How to Solve Water Damaged iPhone Problems

Get pushed in the swimming pool with your phone in your pocket? Knock a glass of water over all over it? Drop it in the toilet? A panic will likely occur next, but what should you actually do? Water damaged iPhones are not covered by Apple’s warranty. If you’re lucky enough to have a repair shop nearby you can take it there, but certain steps should be taken even before that. Apple iPhone water damage can be classified in three different severities. The first one is slight water damaged, like having water spilt on the body perhaps without penetrating inside the phone. The second is moderate water damage, such as dropping your phone into a sink but pulling it out immediately. The last one is severe soaking, such as an extended dunk into a swimming pool, a drop in the toilet followed by a hesitated rescue, or getting washed along with your clothes in the machine.
iphone-5-waterIt is possible to save your iPhone from these circumstances if you take immediate action. Therefore, having a basic knowledge of judgingthe severity of the wetting and knowing what to do to rescue your phone can be helpful. There are several things you can do to rescue your wet iPhone.

Remove the Battery

In case you’re reading this and you don’t have an iPhone, the first thing you should do is remove the battery to prevent a short circuit. iPhones however have non-removable built in batteries therefore you have no choice but to take next steps.

Power Off the Phone

The most important thing you need to do when your iPhone gets wet is power it off. If the power is on and the current circulating it may short circuit your phone. Often, the fastest way to turn off your iPhone is by pressing and holding the power and home button simultaneously for 10 seconds, especially if your phone is unresponsive.

Wipe it Dry

If your phone is obviously wet, the first thing you will want to do is wipe it dry with a towel of tissue.

Check the Water Damage Sensor

If your iPhone has gotten wet on the inside, the Liquid Contact Indicators (LCls) located in the phone will be activated by turning red. The location of the LCI differs with each model; use the chart below to know where to look.

 iPhone model  LCI location in phone
 5  Next to SIM card tray
 4/4s  One next to earphone jack and one next to dock connector
 3  One next to earphone jack and one next to dock connector
 1,2  Next to earphone jack

gold iPhone5

Lift the iPhone 5 SIM Card Tray, and you will see the activated red Liquid Contact Indicator. (Original color is white or silver)
iphone5 LClsUse Silica Gel Packets, Dry Rice or Other Water Absorbing Substance

When the exterior of the phone is dry and you suspect water may have gotten in the phone as well you are going to want to dry it, too as soon as possible to avoid corrosion. If you are not a technician and can’t disassemble the phone yourself and don’t have access to someone who can, then you will want to try using something to adsorb the moisture out of your iPhone. Silica Gel is very absorbent and is the top choice. Rice is also said to work well. Simply remove the SIM card tray to give the inside some breathing room, and place the phone with the absorbent in a sealed Ziploc bag for 48 hours. Ensure you have enough of the silica gel or rice in the bag. After this process, fully charge the phone and try to turn it on. Again if you access to a repair shop, or can open the phone yourself, proceed to the step below.


Disassemble the iPhone

Especially if your phone has been in contact with soup, coffee, or some other liquid that is not water you will definitely want to disassemble the iPhone to clean the parts inside since the acidic properties of the liquid will corrode the inner components quickly. Even if only in contact with water, this step should still be taken to ensure no future corrosion inside your phone which may not even come to be an issue until many days after the incident.
takeapart iphone5
You can see how to disassemble an iPhone 5 in this video iPhone 5 Disassembly Video
Or click to watch iPhone 4 Teardown VideoiPhone 3GS Take Apart Tutorial Video, iPhone 5S Disassembly, iPhone 6 Teardown and iPhone 6 Plus Disassembly.

Drying the iPhone Components

When the phone is taken apart all the pieces should be dried. This can be done using a hair dryer since you can accesses all the parts and don’t need to apply too much heat. If the liquid that came in contact with your phone is not water and needs to be cleaned you should use banana oil. Do not use alcohol as it can damage the rubber components.

iPhone 5 parts

Hopefully you never need to use this guide, but if you do we hope it was helpful. If you want to avoid this from happening next time you can try an iPhone 5 waterproof protective case. It actually works, we tested it ourselves.

You may also like: iPhone X water damage repair

  1. BY Bob

    Buy a new one

  2. BY adrielys

    I dropped my iphone 5 in the water & didn’t do anything to it ( didn’t try to dry it ) … what do I do now ?


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