Fourth generation iPhone. Repair is straightforward, but the front glass and LCD must be replaced as a unit. GSM / 8, 16, or 32 GB capacity / Model A1332 / Black and White.

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Water damage: fine for a week, but suddenly kaput. What now?

I have already bought three new iPhones in the last year (my first, then I got mugged, and then Hurrican Sandy). It is not ideal! And now I might need a fourth. Here is my saga:

About two weeks ago, someone knocked over a water bottle onto my bag at the gym. Both my work Blackberry and personal iPhone were in there. I quickly noticed and pulled the phones out of the wet bag into a separate plastic bag. I then had about a 30 min commute home. Once I got home, I put both phones in a bag of rice and left them overnight. The next day, both phones turned on normally. And there was much rejoicing. Yay! Yay!

Cut forward a week, when I wake up to find my iPhone kaput. The blackberry is still merrily chugging along. I thought maybe my battery had just died during the night, so I plugged the iPhone into a charger. It started up, I entered my passcode, and then I saw my home screen but with 'No Service' in the top left corner. Once I unplugged it, it went black. I connected it briefly again to the charger with no success.

I put the phone back in rice for a week, but the phone still doesn't turn on (I haven't connected it to the charger since I know current is not good in a water damage situation).

What should I do now? I'll note that there's a place around the corner that does water damage repairs for $99; I'm also due for an upgrade to an iPhone 5 for $199.


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99 dollars? that's just way to much !!


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Hi Jana,

It seems to me that there is still water left in your iPhone or possibly moist corners. It could also be that the water has already caused corrosion inside, particularly on the logic board or inbetween mechanical transitions.

However, I would give it a try... Here is how:

I don't know if you are skilled... But in any case I would open the iPhone (just follow the guide here on iFixit - this guide is really easy to understand and to follow). Next I would remove everything possible (just follow the guide accordingly). Then I would let dry all the components you removed. For drying, you could also use a hair dryer (but put in on low heat).

In addition and particularly in regard to the logic board: Put it in a small bowl filled with Isoprophyl alcohol (90%) and let it swim in there for about 10 minutes. This is not a joke; the alcohol will draw/pull out any water of any corner on the logic board, i.e. inbetween pins, under cover panels, etc. Now take it out of that bath and let it dry for a couple of days (possible next to a warm source like an air conditioner) before you put it back together.

However, if you are not able to do that job and an upgrade is waiting for you, I would just take advantage of the upgrade.


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Well it couldn't hurt! I'm going to give that job a try, since it seems fun and I'll certainly learn some things.

Thanks for your answer, Steffen.


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Jana will be eternally grateful.
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