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fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
2,536
650
Ellicott City, MD
Ok, have an...interesting one. Over the weekend my 2019 16” MBP (no apple care) had an unfortunate accident. In the strangest thing I’ll probably ever type here, my toddler had an accident and peed on the laptop. It was closed, so I wiped it down. Opened the lid, tiny bit inside, wiped that, and closed it back up. About 30 minutes later I went to use it and the screen wouldn’t come on, but keyboard was backlit and trackpad clicked. Tried assisting brightness, etc, nothing. Closed it and opened it again, completely dead. Been dead for about 3 days now.
I can’t be without 2 machines (we also have an M1 MBA) and we need a 16” for the TB ports and controllers. This is the WORST timing. I’m guessing the new 16” will be announced at WWDC at the earliest. I’m not going to spend the money to replace this one yet (it was i9, 32GB, 2TB model). So I bought a base model. My hope is this one comes back alive before the return period. And it gets me by until the new, new ones.

anyway, anyone lose a laptop to liquid damage and have it come back eventually? If so, how long did it take? Thanks.
 

chscag

macrumors 601
Feb 17, 2008
4,622
1,945
Fort Worth, Texas
I have to say that I've read about numerous "spills" but yours is the first that urine was involved. Since human urine is acidic in nature, it might be a good idea to open the machine and see if you can clean it. No guaranty that will bring it back to life but worth a try.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,328
4,713
Georgia
Not likely. But I’d disassemble it. As much as possible. Then flush it with 90% isopropyl alcohol. To get rid of any residue. Then let it dry. In front of a fan for several days.

leaving battery and power disconnected. don’t even try turning it on.

That residue can cause a lot of corrosion. As long as the battery is connected. You have the opportunity for more shorts.

If that doesn’t work. There are repair shops which perform motherboard repairs. Which may be able to fix it. These are specialists not regular shops. Most notably is The Rossman Group in New York. You can ship it to.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
7,005
3,343
You have a short somewhere. I wish I could have told you this a few days ago, but toddlers need to be kept away from your laptop at all costs. You can treat it like a desktop while at home. Set it up only at specific places that they are unlikely to reach at this point to minimize the risk.

Applecare wouldn't help here anyway. While they have a lot of latitude in helping you out, according to others, it has never done much for me. I would at least get a quote on repairs from Apple, as they may still be significantly less than the value of the laptop prior to its accident.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,436
5,911
there
MANY!

but during the mid 2010's
how far did you get?

if the power button does not work,
there are pads on the logic board that will start the macbook,
but i don't know if the 2019 pro has them.
 

fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
2,536
650
Ellicott City, MD
Thanks all. I have a nice ifixit screwdriver set, so maybe I’ll take it apart. I assumed the acid was bad news for it. I couldn’t wait to clean, dry, etc. I needed something ASAP so wife and I can both work. It just sucks it was the higher end machine that I was waiting to replace (and use my DTK credit).

I’ll have to see what it may cost to fix. I’m guessing more than what’s worth for me to get it done since I plan on upgrading anyway. But I don’t want resell/trade value to be $0.

Keep the suggestions coming, thanks all.
 

fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
2,536
650
Ellicott City, MD
MANY!

but during the mid 2010's
how far did you get?

if the power button does not work,
there are pads on the logic board that will start the macbook,
but i don't know if the 2019 pro has them.
I’ll open her up tonight. I’ll see what I can find. Thanks. Power does not work.
 

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,436
5,911
there
I’ll open her up tonight. I’ll see what I can find. Thanks. Power does not work.
try the 2 points on top of the keyboard connection ribbon
there has to be some online source for this procedure.
good luck, don't give up!
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
7,005
3,343
Thanks all. I have a nice ifixit screwdriver set, so maybe I’ll take it apart. I assumed the acid was bad news for it. I couldn’t wait to clean, dry, etc. I needed something ASAP so wife and I can both work. It just sucks it was the higher end machine that I was waiting to replace (and use my DTK credit).

I’ll have to see what it may cost to fix. I’m guessing more than what’s worth for me to get it done since I plan on upgrading anyway. But I don’t want resell/trade value to be $0.

Keep the suggestions coming, thanks all.

It won't be $0 since people do buy broken machines for parts. This is a gamble on their end, as they would not win on every machine. If you're selling as is, regardless of whether it works again, you should disclose that it took a spill.
 

fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
2,536
650
Ellicott City, MD
Well, I’ll update you all.
Took it apart, what a job that was. Haven’t taken a MBP apart since 2012. Didn’t notice anything wet, but let it out to dry anyway. Wiped it down with alcohol wipes, but didn’t notice any residue or corrosion anywhere. Put it back together this morning and...nothing. I’m thinking she’s a goner.

I called Apple and before even thinking of sending it in I wanted a quote for a mew logic board. I was preparing for the worst since I assume (I could be wrong) it needs to have the same specs since RAM and storage are on the board and the machine had 32GB/2TB. The quote was $1475, which is honestly less than I expected. It’s still more than I’d want to spend, but “cheap” enough I can recover when I go to sell it. If I decide to go that route, I’m just wondering if I can get it sent to Apple, repaired, and sent back before my 14 days are up on the loaner one I bought. But every day I sit and think about it is another day the clock is ticking.
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,328
4,713
Georgia
Well, I’ll update you all.
Took it apart, what a job that was. Haven’t taken a MBP apart since 2012. Didn’t notice anything wet, but let it out to dry anyway. Wiped it down with alcohol wipes, but didn’t notice any residue or corrosion anywhere. Put it back together this morning and...nothing. I’m thinking she’s a goner.

I called Apple and before even thinking of sending it in I wanted a quote for a mew logic board. I was preparing for the worst since I assume (I could be wrong) it needs to have the same specs since RAM and storage are on the board and the machine had 32GB/2TB. The quote was $1475, which is honestly less than I expected. It’s still more than I’d want to spend, but “cheap” enough I can recover when I go to sell it. If I decide to go that route, I’m just wondering if I can get it sent to Apple, repaired, and sent back before my 14 days are up on the loaner one I bought. But every day I sit and think about it is another day the clock is ticking.
If it got on the keyboard area. It may just be the top case which needs replacing. I’ve repaired a couple older MacBooks. Where it was just that after liquid damage. You’d just need to figure out how to jump start it without the top case to see.

Those repair shops may charge a lot less. As it could just be a matter of replacing a burnt out component or fuse. Which Apple won’t do.
 
Last edited:

MBAir2010

macrumors 603
May 30, 2018
6,436
5,911
there
when you say, nothing....goner- did you press the power button, and nothing?
that could be the problem, they short out way to fast, which is why  has the 2pin screwdriver power option.
there are many Utube videos on this, just finding the 2019 make is a needle in the haystack, but doable.
all you need i just to power the macbook pro on- perhaps the local repair shop might solve this problem.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
7,005
3,343
I called Apple and before even thinking of sending it in I wanted a quote for a mew logic board. I was preparing for the worst since I assume (I could be wrong) it needs to have the same specs since RAM and storage are on the board and the machine had 32GB/2TB. The quote was $1475, which is honestly less than I expected.

That's less than you expected? They refurbish parts for repair purposes. They aren't cutting you a deal here. For things that don't involve liquid damage, they'll sometimes offer depot repair, which is just a flat rate of a few hundred but not performed in store. That quote is more like what they charge on ala carte repairs performed in store, although it's the highest I've seen to date.
 

spyguy10709

macrumors 65816
Apr 5, 2010
1,004
642
One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA
Well, I’ll update you all.
Took it apart, what a job that was. Haven’t taken a MBP apart since 2012. Didn’t notice anything wet, but let it out to dry anyway. Wiped it down with alcohol wipes, but didn’t notice any residue or corrosion anywhere. Put it back together this morning and...nothing. I’m thinking she’s a goner.

I called Apple and before even thinking of sending it in I wanted a quote for a mew logic board. I was preparing for the worst since I assume (I could be wrong) it needs to have the same specs since RAM and storage are on the board and the machine had 32GB/2TB. The quote was $1475, which is honestly less than I expected. It’s still more than I’d want to spend, but “cheap” enough I can recover when I go to sell it. If I decide to go that route, I’m just wondering if I can get it sent to Apple, repaired, and sent back before my 14 days are up on the loaner one I bought. But every day I sit and think about it is another day the clock is ticking.


With all due respect, I'm not sure you've thought this one all the way through. Even if you do swap the board, the rest of the computer (keyboard, chassis, etc) will have all still have been exposed to urine. Apple is not in the business of cleaning this, and if you're honest with them about exposure to bodily fluids - they're not going to take your machine, by protocol. Nor would most repair shop technicians I know.

I'd honestly just take it apart yourself and clean it with isopropyl as best you can - and start saving for whatever apple silicon machine can eventually handle your workload.

Just the repair cost alone + DTK credit can buy you a brand new 16+1TB 13", would this not cut it for you?
 

fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
2,536
650
Ellicott City, MD
If it got on the keyboard area. It may just be the top case which needs replacing. I’ve repaired a couple older MacBooks. Where it was just that after liquid damage. You’d just need to figure out how to jump start it without the top case to see.

Those repair shops may charge a lot less. As it could just be a matter of replacing a burnt out component or fuse. Which Apple won’t do.
It was closed and on its side at the time. So I honestly don’t know where it really got. When I saw what happened I quickly wiped it down. Other than near the left speaker, there didn’t appear to be any under the lid. So hard to say.

All repair shops that touch Apple are Apple Certified. I’d it doesn’t power on and they can’t run a diagnostic. They’ll just mail it to Apple anyway.

when you say, nothing....goner- did you press the power button, and nothing?
that could be the problem, they short out way to fast, which is why  has the 2pin screwdriver power option.
there are many Utube videos on this, just finding the 2019 make is a needle in the haystack, but doable.
all you need i just to power the macbook pro on- perhaps the local repair shop might solve this problem.
Yes, won’t power on. I searched, found no way of screwdriver powering on this machine. I wouldn’t even see how it’s possible the way it’s laid out and connected. To get to where you’d need to do it, you probably need to remove and flip the logic board, in which case nothing else is connected. I could be wrong.
That's less than you expected? They refurbish parts for repair purposes. They aren't cutting you a deal here. For things that don't involve liquid damage, they'll sometimes offer depot repair, which is just a flat rate of a few hundred but not performed in store. That quote is more like what they charge on ala carte repairs performed in store, although it's the highest I've seen to date.
Yes, it’s less. Lower spec logic boards sell for $1,500-2,000+ online. Remember, the CPU, RAM, SSD are all part of the board. They said the lowest it would be is a Tier 2 accidental repair, which is around $700. Tier 4 is $1475. That’s standard Tier 4 rate for a 16” MBP no matter which Apple Authorized repair center you take it to. The non warranty accidental damage costs are fixed price tiers. As stated above, I haven’t seen or heard of any reliable repair shops that deal with Apple that aren’t certified/authorized. And if there were and I did need a logic board, it would cost them more to source one (just based on my own research).
With all due respect, I'm not sure you've thought this one all the way through. Even if you do swap the board, the rest of the computer (keyboard, chassis, etc) will have all still have been exposed to urine. Apple is not in the business of cleaning this, and if you're honest with them about exposure to bodily fluids - they're not going to take your machine, by protocol. Nor would most repair shop technicians I know.

I'd honestly just take it apart yourself and clean it with isopropyl as best you can - and start saving for whatever apple silicon machine can eventually handle your workload.

Just the repair cost alone + DTK credit can buy you a brand new 16+1TB 13", would this not cut it for you?
It’s been cleaned. Thoroughly cleaned with alcohol. Trying to save it myself. In fact, while cleaning it on the inside I even got all the dust out of the fans. And I said “my toddler had an accident on the laptop” on the phone. I was honest, but never explicitly said “my kid peed on it.”

No current M1 machine will suffice. 13” Intel Pros have 4 TB ports, but can’t run both of my monitors. I need to drive 2 UltraFine 5K displays and multiple TB external devices. The 16” is the only machine Apple currently makes that will do the job (other than a Mac Pro). An equivalent refurb is over $3,000. My temporary machine is a 16GB/1TB and I’ll see how I manage. I don’t think storage will be a problem, I have plenty of external of needed, but I’ll have to see the RAM situation when I have everything going on. What I’m hoping is mew iMacs are announced on Tuesday and have enough TB horsepower for me. Then I’ll get one of those and sell 1 of my UF5K displays (unless it can drive 2).

I really just need to figure out if I wait it out longer to see if it comes back (I’ve read some stories of 5 or more days their MBP started again) or just bite the bullet and get it repaired ASAP. Someone mentioned earlier there’s still value, as someone would buy it cheap for parts, to fix, etc. But there’s 0 chance I’m selling this as-is to someone with my data (maybe?) still on it. I supposed I can keep iCloud lock on it and have it erase when it comes back on, but I’d rather not bother with that.

Thanks for all the thoughts, comments, suggestions, feedback, etc.
 
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thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
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Yes, it’s less. Lower spec logic boards sell for $1,500-2,000+ online.

Recall that pricing on these things varies worldwide. People in the US are not going to purchase a lower spec logic board at $2000+. That is in the price territory of a refurbished Apple notebook with standard warranty. People might still list them for that, but they are not good purchases in that price range. In the case of an authorized repair, they fix anything broken. It's still not really good as new though. I've had repairs go bad from them before, but they were on a problem year laptop. They never really made good on that one.
 

NaarDuKlaute

macrumors newbie
Apr 15, 2021
1
0
The Netherlands
That's actually the story of 2 MacBooks I got from an international DJ.

I've worked with Dutch international DJ's a lot and some of them just don't live on earth anymore (mentally). He got in his private jet from The Netherlands to the US and while departing he spilled (I think water) all over a custom setup. While a normal person would go to repair said MacBook. He just bought another one in the US and (luckily) took the old one with him. Guess what happened to the brand new MacBook on departure after the stay in the US? The same story for the second one.

As he came back, he told me he had these two laptops that wouldn't boot because of liquid damage and if I (as the only technical guy he knew firsthand) wanted to have those brand new laptops. As a couple of weeks passed and I found time to check on the devices, they sprung on on the first try. The only thing was one of the backlights stopped working due to corrosion. I had it fixed and he told me I could keep them as he already bought 2 new MacBooks with custom maxed out setup. It was in 2015/2016-ish.

I basically have the same story with another musician. The Grammy winning bastard got the newest maxed out MacBook Pro 15 inch and was showing it off while we were eating take out kebab. He dropped the laptop, spilled mineral water all over it and gave it a good shake "to dry off". Needless to say the thing was fried. No pun intended. A week later he rebought (almost 10k euro's) the same setup and as we were sitting in the studio, he connected the wrong laptop to the power. His old MacBook Pro was working again. Just a weird coloring on the monitor. I convinced him to use it for live sets and he bought me some fancy take out sushi out of sheer happiness.

I have no experience with urine, but there are cases of lucky and unlucky liquid damages. Your story was def more rock n roll than mine...
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,328
4,713
Georgia
It was closed and on its side at the time. So I honestly don’t know where it really got. When I saw what happened I quickly wiped it down. Other than near the left speaker, there didn’t appear to be any under the lid. So hard to say.

All repair shops that touch Apple are Apple Certified. I’d it doesn’t power on and they can’t run a diagnostic. They’ll just mail it to Apple anyway.
I’m talking about alternative shops outside Apples Authorized service providers. Shops which do board level repairs. Such as The Rossman Group. But may save you a lot of money on the repair.
 

fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
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Ellicott City, MD
Recall that pricing on these things varies worldwide. People in the US are not going to purchase a lower spec logic board at $2000+. That is in the price territory of a refurbished Apple notebook with standard warranty. People might still list them for that, but they are not good purchases in that price range. In the case of an authorized repair, they fix anything broken. It's still not really good as new though. I've had repairs go bad from them before, but they were on a problem year laptop. They never really made good on that one.
A refurb of this model is over $3k. That pricing I quoted was from US sellers. That is indeed logic board pricing for non-base 16”. Again, SSD and RAM are part of the logic board replacement. The higher the sorbs, the more the board from 3rd party. I’d love if you can probe me wrong with a lower priced i9/32/2TB logic board
 
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fishkorp

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 10, 2006
2,536
650
Ellicott City, MD
I’m talking about alternative shops outside Apples Authorized service providers. Shops which do board level repairs. Such as The Rossman Group. But may save you a lot of money on the repair.
Got it, thanks. I reached out to them (not open) with some questions big I don’t hear back by mid day I’ll call. I don’t have time to wait around forever. If I don’t have a machine back in my hands in ~9 more days I’m either stuck keeping the one I picked up or we’re down to 1 computer. And we have way too much work to do to only have 1. Hopefully they can answer my questions. From browsing online I look like it’s a essentially $100 just to send it in (shipping both ways plus the bench fee). We have nothing like that (that I’ve heard about or found) nearby.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,140
12,303
Guess you're gonna have to go shopping for a new MacBook Pro.

And... from now on... when not in your hands, it should be stored somewhere "up high" where the young'un can't get at it... (same for any other laptop you're using)
 

velocityg4

macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
7,328
4,713
Georgia
Got it, thanks. I reached out to them (not open) with some questions big I don’t hear back by mid day I’ll call. I don’t have time to wait around forever. If I don’t have a machine back in my hands in ~9 more days I’m either stuck keeping the one I picked up or we’re down to 1 computer. And we have way too much work to do to only have 1. Hopefully they can answer my questions. From browsing online I look like it’s a essentially $100 just to send it in (shipping both ways plus the bench fee). We have nothing like that (that I’ve heard about or found) nearby.

That's good. The owner Louis Rossmann is a vocal figure in the right to repair movement. He's also got a Youtube channel with a lot of followers. Dealing with right to repair and demonstrations of different complex repairs and some of the equipment he uses.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
7,005
3,343
A refurb of this model is over $3k. That pricing I quoted was from US sellers. That is indeed logic board pricing for non-base 16”. Again, SSD and RAM are part of the logic board replacement. The higher the sorbs, the more the board from 3rd party. I’d love if you can probe me wrong with a lower priced i9/32/2TB logic board

Hmm...maybe I clicked on the wrong one? Admittedly I couldn't find a 2TB for reference.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,271
540
I dumped a full glass of red wine into a 2009 MBP some years back. Dried the surfaces off, took it apart (as much as reasonably possible), wiped up all the damp I could see, and carefully wiped anything that looked contaminated with a soft cloth and distilled water. I also disconnected any connectors that looked like they might have got damp and were easy to get at. I then sat it in front of a fan to dry for 3 days, moving it around occasionally.

After that treatment, it mostly worked. The DVD player never worked again but I sort of expected that. The keyboard was fine for about 3 months and then started getting weird, as in some keys would simply not register part of the time. The keyboard thing got worse and eventually I had the keyboard replaced; for that model it came to about $200.

I replaced it in early 2014, gave it to one of my kids, and it was in light service until Christmas 2019 when it was finally put to rest.

I'd suggest looking very carefully for any sign of contamination in the PC board traces and in any connectors. Use distilled water if you need to clean anywhere, and give it lots and lots of drying time.
 
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