Are DJI Drones Waterproof?

DJ has been manufacturing the best quality consumer, prosumer, and enterprise drones. Their drones are famous for their automated flight modes, excellent cameras, and applicability in various industries, from filming to construction, mining, and agriculture.

However, one of the issues that hinder drone operations is precipitation. Some drones are advertised as waterproof or water-resistant, which makes them usable even in adverse conditions.

But are DJI drones waterproof?

DJI drones are not waterproof. Flying them on a rainy day could make them inoperable because the motors, cameras, and batteries could get damaged by water. 

However, DJI has made some of their drones water resistant, allowing them to withstand rain, snow, and submersion in water bodies, but how resistant a drone will be will depend on the task it’s made for and its IP rating. 

There are also effective measures, as we shall see later, that can help protect the drone, for example, installing full-body shells or silicone coatings to protect delicate drone components.

Having used some of their enterprise drones, such as the DJI M30T, Phantom 4, DJI M300 RTK, and the Agras T30 spraying drone, as well as their consumer drones, such as the Mavic and the Mini series drones, I have seen how DJI drones can hold up when exposed to water.

Read on to learn more about how waterproof or water-resistant DJI drones can be based on my experiences.

The Difference Between Water-Resistant and Waterproof Drones

Are DJI Drones Waterproof?

“Water-resistant” and “waterproof” are often used interchangeably but have different meanings. Let’s clear up the confusion.

 A water-resistant Drone: Partially resists water penetration into the drone’s electrical components. Such drones are usable on slightly rainy days and cannot be damaged by water splashes.

Though its components can be damaged by immersion in water, water penetration to the delicate parts is slow. However, avoid using this type of drone during heavy rains.

 A waterproof drone: This type is watertight and cannot be damaged by water. Waterproof drones’ components have airlocked bodies that safeguard some components, such as the cameras and engines, from water.

How To Know Your Drone’s Protection Against Water Damage

You can determine if your drone is waterproof or water-resistant by measuring its protection against water using an Ingress Protection (IP) rating.

Also known as the International Protection Rating, the Ingress Protection rating refers to your drone’s protective casing against substances such as water and dust that could cause damage to its interiors.

While the first number indicates the protection rate of the device against solid materials, the 2nd one indicates the device’s protection against water.

This second number ranges from 0 to 8, while the first digit ranges from 0 to 6.

For example, IP68 (8 is the highest, which means the drone’s protection against water is high, and 0 is the lowest, which means the drone’s protection is low). A drone rated IP67 or IP68 is generally waterproof.

Below is a chart that shows the various and most common IP ratings and what they mean;

Image retrieved from https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Technical/DataSheets/IPNumbers.htm

NOTE – A drone without an IP rating is not water resistant or waterproof and should not be used in wet conditions.

You will realize a lot of DJI consumer drones, including the 3-camera Mavic 3 Pro, don’t have an IP rating.

Are DJI Drones Waterproof?

No, none of the DJI drones are waterproof, but most are water-resistant. Such drones can be used underwater up to one meter or in rain or snow for a short period.

These drones are great for search and rescue missions during deadly floods, fishing, boating, spraying, spreading, and surfing.

Some DJI drones intended for industrial and commercial uses, such as the DJI Matrice 300 RTK, can be used for tasks like Bathymetric surveys where they get close to water bodies.

However, they are still not water resistant enough to be submerged in water for long periods.

I first experienced flying a DJI drone in the rain when using the M30T to track elephants in a local forest.

The weather forecast app, the UAV Forecast, did say that there would be rain, but it rained a few hours earlier than expected.

So when it started raining, the drone was at least three kilometers from the home point. 

This drone survived at least 5 minutes of heavy downpours and strong winds, but I managed to land it safely.

The only issue I noted after landing was that the RGB and infrared cameras appeared foggy or misty for a while.

However, after drying the drone and letting it rest for a few hours, everything was back to normal, and the drone is still functional today.

Some of the highest-rated DJI drones for waterproofing include spraying drones such as the DJI Agras T30, which has an IP rating of up to IP67, making it washable and corrosion-resistant, which is ideal for spraying. 

The latest release, the DJI Agras T40, is rated IPX6X, which means it can withstand water sprays at high pressures.

I haven’t had much experience with the newer T40, but I have used the T30 extensively for spraying projects, and with proper maintenance, it can survive rain and high-pressure sprays. But what more would you expect from a drone designed to spray liquids?

Below is a table showing some of the DJI drones resistance to water.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean.

DJI Drone Model IP Rating Explanation
DJI AGRAS T40 IPX6X It can withstand rain and snow for a longer period and can withstand high-pressure water sprays.
DJI AGRAS T30 IP67 It is washable and resistant to corrosion in addition to withstanding precipitation.
DJI Matrice 350 RTK IP55 Protected against sprays of water from all directions. It can be flown under heavy rain, not over 100mm/24hr. Dust protected, too.
DJI Matrice 30 and 30T IP55 Protected against sprays of water from all directions. It can be flown under heavy rain, not over 100mm/24hr. Dust protected, too.
DJI Matrice 300 RTK IP45 Protected against sprays of water from all directions and dust.
DJI Mavic 2 IP54 It has a limited IP rating but is protected against water splashes from any direction. Dust protected, too.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 IP45 Protected against water jets from any direction and solid objects above 1mm.
DJI Mavic Pro IP43 Protected from sprayed water from any angle (up to 60°, vertically) and objects larger than 1mm.

How To Effectively Deal With Salt Water Drone Damage

Saltwater, often found in oceans, causes more damage to drones than fresh water. The NaCI found in salty water acts as charged ions.

Consequently, it attracts electrons, which the electronic parts require to conduct electricity.

This mineral can potentially burn all the electronic components in your drone. Therefore, as soon as you are home, use filtered or deionized water to clean the interior parts of the drone thoroughly.

This aims at removing the salt chloride on the drone’s parts, which corrodes parts of your drone once it is dry.

Deionized water cannot short-circuit the electronics unless salty water has completely fried the drone’s interior parts.

The chemicals and minerals in the water are responsible for the corrosion of the drone’s interiors.
 
Be careful because washing a drone that has fallen in salty water is risky, and if you’re unsure what you are doing, it’s best to involve a qualified technician.

How To Protect Your Drone Against Water Damage

As mentioned earlier, while DJI drones are not waterproof, you can do a few things to mitigate water damage.

●  DJI Wetsuit: The wetsuits are compatible with several DJI drones, for example, DJI Air 2S, DJI Mini 2, and DJI Mavic 3, which, though they add weight to your drones, keep you flying even under rainy conditions.

Besides, you do not have to disassemble your drone, so it is a better, though costly, method. An excellent example of a DJI wet suit is the DJI FPV Rain Jackets.

Even so, they do not guarantee a drone’s protection. Some parts, for example, the motor, may get wet.

●  Full-body shells: Offers excellent protection against water even if the drone is fully submerged. Hence, they are pricey and only installed by experts.

They are made from waterproof composites or polymers but affect the drone’s speed due to their weight.

●  Water repellant sprays: These act as a fast solution and are affordable. Nevertheless, they are not great for underwater drones but could protect drones against water during drizzles.

●  Silicone Conformal Coating: Offers guaranteed protection to the drone’s circuit board against water.

This protective silicone layer, applied to the circuit board, guards it against corrosion and moisture.

Nevertheless, it can affect repairs and replacements of circuit board components. However, it does not affect the weight of the speed. 

●  Regularly inspect the drone: Inspect your drone for any cracks, corrosion, or leaks. Corrosion could make your drone non-functional over time.

On the other hand, cracks could allow water to get into the interior parts of the drone, thereby making your drone vulnerable to damage.

So, address these issues immediately.

●  Check the weather: Always study the weather before flying your drone. Rain and wind are not suitable for flying drones.

Though the wind does not damage the drone, it drains the battery as it struggles to stay in the air.

Also, it could cause your drone to fly in the wrong direction and fall in water if you are flying near water bodies.

On the other hand, water could cause damage to the drone’s interior parts and the propellers which could lead to serious injury.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent your propellers from getting damage then make sure to read our full in-depth guide.

One app that I use to check weather conditions is the UAV Forecast app. You can set the ideal conditions or use the default settings.

Either way, it will always tell you if it’s good to fly, wind speed and direction, and when it’s expected to rain.

Read the manufacturer’s manual – DJI lists the various conditions optimum for the drone model. Please go through them and use your drone within these guidelines.

●  Add protection: You can use any methods I have discussed in this article to offer extra protection to your drone; for example, apply water-repellent sprays, apply silicone conformal coating on the circuit board, or install full-body shells or protective covers.

What To Do If Your DJI Gets Wet?

If your drone gets wet, the first thing to do is determine the water type. Salty water, for example, could cause severe damage to the drone’s delicate parts by causing them to rust. Knowing the type of water helps you know the best course of action to save the drone.

Below are quick steps to help save your drone.

●  Remove the battery: Removing the battery powers the drone off, thereby discontinuing any possible damage on the inside.

●  Dry the drone: If it suddenly rains and the drone gets wet, wipe the exterior using a dry cloth. Avoid using cleaning solutions as they could damage the water-delicate components.

While some of the DJI drones are not water resistant, they are designed so that water will not get into the internal components easily.

Sometimes, drying the drone immediately after it lands, like I did with the M30T, is all you’ll need to do.

Rinse the drone with distilled water if it falls on salty water: Salty water is made of salt, oxygen, and water.

These three quickens the corrosion rate of electronic components in the drone. So, buy distilled water and use it to rinse the drone thoroughly.

Distilled water effectively and instantly mitigates the damage caused by salty water because it is free of electric conducting minerals.

This especially applies if you realize a lot of water got inside the drone.

 ● Disassemble the drone: Disassemble your drone immediately to ensure it is safe from corroding.

Use a clean, dry cloth to dry the camera and other parts that are not delicate. Leave the others in a safe, dry place to dry by themselves for a day.

While some people encourage putting the drone in a bag of rice to remove excess moisture, this isn’t proven.

Hence, if rice does not effectively remove all the moisture, your drone could be corroding while still in the bag of rice!

Please avoid using the drone until it is entirely dry. Otherwise, the interior parts may get damaged further.

Reassemble and test the drone: Once all the parts are dry, assemble the drone again and reconnect its battery.

Power on to see if the drone is still functional. If lucky, your drone could still be functional.

However, if you notice a weird smell or noise, you might have to hire an expert to verify if anything else has been damaged.

You can also contact the manufacturing company, explain every detail and your actions to save it.

They can offer to send a technician, ask you to return the drone for repair, or buy another one.

FAQs

Can A DJI Drone Survive Water?

Since DJI drones aren’t waterproof, they cannot survive water. So, if your DJI drone falls in water or gets heavily rained on, it might get damaged.

However, it depends on how much water gets inside, so thoroughly inspect the drone before using it again.

Some drones only need to be dried with a dry cloth. Others may need more extensive fixing that you can do yourself or engage a qualified technician.

If you don’t realize the damage soon enough and the internal components start rusting, it might be difficult to save such a drone.

Can I Fly A DJI Drone In The Rain?

Some DJI drones can fly in the rain. These include the Agras drones or the Matrice series drones.

But how much rain and the period they can last in precipitation will depend on the drone model’s IP rating.

If, for example, your drone is water-resistant, you can fly it under mild rain or in the snow.

But if it has no IP rating, even mild rain could destroy it. Heavy rain could damage the interior components of the drone.

You could, however, use protective methods such as installing full-body shells or buying drone wetsuits to minimize chances of damage in case the drone accidentally gets into contact with water.

Conclusion

DJI drones are not waterproof, but some high-end models are water-resistant. Some water-resistant DJI drones include DJI Matrice 350 RTK, DJI Matrice 300 RTK, DJI M30T, DJI Agras T30 and T40, DJI Mavic 2, DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, and DJI Mavic Pro.

Since they are water-resistant, they cannot be submerged in the water. Also, you cannot fly them in heavy rain as they could be damaged.

Even so, you can install a full-body shell, apply silicone conformal coating on the circuit board, or buy DJI wetsuits. These add extra protection to the drone, but not 100%.

Most importantly, I suggest you not deliberately subject your drone to situations in which it might get damaged.

Just because the manufacturer says their drone is water resistant or waterproof doesn’t mean you should take their word for it.

Other underlying issues, such as cracks or internal damage after a crash or manufacturing defects, may cause water to get into the internal parts, even in a drone advertised as waterproof.

Practice safety by flying the drone in ideal conditions, conducting thorough pre-flight checks, and reading the manufacturer’s manuals and guidelines.

And if the drone gets exposed to rain, snow, or falls in a waterbody, follow the tips shared in this post to salvage your drone.

 If the water is salty, thoroughly rinse it with distilled water to prevent corrosion. Disassemble the drone and dry all the components.

Once all are dry, assemble the drone, reconnect its battery, and power it on. If it is still in operation, observe it for the next couple of days to ensure there aren’t any underlying issues.

If it is not functional, or you realize some issues after using the drone for some time, look for an expert, preferably an approved DJI technician, to help you fix it or contact the manufacturer. 

Author
Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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