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Water damaged iPhone – What should you do?

Water Damaged iPhone

Popular to contrary belief a water damaged iPhone should not be placed in rice to dry them out. Unfortunately this is the quickest way to turn a repairable phone into an expensive repair or worse a non repairable phone as the cost ends up more than the phone is worth.

So what should you do?

Firstly power down the iPhone as water on the battery could short one of the chips on the logic board. Logic board repairs can be costly, as it involves micro-soldering (a specialist repair).

The main objective is to CLEAN the iPhone NOT DRY it.

Next the phone should not be dried out, as even water contains minerals which are left as white residue on the logic board and components. This residue can turn to mold or rust which will prevent the phone from working correctly.

The logic board needs to be removed from the phone and placed in a sonic bath of neat alcohol. The components all need to be carefully cleaned.  The connectors on the logic board need to be cleaned, the connectors on the screen, the camera and the charging port connector.  Then the remaining parts of the iPhone need to be cleaned ensuring that all residue has been removed.

All parts must be thoroughly dry before the iPhone is reassembled and now the diagnostics can begin.

Water damaged iPhone

Diagnostic for a water damaged iPhone.

Some times the Sonic Bath water treatment is enough for the phone to work again and there is nothing more to be done.  This really depends on how bad the water damage was in the first place.  Some phones just get a bit of rain water whilst others have been taken for a swim in the sea during a holiday.  It also depends on what liquid your iPhone came into contact with.  Sugary drinks such as wine or cola can cause the components to stop working .

This means each phone has to be diagnosed individually as there are many scenarios of what  could have happened to the phone.  It also depends on entry point of the liquid. Was it the charging dock area or was it the camera area?

If water gets into the screen, there is a paper filament in there that can get wet and just like paper when it dries out it never dries totally flat.  This causes the screen to not look as clear as it used to, also it can leave water marks that are visible  when the phone is switched on.

Sometimes the battery can blow if the phone was switched on whilst wet.

The screen and battery are the two most common things that need replacing after liquid damage, but not necessarily on every phone.  If you are lucky you may not need either, so long as the a full clean has taken place and all the connectors have been cleaned.

If liquid gets into the rear camera, front facing camera or the earpiece/speaker then these may need to be replaced but this is not as common as a screen or battery replacement, as most people are quick to remove their phone from the liquid as soon as they realise it has happened.

If you leave a phone for a week to dry and it has not been professionally cleaned, there is likely to be residue remaining from the minerals in the water even though the phone is dry, This is how the corrosion starts and it is very quick to take place.  The minute the phone starts to dry so the mould and corrosion starts.  If this happens then the cost of repair is greater as more parts will need replacing.  It is also more likely a chip will need to be replaced at a further cost.

Crawley Computer Centre recommends:

Here at Crawley Computer Centre we recommend you bring the wet phone in asap. so it does not have time to dry, we can then work on cleaning it before it dries so that all residue, mould and corrosion can be removed preventing further damage.

Do not be tempted to switch your phone on to see if it works as you are more likely to have to replace a logic board chip which could make the phone a beyond economical repair especially if you have an older model such as an iPhone 4 or iPhone 5.

Make sure you do regular backups as we have so many people worried about loosing their data especially photos.  Then if your phone is not worth repairing you can at least retrieve your contacts, photos, apps etc. and install them on your new phone.

Call us on 01293 618318 to book it in for an immediate sonic bath treatment.

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