The Apple iPhone 5s was announced on September 10, 2013. Repair of this device is similar to the previous models, and requires screwdrivers and prying tools. Available as GSM or CDMA / 16, 32, or 64 GB / Silver, Gold, and Space Gray.

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Water Damage. What Do I Do?


I feel like a total idiot, but yes I dropped my 1.5 month old iPhone 5s in the toilet. Of course I freaked out, grabbed it, dried it off, and turned it on to see if it still worked. It appeared to work fine so I breathed a sigh of relief and didn't even think to turn it off. However, a few minutes later it started acting weird and so I tried to power it off but by then it was too late and it wouldn't allow me to "slide to power off." I was not home at the time so I could not google it to see what to do either. By the time I got home, a few hours later, it was almost dead, so I ran and plugged it in. I know, rookie mistake. It started charging so I took that as a good sign and then went to google it. Of course the first thing it said was to power off and under no circumstances plug it in to charge it. Once again I started freaking out. I immediately unplugged it, removed the SIM card and placed it in rice in a sealed bag. My question is: where do I go from here? How long should I leave it in the rice? Whats my best option? Should I just get a replacement phone from Apple for $300+- even though I don't have money for that? Should I try another way to fix it? Should I bring it to a non-Apple-certified local phone repair place? Is there a way to prevent the insides from corroding? Basically just please tell me what to do!! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Ok, at this point you have to get it to a repair center as quick as possible. Be sure to tell them you want to have the option to bring it to Apple for swap, so they should be careful not to leave signs of repairing (any decent repair shop should do this anyway). The 5S has soldered EMI shields on the motherboard, so it is hard to estimate the damage under it. It is possible to desolder them, but this will take away your swap option with Apple. In this case I would remove the mobo, clean it of all traces of corrosion and of course any present moisture, spray IPA under the shields or possibly use ultrasonic cleaner on it. After that dry it with hot air and enough time and test. If there are still problems after this, reassemble, check that there are no traces of opening, fingerprints, etc, and bring to Apple for swap.

If you can't bring it to a repair shop immediately, there's not much you can do. Leave it in rice, it'll help a bit, but not much. If you can, remove battery, but you'll need pentalobe screwdriver for that.

One tip though: if your phone gets wet, don't take any risk. Shut it off and do NOT turn it back on, until it's been opened and checked thoroughly. Most likely by turning it back on you have shorted the board and possibly damaged it beyond repair.

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Forgot to mention: some shops are able to replace the water damage indicators. If there are no traces of liquid inside the phone (like rusted screws, dried up waterspots, water in the lcd, etc), but only the indicators are red, they can be replaced, and Apple should exchange your phone under warranty. They remove the screen and check the indicators and for signs of tampering, that is all, they don't actually remove the motherboard.


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