Accidents happen all the time, and the water damage accident is the second most common (and even worst than the first one in terms of damage to the phone), after the accidental damage to an iPhone when the screen gets cracked. We have people calling in every day with water damaged phones, and we’ve heard lots of stories of damage from iPhones dropped in the toilet, washed in the washing machine together with clothes, forgot in the garden on a rainy day or as simple as water damaged because of steam if kept in the bathroom while one is taking a shower. Sometimes at Lovefone we can help in these situations if the damage is not too big and the device will work with a new screen, a new dock connector, or another battery etc. There are other times when we cannot do anything, for example, when the water damaged the logic board, and this is because we do not do software repairs. If you have the misfortune to get your phone drenched, the first thing you need to do is to turn it off and let the phone dry for a while (this can be up to 2 days or even more as you need to make sure that there is no trace of moisture left). After that, you can take it to the Apple store straight away, or take it to the specialists to be looked at (and if you are lucky enough and the damage is not too big, to be repaired).
What YOU can do for your water damage iPhone
As I said earlier, the iPhone needs to get dry first. Ideally would be if you can at least remove the back case of the iPhone and also the SIM card tray (in order to save your contacts). It is easier for a disassembled phone to get dried, but if you are not sure how to disassemble it, it is better not to take the risk! If you have managed to open the device, remove any surface moisture with an anti-static cloth (which will not leave any residue and will not do any damage to the phone). Do not attempt to power it on by connecting it to a power source, after removing your phone from water, under any circumstances. Do not do that ever, because the logic board can get short circuited. Also, if the phone is charging at the moment of the accident, remove the charger straight away and even remove the battery if possible. There are many suggested ways of drying the phone but ideally would be to get it dried as natural as possible. We do not recommend using a hair dryer (as this can damage and melt areas of the frame, or rubber seals), placing it in the microwave or putting it in the refrigerator or freezer. The best thing to do is to place your disassembled phone in a bowl with rice and leave it overnight, in a warm place. The rice has the purpose to soak all the moisture out. You can try to power it on after you are sure that the phone is completely dry. You may be lucky, and the phone might work just fine after that for a long time, but with water damaged phones you never know what will be next. Sometimes the corrosion may affect other parts of the phone in time. There can be parts that have worked perfectly after the incident so do not be surprised if this happens. It is a consequence of water damage. That is why we advise you to get a replacement phone to the Apple Store.
Swap your phone with a refurbished one at the Apple Store
One thing should be clear to you from the beginning: even if your iPhone is still under warranty, do not expect to have it replaced by Apple free of charge. They will not do that as their warranty does not cover water damage, and it will not be covered by the paid Apple Care plan either. They will replace your phone with a refurbished iPhone (it looks like a new phone, but the logic board was on another phone before). The price varies between £100-£200 depending on what model of iPhone you have and they offer a 90 days warranty for the replacement phone. Not too bad if you consider that the price for a new iPhone varies between £300 and £700.
Take your water damaged phone to the specialists
It is worth paying a visit to the specialist before you go to the Apple store. Sometimes the damage is not that bad, and a simple battery, screen or a dock replacement might solve the problem. Also, when opening the phone, the specialist can figure out how bad the damage of the phone is, and advise you about what is best to be done. At Lovefone, we offer a free diagnosis service and will always suggest the best option for you. When in contact with water, heavy humidity or moisture, some sensors can turn red so we can figure out that we are dealing with a water damaged phone. There are four moisture sensors: two inside the phone and two outside (one in the headphone Jack and the other one in the dock connector). You can check these sensors yourself using a torch and the specialists can check the other ones when they open the phone.
We also offer a corrosion cleaning service. We'll take the logic board out of the phone and clean the corrosion from water damage using a professional ultrasonic cleaner. This unfortunately doesn't guarantee that your iPhone will work but it's your best bet.
Your phone was not water damaged, but you cracked the screen? Read here what you need to do! Did you ever have a water damaged phone that you have managed to get repaired? Share the story with us and let us know where and how you have managed to fix it. We will reward the best story with a free iPhone repair.