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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iPhone 5s unresponsive after half disassembly and some water damage.

Two nights ago, I accidentally washed my phone for 2 minutes in the washing machine, and I rushed and took it out. It was wet and still on and when I turned the screen on it would fade out to a faint red after a few seconds. I then took the screen off and put both in rice for 6 hours. After the 6 hours turned the phone on and the screen was completely normal, the phone and sound functioned completely normal, and i received a rush of text all at once. Suddenly my service said " searching" forever so i did a network reset and checked the date like others suggested and nothing worked. I then saw online to clean the logic board so i began to disassemble the iPhone to get the logic board. I only took off the battery connector, and a screw from the vibrator until i tried to take the battery out. It was difficult to take out so i tried to pry it with a metal screw driver but it wasn't budging. I pushed the flat head under the battery from all sides of the battery and heard some tearing and a spark so i stopped and began to reassemble the phone. After putting on everything i took off, i tried to turn the phone on and nothing happened. I figured it was because of the battery so i ripped the battery off completely and now i'm left with the iPhone screen, back casing and no battery. I took the phone to gadget guys to see if they could place a battery in to see if it worked and he took it to the back of the store. A few minutes later he said the phone wasn't responding to the battery and that the display was probably also messed up. He also noted that the wifi antenna ( the curving thin cable right above the battery ) was snapped. Is there a possibility that the guy made a mistake or used a faulty battery? Or that my phone could be fixed? If so can you tell me a solution? Also while trying to unscrew some of the screws, my screwdriver came off track and scratched on some of the black cables reveling a tiny scratch of copper colored material, is that concern? And the guy at the store couldn't fix an android charging port once so I don't know how experienced he is with phones.

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P.S. the phone started forever searching after a few mins on the charger. I then took the Sim card out and noticed it was wet, i dried it off and put it back in and had no response. I then waited another day with the phone in rice and the phone still turned on but said searching and this is when i began to disassemble the phone.


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1 Answer

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I think you have done enough damage to your phone need to blame the poor tech who inherited this mess :>).

I've said it before and I'll say it again...The rice myth kills too many phones!

The water is inside the phone, on the logic board and under the shields, even under the IC's. The rice is nowhere near where the water is. So while it may soak up some water vapour, the real problem is the corrosion that is taking place as the water evaporates. The longer you let a phone sit in rice, the more time you are giving corrosion to damage your logic board. The saltier or harder the water is, the more damage will occur.

At the very least, it sounds like you destroyed the battery. Besides that, who knows until a professional takes a good look at it.

Here are some things you can do now:

  • Open your phone and remove the logic board
  • Inspect the logic board, especially around the connectors and look for corrosion.
  • Inspect both sides of the board. Unfortunately, 80% of the board is covered in shields. That's usually where the damage is occurring.
  • Put your board in a container with >90% isopropyl alcohol and let it sit for a while.
  • Use a soft brush, like a toothbrush and lightly brush away any corrosion you see.
  • Rinse in alcohol and repeat.
  • Let it air dry for a day.
  • Re-assemble and hope for the best.

Your best bet is to find a professional repair shop that does water damage repair. They have access to pro-level ultrasonic baths and specialized cleaners as well as the skills to troubleshoot your board.

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Thanks for the answer! I went ahead and ordered a new iPhone battery and I tried it out just now. The screen doesn't turn on, but when the phone is connected to itunes via charger cord, Itunes recongnizes it and asked do I want to gain access to the phone. Before i disassembled the phone, the screen was working just fine. At the time I disassembled the screen, it had no water marks and functioned fine, but the water damage sticker is red. Would you suggest that the screen is messed up from corrosion after water damage? or that the LCD connector is faulty? I took off the tape surrounding the connector and everything looks pretty clean.


Water damage is very insidious. It will cause all kinds of problems, sometimes long after the phone was exposed. This could be some corroded connectors (flex and logic board), defective screen assembly or damaged LCD or backlight circuit.

If you do have some magnification, look at the connectors on both the screen flexes and the logic board. Sometimes one of the pins gets corroded and doesn't make electrical contact.

It's not that I'm against fixers doing board level stuff but when you get into the micro-sized world of iPhone logic boards, you can do a lot of damage very quickly if you use the wrong tools. We see many devices and questions from folks who use hot air guns (Home Depot style) or 20$ soldering irons to solder 01005 chips, FPC connectors and reflow IC's. Ultimately, they just cause more damage.

Ideally, this needs to be looked at by a micro-soldering repair shop unless you have the necessary tools (stereo-microscope, hot air station etc) and experience.


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