4-inch iPhone released in March 2016 with similar hardware specifications to the 6s. Available in Silver, Space Grey, Gold, or Rose Gold with 16/64 GB storage options. Model A1662 and A1723.

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How can I fix a double display after water damage?

I dropped my iPhone into a Jacuzzi for about 3 seconds. Seemed fine at first so I dried it off and left it (didnt power it off or anything). Ten/fifteen minutes later I turned it on again and I have a double display. I completely powered i off and started hairdrying it (have now realised this was a bad idea), put it in rice for 10 minutes (found out this is also a bad idea), and now I'm letting it air dry. Did I act too slowly? Is this the end? Should I put it back in rice??

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With water damage, you have to decontaminate the logic board before doing anything else, otherwise there will be latent issues down the road.

Not every water-damaged phone is recoverable and depending on the kind of liquid (salty, dirty, filthy), sometimes the success rate is quite low. That said, IMHO, it's always worth a try otherwise we are just piling up the e-waste.

The water is inside the phone, on the logic board and under the shields, even under the IC's. The real problem is the mineral deposits that can cause short circuits or the corrosion that is taking place as the water evaporates. Leaving the power on the device accelerates the process. The longer you let a phone sit in rice or on the counter, the more time you are giving corrosion to damage your logic board. The saltier or harder the water is, the more damage will occur. The water needs to be displaced, not evaporated.

I would try the following:

  • 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.

You should also replace the battery if it has swollen. Resist the temptation to pop it to let the gas out. A compromised Li-ion battery is a fire hazard. If the device appears to power up but behaves erratically, then use a tool like 3uTools to flash the firmware as it may be corrupted.

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.

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