How to Attempt saving an iPhone from Water Damage

How to Attempt saving an iPhone from Water Damage when you know the whole process of the salvaging, working it out and repairing it, in order to get back the iPhone in its original glory, is full of doubts and despair.

But, there are still some methods known to improve the chances for iPhone working again. Although there is no way a perfect guarantee to fix the waterlogged phone, but we can at least have our share of luck to try and get a few of them back to life.

Steps to save an iPhone from Water Damage

  • Salvaging iPhone from water
  • Working Around the Damage
  • Going for Advanced Repairs

Salvaging iPhone from water

Remove the phone from the water as soon as possible.

The longer the phone stays in water, the more are the chances of short circuiting. Get quick on your reflexes will make a huge difference .. . . . a working phone to a dead one.

Power off the phone.

As soon as you get hold of the iPhone out of the water, try to press and hold the Power button and slide the button at the top of the screen right when prompted. It is better to turn off the iPhone for getting higher chances of recovery. You might encounter to find the screen is off but may not be sure about it, quickly press the Power button to see if the screen turns on. It yes, quickly power off the phone.

Remove protective case of the iPhone.

If the iPhone has a protective case, it is better to take it off immediately as it may be holding in moisture. The removal of the protective case will allow the phone to breathe and dry.

Remove iPhone’s SIM card and tray.

Completely remove the tray so that water can escape the iPhone. Insert a SIM removal tool or an unbent paperclip into the SIM tray’s hole to pop the SIM tray out. You may use a dryer at low heat or an absorbent cloth to wipe down the phone. Try to wipe the excess moisture off with an absorbent cloth. Ensure the moisture does not reach charging port, volume keys, the headphone jack and any crevices.

Use a toothpick and piece of cloth to swab out ports.

Use a thin piece of cotton to wrap a single layer around the end of a toothpick to absorb excess water from the charging port and headphone jack.

Place the iPhone in a warm, dry location.

The best way to minimize the water damage is, simply let it air dry in a warm place for as long as possible. Removing the battery from the iPhone and air drying will be more effective . Wait at least 48 hours for a successful drying process.

Check for the water damage indicator.

Each iPhone has a small indicator to tell repair technicians that the phone has received water damage. This indicator means that you won’t qualify for free repair… in that case you might wish to fix the phone yourself.
iPhone 5 & up – Red indicator in the SIM tray port on screen side of phone.
iPhone 4S – Red indicator in the charging port or in the headphone jack.

Working Around the Damage

Back up iPhone immediately after turning it back on.

Backing up your iPhone as soon as possible will ensure that even if iPhone quits working a few days/hours later, the vital information can be installed on a new device.

Use AssistiveTouch if Home button stops working.

A common water damage is a non-working Home button. Bypass the issue by enabling the “AssistiveTouch” accessibility option. It places shortcuts for hardware buttons on the screen. It also allows to lock the screen, alter phone’s volume, and take screenshots.

Use a USB dock or Bluetooth headphones to play sound.

iPhone’s headphone jack malfunction can be bypassed by the use of an alternative audio output device instead of traditional headphones. You may connect a USB dock that is compatible with iPhone to the charging port at the bottom of iPhone. It gets detected automatically. Charging port, in case, is not recognizing the input, you will be unable to charge the iPhone.

Keep iPhone charged if power button stops working.

If the power button has stopped working, powering iPhone on and off becomes very difficult. You must keep it charged and turned on for keeping it alive and going. If iPhone runs out of battery and shuts off, it can be turned on again as you plug it into power socket.

Check for warranty service.

Standard AppleCare does not cover water damage, but you may get the phone serviced if it is new or you get a nice sales and repair representative.

Going for Advanced Repairs

Power down the phone.

Tap and hold Power button, then slide the button at the top of the screen right when prompted.

Remove the SIM card.

Remove the SIM card tray and the SIM card out before beginning any step of repairs.

Remove all the screws from the bottom of the iPhone.

For this you will require a pentalobe (5-prong) screwdriver to remove the screws. The screws are placed at left and right of the charging port.

Use a suction cup to remove the front cover.

A strong suction cup is one of the easier ways to remove the front part of the iPhone body. This will prevent scratches when trying to pry the halves apart. Hold the back of the case with your other hand, place a suction cup on the front. Once the suction cup is applied, pull it apart from the back half.

Use a Phillips screwdriver.

Use a flat tool to remove the battery and keep the battery off to the side for now.

Remove the cable connectors.

Remove the cable connectors before accessing the logic board. Use a Phillips screwdriver to pry off.

Remove the logic board from the plastic case.

You can remove logic board from the plastic housing once you’ve completely detached it.

Put the logic board in 97% isopropyl alcohol.

Let it soak until any visible residue is seen and has become loose.

Use a soft brush. Ensure to clean all contacts and connectors. Scrub the chips on the logic board. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary.

Allow the logic board to air dry

Ensure before reassembling completely that the logic board is totally dry. If it is still a little bit wet, it may cause more damage when you switch on the iPhone.

Wipe the LCD with the isopropyl alcohol.

Wiping the LCD screen can remove any liquid residue. Do not submerge the screen or it may cause permanent damage to the display.

Wait for the components to dry.

Isopropyl alcohol will take few moments to completely dry, so leave all of the components out for at least four hours before reassembling the iPhone.

Reassemble the iPhone.

Put the iPhone back in action by putting everything together by replacing all of the connectors and reinserting the screws in the reverse order as you took them out in.

Power on your iPhone.

Sure about everything… that the iPhone is dry, then you may power it on. If you have performed a thorough cleaning and the parts weren’t too corroded, the phone may work and rise again to its full glory even if iPhone water damage had happened to it.