Helpful Tips To Fix Your Water Damaged iPhone

Helpful Tips To Fix Your Water Damaged iPhone
Ker plunk! Oh no! Did your iPhone take a swim with you in a pool? Did you wash it with your laundry? Water may be fun and healthy for us humans, but iPhones do not like water! Here are some helpful tips to fix a water damaged iPhone.

First off, do not attempt to turn on a water damaged iPhone. This is hard to resist, but your iPhone logic board will immediately short out, adding to the cost of repairs (or completely destroying it) if you attempt to turn on an iPhone while wet inside. 

WE ARE NOT KIDDING - DO NOT TURN ON A WET iPhone!

Secondly, do not use a hair dryer, microwave, or stove to dry the water out! A stove, really? You would be surprised to hear the stories that we have heard. If you use a blowdryer, the water will spread and evaporate, which will cause the corrosion to grow faster. You can also "fry" your logic board with the excessive heat.

Water-resistant vs. waterproof

Let's get this out of the way first, since these terms are often used interchangeably by manufacturers. There is no universal standard for "waterproofing" — that is to say that nothing can truly be considered waterproof, since no manufacturer can absolutely guarantee that. Therefore, everything that can withstand a bit of moisture is water-resistant.
Water-resistant products are given "Ingress Protection" or IP ratings, which help consumers determine their level of water resistance. The rating consists of two digits, the first from 1 to 7 and the second digit from 1 to 9. The first number is intrusion protection, which really refers to dust. The second is moisture protection.
Rather than go through all them, the IP ratings we need to concern ourselves with in the case of Apple products are IP67 and IPX7, the water resistance rating given to the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and X, and the Apple Watch "Series 0" and Series 1, respectively. The Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 are good to 50 meters deep, but were not given an official IP rating. IP67 and IPX7 mean that the device is totally protected against dust that would harm the internals, and it can survive after being submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.
Apple has given none of its other products an IP rating, so it's safe to say that your iPad, AirPods, Mac, and older iPhone are all susceptible to water damage.

'Swim-proof' vs. 'splash-proof'


The Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 are "swim-proof," which means they can handle submersion for quite a while and can handle the pressure of swimming strokes, which can force water into devices much faster than simple submersion can. The first-gen Apple Watch and Series 1 are merely splash-proof, despite their IPX7 ratings.
While Apple does not mention water or liquid damage in its standard one-year Apple Watch warranty, it does guarantee your Apple Watch Series 2 or 3 when used under Apple's guidelines. This means shallow water activities, but not anything with "high velocity water" or "submersion below shallow depth." So while the Apple Watch Series 2 and 3 are guaranteed to 50 meters deep under ISO standards, Apple isn't so keen on your doing that outside of controlled testing.

Water damage and your warranty

We've been seeing it since the iPhone 7 was released: people taking underwater photos, going swimming with the iPhone, and just plain playing fast and loose around water. While that's all fine and good, it's a bit foolhardy.

It won't last forever

While your iPhone may seem "waterproof" at the beginning, water does take its toll over time. The nano-coating covering connectors and ports will degrade, and as water evaporates off of your iPhone, it'll dry out any plastic. And if you've ever dropped or scratched your iPhone, any little imperfection can expedite liquid's destruction.
Even our own Serenity Caldwell drowned her husband's phone when she flew a little too close to the underwater photography sun.

Apple ain't got time for that

Apple doesn't cover water damage under its regular warranty, so if your device does go kaput, you're hooped. Without AppleCare+, water damage repair will cost your up to $549 for your iPhone X.

How to fix iPhone or iPad water damage

If your iPhone or iPad was fully submerged in water for any length of time, there is no guaranteed fix for water damage. There are a few things you can try, but don't get your hopes up. If your device has just been splashed, then chances are water hasn't gotten inside, but play it safe and follow these steps anyway.

Manually dry it

Before you go raiding the pantry for rice, take your iPhone out of the liquid and dry it off as well as you can first:
  1. Take your phone out of the water as quickly as possible (duh).
  2. Turn it off. DO NOT TRY TO USE IT.
  3. Take the case off if you have one.
  4. Take the SIM card out.
  5. Shake it, baby, shake it. Try to shake, blow, or suck out as much water as you can.
  6. Wipe your phone down with the most absorbent cloth you can find, and make sure it's a dry one. (ShamWow FTW!)
  7. If you're feeling adventurous (and you're OK with voiding your warranty/AppleCare), you can open your iPhone or iPad up to dry the inside better. You can find teardowns on iFixit.com.
  8. Just let it dry. And wait. The longer you can wait to turn your iPhone or iPad back on, the better. If you can wait three days, do it.

Check for water damage

Your iPhone has a water damage indicator in the SIM slot. It's a piece of plastic that changes from white to red when it comes in contact with too much water. Use a flashlight to peek inside the SIM slot to see if you can see the red indicator. If you don't see any red, then you're probably in the clear in terms of warranty, though there may still be water damage to other components in your phone that has gone undetected.
Even if your indicator is red, try turning your iPhone on after a couple days. If it works, then great. The indicator was tripped, but your phone still works. If the indicator wasn't tripped, but your iPhone doesn't work anyway, then make a Genius Bar appointment and go in playing dumb. Under AppleCare+, the repair cost is generally $99. Outside of AppleCare and warranty, the cost will vary depending on your iPhone model.
The original iPad had a water damage indicator, but that was removed with the second generation, so you'll just have to wait a couple days for it to dry out and try using it.

Don't bother with rice, kitty litter, or oatmeal

These methods simply don't work as well as leaving your device out on a shelf in a dry place, according to Gazelle's tests. For one, zipping your device up in a bag with an absorbent material can create humidity, so the silica or oatmeal might absorb water out of your iPhone, but the air inside the bag will still be moist.

How to fix AirPods water damage

Being such small devices, there really is no way to open up your AirPods to let water out. The best you can do is dry them with an absorbent cloth or towel, shake 'em as best you can to get as much water out as possible, and then let them dry for a couple days.
Test them and see. If only one's working, then you can grab a replacement. If they're both pooched, then you'll just have to replace them.
How to fix Mac water damage
How well you can repair your water-damaged Mac will depend on how savvy you are with taking it apart and how comfortable you feel fiddling with components. If you're not comfortable with any type of dismantling when it comes to your laptop, then follow the below steps to your comfort level:
  1. Turn it off and unplug the power cable. This prevents the water inside from carrying potentially harmful electrical current to the various components.
  2. Disconnect anything that's plugged into it: USB drives, mice, monitors, SD cards, etc.
  3. Remove the battery if possible and if you feel comfortable doing so (some Mac models simply don't allow for this).
  4. Lay your Mac upside down on a towel — this lets the water drip out the ports and keyboard.
  5. Take note of what you spilled on it: water, juice, beer, sulfuric acid — whatever you had lying around the house. This is important. Less acidic liquids, like water, milk, or tea can do less damage than more acidic ones, like juices, wine, or other alcohol.
  6. Get it to an Apple store or a repair shop as quick as you can. The longer you wait, the smaller its chances of survival. Avoid shaking your Mac, since, unlike an iPhone or iPad, this could just distribute the water further and end up doing more damage. Leave your Mac off until it's repaired. Turning it on means electrical current is moving, and water can help magnify that, leaving destruction in its wake (water puns!).
As with iPhones and iPads, don't bother with rice or any of that malarky. For one, it won't work as well as letting it air dry; for another, your Mac has larger ports, and you're just gonna fill them up with crap, and that'll just end up doing more harm than good.
Remember that time is of the essence here. The enzymes and other molecules that make up whatever liquid you've spilled can eat away at components, but it does take time, so the shorter time between the spill and repair, the better, and the more salvageable your Mac will be.
You don't necessarily have to take your Mac to a repair shop. If you have any savvy, then by all means open 'er up. Just remember that if you damage anything at all, and Apple can tell it's your fault, you'll void the warranty. So take the utmost care, especially with newer models, since you can bust the clips holding the back plate in place if you're not gentle enough.
Now that you know what not to do -- here's what you need to do QUICKLY in order to save your iPhone! First, remove your SIM card and shake out any excess water inside your iPhone. Next, put the iPhone in a bag of dry rice for 2-7 days. Why rice? It will absorb the extra water left inside of your iPhone. After the waiting process, plug the phone into a charger. PRAY. If the charging symbol comes on, then there's a good chance that the phone will likely boot itself back on when enough of a charge has been reached. Congrats - you did it!

If you don't see anything on the screen within 3 minutes of plugging it in, then unplug it from the wall without attempting to turn it on. Return it to the bag of rice for another 48 hours or more. Then repeat the plug in process again. If you don't see anything on the screen to indicate that it is charging, then you have likely caused permanent damage. Your only hope is to try a professional repair shop at this point.

Other tips and advice:
• If your iPhone is still covered under an Apple Warranty, go first to the Apple Store or call AppleCare. You may be able to get it replaced for as low as $199. We are hearing more and more that Apple is being more lenient regarding situations that involve water damage. 
(It also helps to be REALLY nice to the people at the Genius Bar.)

• Also, if you bought your iPhone from Best Buy, or used a credit card that offers protection, then you may be able to get some of your money back or get the phone replaced for free. Don't forget to check these options!

• If all else fails - pray to the sun gods and remember to STAY AWAY from water with your iPhone in the future.

Labels: iPhone
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