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Troubleshooting a Water Damaged iPhone

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 9/21/2010

Here is a step by step process to limit the damage in case you accidentally dropped your iPhone in water.

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    Water World

    Anyone who has had a cell phone over the years knows that water damage is one of the more common risks out there. Whether it is dropping your phone in a puddle, spilling water directly on it, getting it caught in the rain, or any of the other myriad of possible water hazards out there one thing is sure: your iPhone could easily get water damage. If this does happen to you there are a few troubleshooting steps to go through to try and salvage your iPhone from the disaster of water damage.

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    Immediately After

    iPhone 4 Just because your iPhone has been submerged in water does not necessarily mean that there is iPhone water damage. To save your iPhone from permanent water damage you need to act fast. First, do not press any buttons at all or do anything that would make your iPhone activate. The water in your iPhone could cause it to short circuit, which is why any electrical activity under the hood needs to be avoided at all costs. Try to remove the casing and make sure that the SIM card is immediately removed. It is now that you want to try to get rid of the amount of easily accessible water by shaking it lightly, but not hard enough to do any damage.

    From here you will want to lay out the open iPhone on a soft towel and apply a hair blower on a low heat setting, which you want to do for anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour. The next step is a classic remedy for removing moisture from an item. You will want to take a fresh bag of rice and put the iPhone in it for a couple of days, trying to take it out and blow dry it for a few minutes each day. After a few days have gone by you may want to shake it out to see if there is ANY water remaining, and if there is that means you should not press any buttons and should continue the rice process. If there is not it will be time to put it back together and see if it will work. With a bit of luck your phone will have dried out completely and there won't be any permanent iPhone water damage.

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    Not Covered by Warranty

    It may go without saying that iPhone water damage is not covered by its warranty. On the bottom of an iPhone, as well as the iPod Touch, there is a Liquid Contact Indicator that will change color when it comes into contact with a serious amount of water. This will indicate to Apple that there has been iPhone water damage, which will stop you from claiming that it was some other kind of issue that caused a malfunction with your iPhone. They also warn that this may cause permanent deterioration of your iPhone, which is true if the water is allowed to stay in the iPhone, even if there is no immediate noticeable problem. Though you will not be able to get a completely free iPhone because of the water damage, you can often expect a less expensive one if it has to be replaced.