Not many mobile phones are manufactured protected from moisture, and Apple doesn’t care much about protecting its devices from it. And in the same time moisture in the device is one of the most common causes of iPhone or iPad failures. Every owner of an Apple smartphone or tablet should know what to do if water gets into the device, how to protect it from damage.
Table of contents: 1. What must not be done if your iPhone fell in water 2. What has to be done if your iPhone fell in water 3. Why there is a moisture sensor in iPhone
What must not be done if your iPhone fell in water
Remember: If your iPhone fell in water, you must immediately turn it off and do not turn it on until it is completely dry. If after falling in water the device switches off by itself (or it was turned off previously), it is also forbidden to turn it on, otherwise there will be a short circuit that will result in a very expensive smartphone board repair.
The fact is that when water gets into the iPhone, not only moisture affects the internal components of the device, but also salts and minerals that are present in water. However, in the first few minutes (hours) it is exactly water that may cause maximum damage, since it can cause a short circuit. Even in the off state, some processes take place in the iPhone board if its battery is connected. If a certain amount of moisture goes to the iPhone board there most likely will be a short circuit (and even sometimes more than one) if you will turn your device on.
Minerals and salts, if a lot of them are contained in water, may not manifest themselves immediately. Even if the iPhone works after falling in water, it is possible that some negative effects of this event will manifest themselves in few days, weeks or months. Salts and minerals will settle on the elements of the board and lead to corrosion, which can eventually lead to failure of one or more components of the device (for example, a Wi-Fi module). Also few days after your iPhone fell in water you may notice stripes on its screen, and to get rid of those you may need to replace the connecting cable or the matrix itself.
What has to be done if your iPhone fell in water
The most reliable way to save the device is to take it to a service center. Specialists will quickly disassemble the smartphone, remove the remaining water from it and check under a microscope whether corrosion has started, and whether the board contacts need to be cleaned up. However, it is not always possible to get to the professional service center fast enough. Therefore, if your iPhone fell in water you should do the following:
- Get the smartphone out of the water as soon as possible and make sure it is turned off. If the iPhone continues to work you need to turn it off by yourself;
- Take a napkin or dry cloth (lint free) and wipe the device. At the same time, you should especially carefully dry the headphones and charging jacks. If possible, remove the SIM card tray and also dry the connector;
- When the iPhone is as dry as possible, it must be placed in a container of dry rice. This is due to the fact that rice can pull the remaining moisture out of the device, thereby finally drying out the connectors and internal components. Your smartphone needs to stay in rice for 24 hours but not more.
What is the danger: Rice is able to remove moisture, but if particles of salts and minerals are already on the contacts of the board or the cables, the “rice treatment” will not help. Salts and minerals, when interacting with oxygen, will begin to oxidize, being located on the key elements of the device. This process can take several weeks or even months.
- Taking your iPhone out of rice, do not rush to turn it on. First you need to carefully remove the remaining rice from the device’s connectors. It can be whole grains of rice or just some fine “powder”. It is necessary to remove everything carefully (in no case shaking the device) with tweezers, needles or toothpicks. If a grain of rice gets into the iPhone it may cause various malfunctions.
- After that, you can turn your iPhone on, but even if it works without visible problems, it is recommended to contact service center for the experts to check your device once again.
Why there is a moisture sensor in iPhone
Some iPhone users know that Apple is installing a moisture sensor in their devices. On all new iPhone it is located under the SIM card tray; in older devices it may be located in other places.
In the normal state, the sensor has a white or gray color, and when triggered, it signals in red. Moisture sensor is showing reaction not only when your iPhone is in direct contact with water, but also when you are using your device in conditions of high humidity and at a temperature not recommended by the manufacturer.
The moisture sensor does not carry any function, except for alarming the service center specialists that the malfunction may be due to water entering the device. Since the water in the iPhone is not a warranty case, the official service centers will refuse to repair your smartphone for free even before making any diagnostics for it if the moisture sensor is activated.