Another iPhone/Toilet meeting :(

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by nbenning25, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. nbenning25 macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2015
    So my wife dropped her iPhone 4 in the toilet. It was immediately retrieved, dried off and placed in a lunch bag with rice and siica gel desiccant for 48 hrs. Powered it back on ... black screen :(

    The next morning her morning alarm goes off. Hmmm ... I was able to turn it off by swiping the screen and the Bluetooth functionality seems to work as well. So it appears the phone is functional but with a shorted out screen.

    So the question is ... is the phone worth repairing or picking up a used iPhone 4 or 4s for about 100 bucks? Any feedback would be appreciated, aside from the toilet jokes Lol! Thanks!
  2. dictoresno macrumors 601


    Apr 30, 2012
    depends what you wanna do. you can get a cheap screen for the 4 online for like $20-40, and a better one from a well trusted supplier for $60-80.

    for $100-$150 you can score a decent condition used iphone 4/4s. or you can put that money towards a newer upgrade via your carrier to a 5 or 5S.
  3. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Feb 12, 2015
    Tasmania (AU)
    Truth be told, this is highly unlikely to be a problem with the display - more likely a component on the phone's logic board has shorted and fried. A backlight filter, specifically. Odds are that if you shine a torch or something directly onto the phone's screen when it's "awake", you'll actually be able to see stuff displayed on it - but without a working backlight it'll be very difficult to spot, let alone read.

    Assuming I'm right, repairing the phone will either require an expert (well above the level of the average Apple service provider tech), or a replacement logic board for the device (where you'll typically end up paying to have the whole phone swapped).

    Worse still, there's no way to properly clear out the remaining moisture from inside the phone short of opening in up and cleaning it manually. So long as that's in there, things are likely going to get worse, until such time as it won't power on at all.

    This probably goes without saying, but if there's anything important on the phone that isn't already backed up, you should plug it into iTunes ASAP and get that sorted out.
  4. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    My advice?
    Don't spend any money on the phone. I've tried to save 3 in the past couple of years. The closest I've come to success is one that I got to and dried quickly, turned off immediately and left off for 3 days in a bag of rice. It came back 100%, only to work for 2 more weeks then die. The tech guy at Apple told me that in most cases, there will be internal corrosion sooner rather than later.
    Save the trouble and get another phone if you can.
  5. AlphaTeam macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2005
    Sorry about your phone.

    I wish people would get over the rice drys out electronics. It doesn't. Rice does not absorb moisture out of the air. If it did you could put dry rice in the rainforest and have it be cooked in a day.
  6. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Feb 12, 2015
    Tasmania (AU)
    Erm, actually, yes, dry rice does "absorb moisture out of the air" - it won't get damper than the air is, of course, but so long as it's drier it'll suck in. That helps speeds the evaporation of other water sources in the area. If you've got no other option, it's worth a shot.

    But it's indeed unlikely to save a phone. They're just too cramped inside; the moisture gets trapped, and there's little rice can do to improve what limited airflow there is. Certainly it won't remove the other contaminants that came in with the water.

    Really nothing beats opening the phone, stripping the guts out of it and cleaning it properly.
  7. NYCkid macrumors newbie


    Mar 24, 2015
  8. Allthings-I, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015

    Allthings-I macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2014
    Actually the myth is bunch of non-sense and has been debunked time after time -- some tool started it on the internet and then people followed for the past decade almost and many ended up with non-working phones instead after waiting for the magic to happen when they could have done so much more to save the device(s) in question.

    For absolute best results, one should open up the device as much as they comfortably can (at least remove the screen on 5+ models and back on 4S and lower) and dry out the device to the best of their ability using a cotton cloth and q-tips and set it to dry in a position where any water in it will come out,

    I have put a iPhone 5 that got water damaged (Submerged for a good minute), I quickly opened it up, dried it to the point where no water was visible and then put it on a heater and it worked perfectly fine for the next 2 years until we traded it in for a new iPhone.

    When people put their phones in the rice, the rice doesn't instantly suck away the water, instead it takes days, while that water goes on to cause irreparable damage to the device and corrosion begins to set in.
  9. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    Before putting mine in rice, I blew the water out of the USB port and shook it out too. I didn't drop mine in the toilet but a bucket of water.

    I would look at the 5s because it seems to work well with the current iOS plus its not that far from the last iPhone release. 5c is good too.

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