. This is kind of a tricky one as many manufacturers interpret this concept differently.
Water-resistance means that your device has some kind of protection for taking on water. For example, you may be able to submerge it in water for a few seconds.
Be aware that does not mean it will not take on water. For example, submerging a water-resistance device in a streaming river will often take on water.
Why is that? It happens because the pressure of the force of the water forces its way into the device.
This happens with watches a lot. Walkers have been known to dip their watch-wearing hands into the river to pick up an exciting object. When they take their hand out, they find water has entered their watch.
A waterproof device is a device that can be safely submerged in water for an extended period of time.
On the surface of it, you would have thought waterproof means that no water can get in at all. The problem is that the concept is more complicated than that.
When we talk about divers watches, we are talking about something different.
At the end of the day, all of this has to do with pressure. Your Fitbit or other electronic devices may have a waterproof quality up to 50 meters. But, if the water pressure varies for one reason or another, water may enter your device.
You are probably pretty safe when swimming in your local swimming pool, but when you swim in the open, you need to be aware that conditions may vary.
Why is that? When we free swim, we don’t take into consideration currents. I have learned this from my own mistake when free-swimming. Unfortunately, even at the surface of a lake or the sea, currents can severely impact a supposedly waterproof fitness tracker.
Here is a little bit of know-how that is handy to bear in mind. One liter of water produces one 1 kilo of resistance. If the force increases by a strong current, the more intense the pressure is on your device. A liter of water flowing at 10 km can weigh as much as 10 kilos. You are now talking 100 kilos of pressure! Wow!
Is There A Set Standard?
Yes, there is a set standard. Well, let’s backtrack. There is sort of a set standard.
Rolex measures everything by the electronic water resistance, which is set by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Therefore, it is often referred to as Ingress Protection or IP.
You will not only see this on electronic devices and watches. If you are a keen outdoor person, you will have come across this on everything from camping equipment and clothing.
The problem is that most devices, including Fitbit, is that they are only tested at a simulated pressure of up to 50 meters.
What does simulated pressure mean? First, it means that every device does not consider unique conditions at 50 meters.
If you want to buy a Fitbit for swimming, it is essential to buy the right one for you. When thinking about diving down to 50 meters, you should consider another device than a Fitbit. To be on the safe side.
You should also consider if your Fitbit is ice-proof if you want to swim somewhere really cold. Having completed an extreme swim in Antarctica, I know that freezing water is not something any device or watch will stand.
What Fitbits Are Good For Swimming?
If you are a keen open water swimmer like me, you have a range of waterproof Fitbits to choose from.
Before you jump into the water, you need to check that your Fitbit is happy to swim with you.
The set international standard is IP 8. That is what it should say on the documentation from the manufacturer.
If you are unsure and your device is not a Fitbit, you should read the warranty document. When the manufacturer provides you with a warranty for IP8 standard, it should be okay to swim with your Fitbit and use it for swim tracking. But, it is always best to check as you don’t want to waste your money.
Best Fitbit For Swimming:
- Inspire 2
- Fitbit Ace 3
- Fitbit Charge 4
- Fitbit Charge 5
- Fitbit Sense
- Fitbit Luxe
- Fitbit Versa 2 or 3
When you come out of the pool or other body of water, check your stats and then dry your Fitbit off. I know that it sounds corny, but you should look after it. Condensation can quickly build up even though your device is waterproof.
There is another reason for drying off your Fitbit as well. If water remains between your Fitbit and your skin, you may experience a rash.
It is best to take your device off and dry yourself properly. Then, before putting your Fitbit back on, make sure that it is dry.
Chlorinated water can also affect the band on your Fitbit. Another reason why you should dry it off.
What About Shower Proof Fitbits?
Yes, there are some Fitbits that you can wear in the shower.
Most of my friends know that I am a keen Fitbit user. However, they ask me if I wear my Fitbit in the shower.
The honest answer is that I wear my Fitbit in the shower from time to time. But, most of the time., I take it off as I know any wet jewelry can cause skin irritations. I know that may seem over the top, but as an athlete, I know how easy it is to pick up infections, especially fungal infections from watches and devices.
If you do want to wear your Fitbit in the shower, these are the models that you should look out for:
- Fitbit Charge 2 and above
- Fitbit Ace
- Fitbit Ace 2 and 3
- Fitbit inspire series
- Fitbit Luxe
- Fitbit Ionic
- Fitbit Versa series
- Fitbit Sense
If the device on your wrist is not a Fitbit, do make sure that you check the manufacturer’s standards before you shower and bathe with it.
Is My Fitbit Waterproof When It Has A Water-Lock?
I think that this deserves mention. Sometimes, I think that the water lock is a bit of a confusing function. I know many parents who have bought their kids Fitbits only for the Water-Lock function to confuse.
You may have noticed that your Fitbit has what is called a water-lock. Does that make it waterproof? The short answer is yes and no. It does not work when diving into water from a height.
The primary function of a water lock is to protect your Fitbit from accidental water damage when undertaking water-based activities.
When it is water-locked mode, you can still see notifications, but you can interact with them. Hopefully, you will be too busy to think about doing that.
The good thing about water-lock is that you can turn it on when doing water-based activities such as swimming, playing games in water, and showering.
When you choose swimming in activities, it should automatically activate. Before you jump in the water, make sure that it has activated. If not, this is how you activated manually:
- Tap the water-lock icon, which looks like a drop of water.
- Tap your Fitbit screen twice and make sure it has engaged
After you have finished your water-based activity, turn the water lock off and dry your device.
On Inspire and Luxe, you tap the screen twice to turn the function off. On Sense and Versa 3, you need to press the button.
For some reason, it does not always work the first time. So you may have to do it a few times to make sure that it is off.
Please don’t turn it off without your device being dry. This is where I think many kids go wrong apart from diving in the pool. Diving may accidentally turn the water lock off.
Oops! I Dropped My Device In The Water
Whether you dropped your Fitbit into the fish tank or an oversized glass of Gin and Tonic, you need to act fast.
The first thing to do is to get it out and dry it off. After you have done this, switch it off if you can. Leave for at least 10 minutes and then switch it back on again.
For some quirky reason, you can’t “power down” Fitbits fitness trackers. The ones that you can power down are Blaze, Versa series, Ionic, Surge, Flyer, One, and Sense.
Most importantly, you must not try to charge your Fitbit while still wet. It is best to leave it off for a few hours and do your best to make sure that it is totally dry before you attempt to charge it.
Be aware that it can take a long time for it to dry out. Therefore, it is best to leave it to dry out as long as possible before charging it again.
This happened to a friend, and he let his dry out for 24 hours. Fortunately, he did manage to recover his Fitbit successfully.
Never use a hairdryer to dry your Fitbit. That is not going to work.
What If My Fitbit Has Accidentally Ended Up In The Washing Machine?
Hopefully, this should not happen, but you should dry it thoroughly if it does happen.
If it does happen, you should dry it off and leave it somewhere to dry out the best you can.
Please don’t leave it in the sun. If you do, condensation will build upon the screen.
Speaking of condensation, you may notice this anyway if you have been out running when raining and your Fitbit has become wet.
One of the best ways to remove screen or glass condensation from the screen is to leave it wrapped up in paper that absorbs water. Paper kitchen toweling is fine. You could also try silica and dry rice.
Just be aware that rice is often dusty and may even scratch.
The most important factor in buying a Fitbit is to make sure that you buy one that fits in with your activities. Also, check the warranty and make sure that it agrees with the waterproof capabilities of the Fitbit.
The last thing you want is to end up asking yourself, is my Fitbit waterproof when you are about to jump into the water as part of your triathlon.