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I dropped my iPhone in water, what should I do? Should I put it in rice?

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

I dropped my phone in water, what should I do? My Phone is wet? My Camera has condensation in it, what do I do? Power it off, and bring it to MacMan!


 

You’ve dropped your phone in water. You hurry to fish it out and luckily it is still on. Or maybe it went black after it hit the water. What should you do next?


Power it off, and bring it to MacMan. MacMan is Apple authorized, trained, and experienced with liquid damaged devices. Many people will suggest putting the device in rice to draw the water out. We’re here today to tell you why not to do that. Instead Schedule a Liquid Damage cleaning Appointment with us using the button below.

First let’s clarify waterproof VS water resistant. Waterproof means that a device is impervious to water under any conditions. Water resistance means a device is able to resist Liquid penetration to a certain point. For example, the iPhone 13 has a rating of IP68 under the IEC standard 60529. The translation of that rating is Ingress Protection against dust and water, the 6 stands for dust-tight, and the 8 stands for protection against the effects of continuous immersion in water. According the level 8 of water protection Apple will determine how long the iPhone can sit in water, a maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes as stated on Apple’s website. Different models of iPhone have different ratings. The iPhone 8 has a rating of IP67 under the IEC standard 60529. The 6 stands for dust-tight, and the 7 stands for protection against temporary water immersion. As stated on Apple’s website 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. These ratings are not guaranteed. These ratings are produced in lab controlled conditions conditions. In reality, there are many other conditions that play into effect when talking about water resistance. You can read more about water resistance here. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207043


Liquid damage in a device is never fun. One common misconception is that by putting the device in dry rice, it will draw the water out. This is just a myth. When people have success by using the rice method, it is always luck that causes their device to turn on again. When you put your device in rice, it is essentially the same as putting the iPhone in a bag of dry sand. It feels like we are doing something but in reality, corrosion happens instantly.


 

Here at MacMan, we wanted to try a little experiment. We took 3 identical iPhones 6's and soaked them in water.


We then took the phones out after 30 minutes and opened the devices to see what damage was done. We then left one device open to air dry, one device was placed in rice, and one was left closed to air dry.

In order from Left to right: the iPhone that was opened and left to air dry; the iPhone that was covered in rice; and the iPhone that was removed from the water and nothing more.


What we found next surprised us!


The phone left disassembled to air dry was completely dry after 24 hours. The phone in rice was still visibly wet on the inside; moreover, it had started corroding. The phone left alone was visibly wet inside with no corrosion.


In order from Left to right: the iPhone that was opened and left to air dry, no standing liquid remains; the iPhone that was covered in rice, standing liquid and major corrosion can be seen; and the iPhone that was removed from the water and nothing more, standing liquid remains with no visible corrosion.

No doubt about it, all three phones are liquid damaged as indicated by the red LCI (Liquid Contact Indicator) in the top of the photos. The phone that was left open to dry has the best chance of turning on again. Unfortunately for the phone in rice, it will most likely not power on again due to the corrosion.

 

What is corrosion? Corrosion is the gradual breakdown of material, usually metal, by a chemical reaction with its environment. Even if a phone seems to be working, the internals of the device may have damage not visible from the outside. With possible liquid still inside the iPhone, corrosion will continue to spread inside the phone until one day, it stops working.


You can see in the photo to the left the Corrosion left behind by the water that was held by the iPhone that was put in rice


In conclusion, our experiment taught us a couple of things.

  1. A device that is opened to dry has a greater chance of survival, especially when properly opened and cleaned.

  2. Rice will trap moisture in the device causing corrosion to happen faster.

  3. Rice will also get stuck in the charging port and headphone jack, if your device has one.

Skip the rice. Save your device.


Since MacMan is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, we have the tools and resources to allow us to open the device and fully clean all liquid out. We then can try and revive the device once it has been fully cleaned and dried. After the device has been dried and cleaned out, we run diagnostics to see what has exactly failed. We can then determine if it is feasible to perform a single component repair to “save” the iPhone.


To prevent liquid damage avoid these:

  • Swimming or bathing with your iPhone.

  • Exposing your iPhone to pressurized water or high velocity water.

  • Using your iPhone in a sauna or steamy room.

  • Intentionally submerging your iPhone in water.

  • Dropping your iPhone or subjecting it to other impacts.

  • Disassembling your iPhone including removing any screws.

AppleCare+ Protection plans cover liquid damage events. With AppleCare+, instead of paying for a new device or a service pricing repair, you would be responsible for a service fee and MacMan or any Apple Authorized Service Provider would replace the device for you. Liquid damage is not covered under the Apple 1 year warranty sold with each device.


Skip the rice. Save your device.

Schedule a Liquid Damage Cleaning using the button below.



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