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Old Jan 2, 2013, 09:55 PM   #1
malonekev
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4S Touch Screen not responding after water damage

Though it is painfully embarrassing for me to admit it, my beloved iPhone 4S met it's watery demise in the toilet yesterday. I immediately put it in a tupperware of rice, as is custom. However, I could not shut it completely down as you're supposed to because my touchscreen wouldn't work! The screen would light up perfectly fine, and Siri pops up when I hold down the button.

From what I can discern, everything else works as it should. As I said, Siri pops up, and the phone can be rebooted without a problem. It vibrates. It's still keeping track of time and connected to the internet. I was even able to restore it to factory and nearly restore my backed-up files (I'm currently sitting here, staring at the screen, with a message asking me to verify my iCloud password. Unfortunately, I can't, because the touchscreen doesn't work! Everything else about the process went just fine, all my apps are syncing back nicely).

However, there have been brief periods where the screen acts as normal. This usually occurs after a hard reboot. It's only happened twice, and for very short periods of time. I'm not 100% certain, but it looks like, during those brief periods, the phone worked up until I pressed the lock button.

As I said before, I restored my phone, wishing naively that this was a software problem and it would fix itself. I don't think this is the case now. This is, I'm thinking, a hardware problem, but I don't think I really have enough experience (Re: Zero) to properly diagnose this.

If anyone can help me out with this problem it would be much appreciated; I didn't realize how much I relied on my phone until this happened!

Also of note: for some reason, the flash on the camera has been on since the incident and won't turn off.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 09:59 PM   #2
Applejuiced
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That's an easy one.
Its a hardware problem caused by the water damage.
You cant fix shorted out electronics with software or just by restoring them obviously.
You can try bringing it to Apple or an iphone repair place to see what parts need to be replaced or pay Apple the replacement fee to get another 4S in exchange.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:39 PM   #3
kage207
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Please take it to Apple if you just want an iPhone again and pay it. If you want to risk a third party who claims they can fix it then go ahead, just note Apple will no longer help you after this.

If you replace it through Apple $199 or $149 (forget how older models pricing works). Though if you are eligible to look at an upgrade consider it as the price is roughly the same as getting it replaced through Apple.

This device is not a toy. It's a tool. It's expensive ($549, $649, etc. out of contract) for a new one. Also remember, that iPhones have had the highest demand hence the cost.

People say Apple could do X, Y and Z to do better for the customer. Remember they are a company and their number one goal is to make money. If you don't make money, you won't be in business for long so you've got to make as much as you can for as long as you can.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:19 PM   #4
malonekev
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kage207-
I'm sorry if I gave off the impression that I'm a careless owner of my phone? This was kind of a freak incident; I was walking into the bathroom and my hand slipped when I was trying to put it in my pocket when I was sitting down :I I'm usually much more careful than that.

Applejuiced-
Alright, thanks for the advice! It's frustrating not being able to use my phone since I rely on it for so much. I'm probably just going to find a repair place and figure out what parts needed to be replaced; I figured there was some kind of corrosion in there or something and I was planning on seeing someone about it, but I figured I'd search for a cheaper fix online first.

Anyway, thanks for the help, both of you.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 11:45 PM   #5
Applejuiced
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Good luck man.
If the repair place tries to charge you any more than $199 I'd just bring it to Apple and have them replace the whole phone for the same amount.
Sometimes its not worth putting good money into bad and with corroded electronics you might experience more issues with it down the road.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:20 AM   #6
F1 Fan
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Perhaps leave it drying for another couple of days? It could well be fried but if it has been working occassionally it may yet get better. I think the usual advice is bowl of rice, airing cupboard & 1 week.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 09:17 PM   #7
malonekev
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Perhaps leave it drying for another couple of days? It could well be fried but if it has been working occassionally it may yet get better. I think the usual advice is bowl of rice, airing cupboard & 1 week.
Hahaha! You were right!

I decided to leave it in the rice a few more days and, lo and behold, the touch screen is fully operational again

Thanks everyone for the help. I guess it just needed to dry longer.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 09:32 PM   #8
kage207
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Why not put it in your pocket or leave it outside the bathroom?

If I come off harsh, I'm sorry. Though I am tired of these threads. People need to learn that these phones are not cheap. They enrich your lives and hence why it is important to you and then yet again affects the price.

I'm glad your phone is working. Just ingrain in your head that when handling the device you should beware of what can harm your phone and even if it's silly take that extra couple seconds or thirty to practice safety for your phone.

I just do not tolerate it when people cannot own up to their own faults and then turn around and try to blame Apple. Keep in mind, if anything does go wrong make sure your first stop is the Apple Store to get the phone checked out because a lot of third party repair centers do not do a good job on phones. Just make an appointment before you go so you don't have to wait too long!

Always plan ahead!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by malonekev View Post
Hahaha! You were right!

I decided to leave it in the rice a few more days and, lo and behold, the touch screen is fully operational again

Thanks everyone for the help. I guess it just needed to dry longer.
Great news! Enjoy your extra time with it
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Old Aug 14, 2013, 02:51 PM   #10
aecarter87
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Cool Rude?!

I'm sorry, but I could not refrain from commenting on this post. kage207, did you buy this phone? Are you being forced to pay for malonekev's replacement phone or repair costs? Mmmm... doubtful. You are extremely rude and by first impressions, arrogant. If you're so tired of these forums, perhaps you should find something else to do with your time. UGH! Being that rude is just unnecessary and ignorant. And that is all!

Good luck, malonekev!
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Old Oct 31, 2013, 06:13 PM   #11
nomad5150
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Question Question for Malonekev and the other members of the forum - please

I've been following this thread in an effort to help someone who had a very similar experience. A friend's iPhone 4s (less an a month old - & no it really isn't my phone) fell in the toilet for a couple of seconds this past Sunday. I've had the phone sitting in a bag of rice within another bag of Damprite since then. I also tried the vacuum cleaner method and a can of compressed air. Luckily, the phone still works (turns on, holds a charge, turns off, receives call, etc..) The only is the touchscreen is only somewhat responsive. I have to tap the slider twice to get the phone to unlock. And similar action to turn the phone off. Although now when I unlock the phone Siri comes on and starts informing about whatever App happens to be selected at the time. For example, Text Message App is the first one - so when the phone is unlocked - Siri starts to read the first text message. Also, I can't seem to get the screen to advance to the second screen. Siri also mentions "Tap twice to select an App" or something like that.

All of that said, how long did you have to leave the phone in the bag of rice for. Also, I'm wondering is there a setting that somehow was activated as a result of all of this that's causing this behavior???
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Old May 21, 2014, 11:23 AM   #12
Panjabi
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I know this is an old thread, but I am facing a similar problem at the moment and was hoping someone had some additional info regarding my problem.

This is what happened:
My Iphone 4s fell out of my pocket while I was cycling and into a muddy pool. Found it after 20 minutes. It had shut itself off. After three days in rice the thing was not responding at all.

Decided to get me some screwdrivers and alcohol (Isopropyl). After a fair amount of research, I opened up the whole thing, cleaned the circuit board and all the parts I could get to with the alcohol and a brush, let it dry for another day and BABBOOM! It fired up again. Everything seems to work fine except the touch screen, which is not responding to touch. I double and triple checked if I had properly reconnected the digitizer and if there was any visible corrosion. Nothing to see and everything is properly connected.

Now my question: Is there any point in taking the iphone apart even further, to clean the digitizer itself? Or am I looking at a replacement of digitizer + LCD?

Thanks for any helpful advice.
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Old May 22, 2014, 01:10 AM   #13
l.a.rossmann
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Originally Posted by kage207 View Post
Please take it to Apple if you just want an iPhone again and pay it. If you want to risk a third party who claims they can fix it then go ahead, just note Apple will no longer help you after this.
Considering Apple's idea of help is often little more than "f#&k you, buy a new one!", I'd say you don't have much to lose going third party.
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Old May 23, 2014, 08:43 AM   #14
magilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malonekev View Post
kage207-
I'm sorry if I gave off the impression that I'm a careless owner of my phone? This was kind of a freak incident; I was walking into the bathroom and my hand slipped when I was trying to put it in my pocket when I was sitting down :I I'm usually much more careful than that.

Applejuiced-
Alright, thanks for the advice! It's frustrating not being able to use my phone since I rely on it for so much. I'm probably just going to find a repair place and figure out what parts needed to be replaced; I figured there was some kind of corrosion in there or something and I was planning on seeing someone about it, but I figured I'd search for a cheaper fix online first.

Anyway, thanks for the help, both of you.
Umpty-umph # of these type of threads but first to start, glad it's working now.

Second, learn anything? If, as you say "...I rely on it for so much." then consider this; how long does it take to go to the toilet? If you absolutely cannot be out of touch with the world for so short a period of time, synch it to a bluetooth headset and leave the iFone outside of the bathroom. iFone + water = certain death/problems. Kitchen - same way - far from water.

Consider this ...what if you had lost it permanently and all the data you had stored on it and, for whatever reason, your last iCloud backup was a couple of days ago? Like my dad always used to say "Too late schmart!"
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Old May 24, 2014, 10:53 AM   #15
kage207
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Considering Apple's idea of help is often little more than "f#&k you, buy a new one!", I'd say you don't have much to lose going third party.
How are they saying you have to buy a new phone? They never make you buy a new one. They give you your options, meaning if you are available for upgrade (new) or pay for a replacement phone or get a different phone.

The phones are tiny and fixing them isn't easy. Also to scale the mass amount of people that come through their doors in terms of repair time and paying for labor would be way too much.

I don't trust 3rd parties. Who are they? What do they do? How do I know they did a good job? Did they use quality parts?

The thing is I don't know the 3rd parties. They decrease the value of the phone whenever it is time for resale. That is just my own opinion. Do whatever you want.

Like I said, I am tired of people saying it is Apple's fault for something the person did. You wouldn't go back to the car dealership and say "Hey, there's a bender in my fender. Fix it for free!"
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Old May 25, 2014, 10:23 AM   #16
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Like I said, I am tired of people saying it is Apple's fault for something the person did. You wouldn't go back to the car dealership and say "Hey, there's a bender in my fender. Fix it for free!"
It's not Apple's fault people break their devices.

However, at the same time, I grow weary of hearing recommendations as if people have only one option. And Apple's option is always the same - we're not fixing what you have, get a new one, or a refurbished one, or whatever. Regardless of the solution they propose, it is usually either

a) We'll fix your device for close to the cost of a new one.

b) Here, buy a new one.

There's an entire world outside of those expensive, crappy options.
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Old May 25, 2014, 11:42 AM   #17
kage207
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It's not Apple's fault people break their devices.

However, at the same time, I grow weary of hearing recommendations as if people have only one option. And Apple's option is always the same - we're not fixing what you have, get a new one, or a refurbished one, or whatever. Regardless of the solution they propose, it is usually either

a) We'll fix your device for close to the cost of a new one.

b) Here, buy a new one.

There's an entire world outside of those expensive, crappy options.
How is the cost of 'fixing' it, cost the same as new one?

I think a new one costs $650. So... $200 is not the same as $650.
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Old May 27, 2014, 09:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by kage207 View Post
How is the cost of 'fixing' it, cost the same as new one?

I think a new one costs $650. So... $200 is not the same as $650.
How long has it been since a 4S was worth $650?
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