Tens of thousands of cell phones suffer water damage each day, according to Ralph Caparotti, a co-owner of the new ZAGG cell phone repair shop downtown. He wants to be the guy who dries them.

The ZAGG franchise, located at 1204 G Street NW, recently leased a DryBox Rescue machine—-the only one of its kind in the D.C. region, Caparotti says—-that promises to dry water-damaged cell phones and, in most cases, fix them in just 30 minutes.

Here’s how it works: A customer drops by with his or her phone within 36 hours of it getting wet, a store technician drops the damaged phone into a microwave-looking drying chamber, and then the machine, in theory, extracts the moisture.

There’s a $10 fee to use the DryBox and if it successfully fixes the phone, you pay an additional $49.99. It works on all phones.

ZAGG has been open for about three weeks, and Caparotti says 10 customers have come in with water-damaged phones. The machine fixed seven of them.

Caporotti concedes that you can also try to fix your water-logged phone by surrounding it with dry rice, but says DryBox Rescue machine does it a whole lot faster, and with a greater success rate.

Photo by Perry Stein