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We have seen just about everything at Repair Sharks. Since starting the iPod Repair Guys back in 2006 we have heard hundreds of stories about water damaged iPods, iPhones, iPads, and other devices. Water isn’t always the case though; many times it’s another substance such as juice, soda, beer or even chocolate. IPhones in particular are very sleek, they are compact and easy to mishandle. One of the most common places for an iPhone to end up is in the toilet. You can imagine the look on our face when we get those in! We do keep gloves handy in the shop. Different liquids can cause different issues to the iPhone. Some substances such as salt water can corrode the internal components very quickly. In a matter of hours or a few short days corrosion from the salt can eat away at the vital and miniscule connections inside the iPhone. The iPhone’s logic board or motherboard is very delicate and liquid / water damage can in fact ruin components if not caught in time.
Many of you have probably heard the old rice trick. Well we wrote an article on that a few years back and it seemed to spread as a successful post liquid / water damage repair method. In case you want to read about it here it is; Water Removal with Rice . The article does outline a more drastic than normal process for repairing water damage. We originally I heard about the water trick from my grandfather who was a master jewelry designer. He used to repair high end watches and he would use this trick on water damaged watches before he repaired them. It makes perfect sense once you think about it. Rice absorbs water much like the silica packets you find with clothing and products we buy. The only problem with rice though is that it is slow acting and most people can get ahead of themselves and prematurely remove it from the rice in hopes of getting it working. It could take days to remove all the moisture from a phone using the rice method alone.
Luckily for you we have better equipment these days and can do a more thorough job of repairing water and liquid damaged devices. We recommend taking a few steps that will help raise your success rate for getting the iPhone working again.
- Xxx Do NOT turn on the iPhone! Xxx
- If the phone is on after the water damage takes place turn it OFF immediately!
- Remove Battery if possible (not recommended for iPhone users, some batteries are difficult to remove without the proper tools)
Phones that are water damaged can still be working properly. The introduction of electricity into the mix of things will just make matters worse. The water can short circuit componentry, cause hot spots, chip cracking, or even accelerate the corrosion process. It is essential that the iPhone is dried and cleaned completely before ANY attempt at turning the phone on is made.
SHAKE IT OUT! Once removed from the soda, juice, coffee, tea, or whatever else it may have ended up in shake it out vigorously. Yes, shake it out. Get all the excess liquid substance away from the phone as quickly as possible.
There are a few things you can do here. If you have a hairdryer handy then we suggest drying it out with a hairdryer for 10-15 minutes. Specifically for such devices as the iPhone 4 and 4S there are a few points that you will want to focus on. The top and bottom of the device are susceptible to water penetration so we usually recommend these areas. Don’t worry about the heat just don’t stick your hairdryer on top of the phone, wave it around slowly like you are drying your hair in the areas on top and bottom of the phone. Do NOT turn on the phone!
While in Miami once I dropped my Motorola Timeport into a bucket of water. It was the only bucket around and my phones just happened to flip out of my hand and land in it. I am not even sure if it was water. I used to sell Verizon phones back in the day and the Timeport was pretty sick when it came out for those that can remember that far. I was in a pinch and though hey I’m in a hotel and it’s hot and humid. Let me stick this thing by the Air Conditioner for the night. The next day the phone worked fine. My point of that story is to tell you that an AC can help you. It pulls a lot of moisture out of the air.
If you don’t have a hairdryer or AC one of the most tested methods is to use rice as we mentioned above. There are also silica based packs that act as a dehumidifier. These are the packets that come with clothing and inside boxes to keep them dry. Both of these methods take time. Don’t be in a rush to fix your phone after liquid damage. Some extra time drying won’t hurt. The components are very intricate and the device has a lot of cabling, water can seep into many areas. If you want to try the rice method check out our write-up linked above.
Step 4 is the most important step in the list. Have a professional look at your iPhone. There is no sense in risking a $600+ iPhone. For the cost of a professional to clean and treat your internal components it might save you a big headache down the line. It is not uncommon for liquid damaged phones to sustain more problems over time. You can never be certain what will happen until it gets professionally inspected. We have seen a lot of phones post water damage have other issues. It may look like it is working correctly but internally be degrading over time. A professional repair center can stop this from happening and extend the life of the iPhone for you.
By following these steps you can minimize the impact that water and liquid damage have on any device. Android phones are no different and similar processes can be followed for all model phones. None of these steps are guaranteed and water can and will cause severe damage if not taken care of properly. We do not recommend opening up your phone but if you have the correct tools and experience you might want to also open the back of your phone and remove the battery if accessible.
In the event that you do have water damage on your iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Android device Repair Sharks can help. We offer water damage repair services for almost all the models we service. Free Diagnostic services are available on our Repair Sharks website.