The Apple iPhone 5c 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 / 8, 16, 32 GB / White, Pink, Yellow, Blue, and Green.

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Possible water damage, stuck on boot up...

Hi all,

So I got caught in a storm today when out jogging and even though my iPhone 5C was in an arm band, it still managed to get wet. Now it's stuck in boot up mode where the Apple logo appears, then turns off, then reappears, over and over...

I was able to get it into restore mode and via iTunes I started the restore process. The phone verifies the software ok, but then when it needs to restart, it's back to getting stuck on boot up.

It seems like the hardware is damaged, but please tell me..what are my options? I've submerged it in rice already but hate that I'd have to wait 2-3 days for that to work if it even works at all. Is it encouraging that it can get into restore and verify the software? Should I just keep trying that?

I also hear that I should turn off my phone completely, but I can't figure out how. I can only get it into restore mode, and then it gets stuck again.

Please help! Thank you so much...

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Hi again,

So now I got the phone to start up and welcome screen to come on, but the touch screen doesn't seem to work. Any thoughts on how to fix this problem? Thanks again!


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3 Answers

Chosen Solution

All Credit goes to Minho @refectio for the answer.

Do not put your phone in rice! 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. Powering on the phone accelerates the process. 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.

  • Open your phone and remove the logic board (follow this guide)
  • 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.

Use a tool like 3uTools to flash the firmware as it may be corrupted.

You should also consider getting a new battery

A professional repair shop that does water damage repair may be able to recover your phone or the data because they have access to pro-level ultrasonic baths and specialized cleaners as well as the skills to troubleshoot your board. Many shops have a no fix/no fee policy so you don't have to spend money to find out if the phone is fixable or not.

All Credit goes to Minho @refectio for the answer.

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Well said my friend ;>). I would just change the link to a 5c guide instead of 5S.

For the OP, the sooner you get the battery disconnected and the board cleaned, the better your odds of saving this phone.


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Water Itself is not damaging to the board. water in it's purest form is non-conductive. the actual problem is the minerals in the water. (Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Lime) These are conductive and cause damage. unfortunately, they have a much higher boiling temperature than water, so when the water evaporates, (Sped up by the rice) these minerals are left on the motherboard. Rice doesnt actually help the damage, but rather speeds up the drying porcess. If the phone functions WITH the rice treatment, it would have worked without the rice treatment.

as a water damage repair, it still is only 50/50 as to whether or not you can get the device up and running. follow the next steps, andyou may have a functional device.

1) Isopropyl: Take a 99% rubbing alcohal, also known as Isopropyl, and a toothbrush. (New, as it can not be previously contaminated by conductive materials such as saliva, or tap water) soak the board in the isopropyl, and scrub diligently. make sure not to be terribly rough on the board, but still use a heavy handr

++Check to see if board works++

2) DeOxit (Electronics cleaner): I have used many brands, but DeOxit is the the one i have had the most success for, so i suggest this brand. others may work, and it is only a personal preference. spray the cleaner onto the board, and seal in a tupperware container. let sit for an hour, then re-soak with isopropyl to dilute any lifted dirts, and scrub with the tooth brush. Essentially, after the DeOxit has sat, Repeat step one.

++Check to see if board works++

3) Sonic Wash: This is implying you have access to the tool required. usually need a repair shop environment to have one The sonic wash is a tool, usually cosing between 300$-500$. fill it with distilled water and a liquid electronics cleaning solution. this pulses the cleaner underneath components where a brush can not reach. though this is the most successful procedure, it is also the most expensive of the three.

i hope this helps, and if it does, please accept the answer.


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Thank you all for your help. I didn't realize the phone was wet until much later, after I had come in for the rain, showered, dried off and then later looked for my phone. Also, when I tried to hard shut it down, it would just keep trying to reboot.

Clearly, it's trashed. Gonna get a new one. Thanks all for your help!

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