Absolutely ANNOYED by Stupid Water Sensor

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KidStallyn, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. KidStallyn macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2008
    So.....for the past several months.....my iPhone randomly vibrates and the switch to mute the speakers stops working. In the mute position, it randomly vibrates so frequently, the battery will discharge in a matter of hours. So much so, I bought the morphie external battery case for extra battery and I don't even use the mute switch anymore and keep the speaker always on.

    So....I have the 2yr Apple Care extended warranty, and I decide to go get it looked at this past weekend. I finally had enough time to schedule an appt with the Genius Bar and drive all the way over there. I get there, and the Genius rep has me take the phone out of my porphie case.....sees some dirt or whatever on the dock connector and wants to blow it out with compressed air. No big deal.

    Went thru the normal...did you restore (yes), reset settings (yes) etc, etc.....So she then looks at the water sensors.....Headphone sensor is fine.....Little circle on the doc connector......tripped.....she gets a new phone, shows me the diff....and yep...it's tripped.

    But here's where my confusion is. My phones in my possession 100% of my waking hours. I for one know for a FACT that it's never been submerged in water. She explains that in order to trip the sensor.........it has to be a significant amount of water. Well....other then humidity......I have NO IDEA where any significant amount of water came from.......And other then this switch not working, which by the way is on the opposite corner of the phone.......Everything else works just fine.

    So.....Since my Apple Care warranty was now rendered useless by some mumbo jumbo legaleeze, What the HELL??? I for one know for a fact that my phone has never been submerged in a significant amount of water....but there's no way to prove it.

    Is there any documentation on this stupid sensor film? I would love too see some technical data to show that it's not faulty in itself. To me, this sounds like a huge scam to easily get out of having to deal with a problem....

    Oh well.....just figured I'd vent a little, and use my iPhone the way I have been......Unsilent......
  2. mrbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ozark, Missouri
    Before anybody flames him for "lying to Apple", I had a similar thing happen to me years ago with an HP laptop - the plug for the AC adapter broke inside the laptop, and I sent it in for service. HP said there had been "liquid damage" and they could tell because the water sensor had tripped, and I ended up having to shell out $500 for a new motherboard.

    Obviously - I had never exposed the laptop to water, because that would just be dumb. I did, however, live in a very old, poorly insulated dormitory at LSU, and if you've ever spent a day in Louisiana, you know it's about 95% humidity year round. The power went out in that dorm quite often, and when it did, the floors would get all slippery with the condensation.

    My theory - it was so damn humid in that dorm room that it was able to trip the water sensor. A similar thing probably happened here - your pocket is a pretty humid environment, and even more so if you live in a humid place. It might've been humid enough in that pocket to break the "operating limits" of the phone, which would've tripped the sensor.
  3. RiceRacerDX macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2009
    Looks like you would benefit from a dock connector cover:

    As well as a headphone jack cover:
  4. UngratefulNinja macrumors 68000


    May 9, 2009
    how did he lie to apple :confused:
  5. KidStallyn thread starter macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2008
    I have no reason to lie to Apple....Besides......Would that change the color of the strip to an un-tripped white??? NO......I'm just annoyed by the fact that this little white strip of "Waterproof Paper" as the Genius explained it....which requires a "significant amount of water" could be so sensitive, and render your entire warranty worthless. And how it could have an effect on the switch on the opposite side of the phone, closer to the headphone jacks where there water sensor hadn't been tripped......

    It's just frustrating..........and basically....now I can't even get my battery changed.....which sux even worse.....
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    sorry to hear about your bad luck. you could try and email to steve directly but i don't see much chance. these water sensors are one of the reasons why i stopped buying apple care. chances to get a drip of sweat or condensation in there thus voiding the warranty during the three years is too high.
  7. mrbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ozark, Missouri
    I wasn't saying he was lying to Apple. I only said that because some people here automatically assume the user is at fault when the water sensor goes off.
  8. strike1555 macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    I feel for you, OP it's ridiculous.

    The people over at Apple don't understand that tripped sensor does NOT automatically mean water damage.

    I suggest you paint, bleach, or buy new sensors and take it to another store.

    If Apple wants to commit fraud, two can play at that game.
  9. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    Yep, just open the phone (tools cost $3) and replace the sensors with little white pieces of paper. Safer than bleach.
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Keep you phone in your pocket? That sets it off!
  11. UnitedLax342 macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2008
    same crap happen to me... ask them to open it up and check for corrosion damage.
  12. deimos256 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2008
    wasnt there a report somewhere that showed apples water sensors were horsecrap??? i used to baby my phone with a otterbox defender just to keep the ports covered
  13. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    I think it is crap. I get they want to protect themselves, but why put the senors in an area where it's open? They could put it in the middle of the phone and if anyone drops it in a pool or something, the senors will still get wet.
  14. deimos256 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2008
    or they could put it where every other phone has it, under the removable batt.... uh nevermind
  15. Drewsky87 macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2008
    You could always try pulling this card since your other sensors are good and the damage is not caused by liquid:

    "Important: If you see a triggered LSI, inspect all adjacent modules for liquid damage. Components or modules that do not work due to liquid contact are not eligible for warranty service." - Source
  16. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    This hasn't happened to me with anything apple but I understand your frustration and quite frankly I'm pissed even reading this! Why would you pay $50 or whatever for "apple care" when they pull this ****ing ******** on you? It takes them what 5 mins to give you a knew phone! They hardly need a water sensor in a phone as if then phone went in water deep enough it would be obvious according to the internals, that or put the sensors inside the phone. Apple care sounds like it's a good deal like everything else apple but it's a rip off. There's ways around this though, I remember when my xbox360 broke i talked the guy into sending me a new one even though it was out of warranty. I'm really paranoid now I'm going to trip my sensors...
  17. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    I had a faulty sensor on my first 3G S (it was set off somehow within 48 hours of purchasing it). I've owned both the 2G and 3G iPhones and the 3G S received the same exposure as them. Plus, the phone had not left either my home or office in that time, so there was no way it could have gotten wet. Luckily I knew someone at the Apple Store and all was set right. However, there is minimal defense for someone who does no have that luxury.
  18. dancincat macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    my sensor is also tripped. i think it happened when i installed the screen protector. a very minimal amount of water seeped thru the home button area. bummer. cant even trade it in, which i was going to do because my silent switch broke off. maybe i will bring it in anyway. it is possible they will overlook that. you never know.
  19. cal6n macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2004
    Gloucester, UK
    If you know of such a report please link to it. I've been looking for one and I can't find any.

    The only "reports" I have been able to find are anecdotal blogs and forum threads such as this, where the poster is "100% sure" they didn't trip the sensor. Please visit your local university psychology department and ask the first undergraduate you see for information regarding the validity of that "evidence"!

    There have been no lab reports of water sensor discs being tripped by anything other than extreme conditions.


    Not one!

    These discs are designed to require physical contact with liquid water in order to be tripped. Humidity is not enough, unless it's at the levels encountered in a steam-bath.

    If you can link to any evidence-based report to the contrary, I'll be happy to read it and change my opinion.

    I very much doubt you'll be able to find any such reports, though.
  20. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    you work at apple right? Ever consider the frustration of this issue and the probability for the matter in areas that are less than ideal for these sensors? Like common man the UK and most of the USA are nothing compared to Singapore....it's not fare that these sensors are the weakes link o the iPhone, the fact that they cause you to have apple totally disacosiate with your phones warranty as if you cheated on an SAT and got caught. Really unfair.

  21. abnospam macrumors regular


    Jul 17, 2008
    Wow - you do realize that extreme humidity or more likely a extreme temperature change (e.g. humid gym into a cold day) would create condensation which in turn creates water, right? So, while humidity may not do it, humidity creates water which you yourself agree does trip it.

    I mean, really?
  22. mrbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2004
    Ozark, Missouri
    Wow, 18 posts before somebody blames the user.

    Humid environments are enough to trip these liquid sensors. Ever been anywhere really humid? Ever lived anywhere where your glasses get WATER on them just by walking out of an air conditioned building (e.g. most of the southern United States)?
  23. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    What "evidence" would you accept? A contiguous video diary of the entire lifetime of the iPhone? "Real" problems are found and acknowledged, through the collation of anecdotal error reports like these.

    The big problem with the tripping sensor is the user isn't given any notification of when it trips. If a user pulls their iPhone out of their pocket and there's a message on the screen saying the phone has been exposed to water, then they know exactly when/where the iPhone was when the supposed damage took place. If they only find out about the tripped sensor when they go to the Apple Store, they are in no position to deny the damage.
  24. DustyLBottoms macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2009

    Link provided;

    "according to tech specs from the manufacturer of the LSI sensors, 3M, days exposure at 95% humidity will change sensors slightly pink."

  25. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Apr 16, 2009
    Where can I get those? Link?

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