Yikes !!! What to do when you Drop your iPhone in Water

Water, coffee, coke and other liquids are not good for iPhones or iPods, laptops, or any electronic devices.  These are delicate and expensive devices.   The corrosive effect of water on the device is not good and water and liquids can short out electrical circuits.  Therefore, the best position to take is to protect your phone.   Keep your soft drinks and coffee cups away from your electronic devices; do not use your cell phone in the rain.    If you know you are hitting the beaches, purchase a waterproof case for your phone.  If you work in an environment which is hot, cold or wet; invest in a protective cell phone case.

Per the Apple web site, if the iPhone or iPod has been damaged by liquid, the Apple one year limited warranty or Apple Care Protection Plan (APP) is voided.  However, you can receive a refurbished replacement phone for $199.00 with a 90 day warranty.

How does Apple know that your phone has been dropped in water?     IPhone models and iPod models that were built after 2006 have built-in liquid  contact Indicators that will show whether the device has been in contact with water or liquid containing water.  In fact, most cell phones and electronic devices have indicators for contact with water.     IPhone and iPod products are equipped with liquid contact Indicators in the bottom of the headphone jack. iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and later models also have an indicator on the bottom of the dock-connector housing. If you bring phone to the Apple store, this is the first thing they will check; the indicator is very clear that the phone has been submerged in liquid.    The indicator is not designed to be triggered by humidity and temperature changes.

You can recover your phone if you act quickly and follow some simple steps.

  1. The first step is to remove the device from water.  Do not turn the phone on as the water will cause the electrical components to short out.    Remove the SIM card if possible.
  2. If you have compressed air, blow the parts and the phone dry as you can but be careful not to blow the moisture further in the device.  Also, try a lint free cloth/paper towel and remove as much moisture as you can.
  3. Put the device in a large Ziploc bag filled with dry rice.  The rice acts as a desiccant to remove water from the air and aids in drying your device out quicker.    You can expect to leave the phone overnight or a couple of days in the Ziploc depending on how much moisture is in your phone.

If time is of an essence,  you need a working cell phone  and the above process did not work, or you don’t have the $199 dollars to replace your phone,  there are also second party cell phone ‘ hospitals’  which  provide low cost, on the spot recovery services for  damaged phones, e.g., cracked screens, water damage, phones which do not charge, etc.  The advertised cost of one cell phone hospital to fix a phone with water damage is about $50.00.   This of course voids your Apple warranty, but dropping the phone in water already has.    Remember when you do laundry; always check your shirt pockets and pants for your phone before throwing your clothes in the wash.    Good luck in keeping your cell phone safe and operating.

M.Ash  07/12/12

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