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Repair information and guides for the Apple iPhone 5s that was announced on September 10, 2013. Model: A1533, A1453, A1457, A1528, A1530, A1518

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Water damage and ultrasonic cleaner

Hi. This is my first post here on

Firstly i would like to thank you ifixit for everything you have been doing for us.

Secondly here is my problem with water damage iphone 5s

I have been working in electronics for a couple of years and repairing iphones for a year or so.

I have bought a water damage iphone 5s which is very badly coroded. I dont know how long ago the water damage happened because the corosion dont want to go away..We have at work something like a foam corosion cleaner that we use to clean PCBs but it didnt do anything to it..Now my question is

Does Iphone 5s motherboard have any crystals ?

I would like to put it to ultrasonic cleaner but im afraid of damage it...

Do you think its safe to put it in to ultrasonic cleaner?

Thank you for your help

I hope you understand my english

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Here's the deal. That board is never going to work again unless you do some microsoldering to remove oxidation, reflow corroded solder joints, and replace damaged components. Hopefully you won't also need to do hours of troubleshooting to then figure out which bga chips have been damaged by the short circuit heat from someone leaving it on a charger for days while they crossed their fingers.

There is no need to spend any time at all worrying about ultrasonic cleaning. At the end of the day, no amount of cleaning is going to be able to restore damaged components and re-connect broken electrical lines. All this talk around the internet of various chemicals and techniques for cleaning water damaged boards is only useful to a point---if your board has old water damage, and is "very badly corroded" in multiple sections of the board then (in my experience) it has a less than 10% chance of restoration through the use of chemicals/brushing alone not matter what magic solution is used. It has a 90% chance of wasting an extraordinary amount of time that you could be using to repair a board that does have a chance of recovery.

But yes, you can for sure pop it in an ultrasonic cleaner and not damage it. But of course it won't save it either.

Thanks for your post, though, I really like my harsh little rant and I think I'm going to copy it to paste again in the future ;)

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Hi and thank you for your answer

I managed to clean the motherboard but now im having one problem after dead red screen i get error 4013 or 4005 in iTunes..I have a feeling that some components have been damaged on the board..I have used this motherboard in another iphone 5s and getting the same error 4013 or 4005. ..I ran out of ideas that i have found on the internet..I have changed flex cables, charging port, battery, home button, i deleted itunes and installed it again but NOTHING AT ALL SEEMS TO BE HELPING ME...


yes, exactly as predicted above. "That board is never going to work again unless you do some microsoldering to remove oxidation, reflow corroded solder joints, and replace damaged components. Hopefully you won't also need to do hours of troubleshooting to then figure out which bga chips have been damaged" and just to be clear, by 'replace damaged components' I mean replaced damaged SMD components on the board---this is non-functional never-gonna-be functional board. No amount of cleaning or replacing screens, antennas, cameras etc and then hoping iTunes will clear it up will solve. You can't solve a corroded board without specifically addressing the corroded components on the board.

My advice: throw this board in the trash and focus on phones that may be salvageable.


Ever get a sense of deja vu?


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Had a bit of trouble understanding your question, but yes, I have used a ultrasonic cleaner for 5S boards before, and it did not damage the PCB or components.

Also please comment on this answer what you mean by crystals? Crystal oscillators will not be affected.

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Hi..Yes i meant crystal oscillators...Thank you for your answer.


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Here's my deal, it is a case to case basis when we talked about corrosion. As long as the end user of the device does not try to power the phone on and from day one it will be subject for microscopic inspection for corrosion, 80% of chances you can save the phone from further damage.

I warn you not to try powering it "on" unless you do the following:

1. Ask the owner how long it was damaged. From my experience less people are being truthful. So, you have to do ocular inspection. When "rust" already present on the board, chances are very thin for recovery/restoration. This means it is in advanced staged of oxidation.

2. Ask the owner what position it was soaked in (angle). If it is only on the sides, top, under or the whole phone. This will give you an idea where to begin. Again, ocular inspection is the best way to do it.

3. After questions above are done., you can begin by taking out the baseband/bga chip "metal cover". This will exposed all visible corrosion (using microscope).

4. Detailed and Record all affected corroded parts and cross-reference it to the schematic diagram. This procedure will give you idea which components to concentrate when the ultrasonic cleaning is done.

5. I used the following specs (below) of ultrasonic cleaner. With heat/power set into "200 watts" and timer set in 30 minutes (depending on corrosion). Cleaning solution specs below.

Ultrasonic Cleaner''italic text''

Inside Tank Dimensions L x W x H (Inches/Millimeters) : 19.5 x 11.75 x 8 / 495 x 297 x 200

Voltage : 115v/230v

Tank Capacity (Gallon/Liter) : 7 / 26.1

Available Frequency : 45 kHz - 132 kHz

Sonic Power (average wattage) : (45 kHz) (132 kHz) / 300 - 240

Heat/Power (wattage): 1,000

Ultrasonic Solution/Liquid''italic text''

CAS 7732-18-5, Lactic Acid CAS 79-33-4, Gluconic Acid CAS 526-95-4, Lauramine Oxide CAS 1643-20-5, Tripropylene Glycol N-Butyl Ether CAS 55934-93-5, Blue 1 CAS 3844-45-9, Yellow 5 CAS 1934-21-0.

6. After done with the ultrasonic cleaning, wash it running water and do the ultrasonic cleaning again, this time use a 100% industrial alcohol. Heat/Power set to 200 watts and timer set to 5 minutes.

7. Dry the mother/logic board with ultrasonic dryer (specs below).

Utrasonic Dryer''italic text''

AIR: 2SCRM AT 60 PS/G - 125PS/G


8. Make sure mother/logic board is corrosion free and properly dry. Then, you may test the mother board with other working/good cosmetic components (e.g. LCD/Digitizer, Side Key (power, vol, etc), charging port, etc.).

9. If above procedure will give you luck, congratulations. If not, you may start the micro soldering and bga repair works starting with the power management block (if it doesn't power on/does not charge, etc.), RF block (if you have signal issues. wi-fi) and other related problems.

10. Goodluck. You will learn by experience. All you need is patience and time. :)

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