Bad battery after the iPhone got washed?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by celica73, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. celica73 macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2009
    My iPhone went through the washing machine. My first thought was, "darn." My second thought was, "take it apart and dry it out."

    So I did. Not my best moment, but it's apart and can go back together. In the end, I did get it dried out, but I still can't get it to work right.

    If I plug it into the wall charger I will get an endless reboot. I am able to get it into "restore" mode as well.

    If I plug it into the Mac, I don't see anything, though I can get it to appear in iTunes by putting it into DFU mode. All restores fail with an error 1601. Doing the DFU mode through a USB hub (with activity light) indicates that the power to the phone is lost in the middle of the process (and never restored).

    I've seen one report that a bad battery fits my symptoms.

    Volt meter tests:

    Battery plus to battery minus = 3.7V (as it should).
    Red wire on circuit board to black wire on circuit board = 0.6 volts.
    Red wire on circuit board to chassis (ground) = 0.6 volts.

    With the iphone plugged into the wall:

    Red wire to black wire = 3.8V (as it should)
    Red wire to chassis = 3.8 volts.

    I notice there is some sort of circuit board between the battery terminals and the actual wires that connect to the phone. I don't know what the board does.

    I'll probably try a new battery regardless, but would love to get additional opinions on this.


    PS: After I took the phone apart I googled "iphone wash" and found that most people have good results just drying it out in a bag of rice. Too bad I didn't google that first.
  2. Vandam500 macrumors 68000


    Sep 29, 2008
    You think the battery is the only thing that got damaged? I am almost certain almost everything in there is damaged. Rough Luck:(
  3. Vanilla Cocoa macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    There are some 3rd party iPhone repair companies that I'm going to suggest you look into. I would check into perhaps a local mall kiosk that can service iPhones. You won't get any help from Apple or AT&T, no matter how much you offer to pay them. (Their position on the water damage issue is that it's not economical to repair, as they don't repair phones but rather just swap the phone out with a refurbished one.)

    One of the reasons I'm suggesting this is because you don't know what's wrong. Maybe the battery is broken; maybe the logic board is too. The good part about taking it somewhere is that they'd test parts and only charge you for the ones you need. (Compared to, say, trying to replace the battery, and that not working, then replacing the logic board, only to find out the battery was fine, which I doubt.)

    You do seem more knowledgeable than the average person, seeing as you've already disassembled the phone and tested the battery with a multimeter. That said, if you don't want to have someone else do it, maybe try finding a phone parts site with a return policy so you can return what you don't need.
  4. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    If you thoroughly dry it before powering it back on, it's possible there would be no damage. The problem is, water will do more than just cause shorts (ie corrosive effects).

    I like using rice as a desiccant idea. Those little gel packs may help too. Just don't eat them :D
  5. celica73 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Well, new battery has been ordered. I might as well give it a shot for $13 and a little bit of my time. The phone was free (hand-me down after the 3G came out) and I'm not on a contract, so I figure $13 is all I'm willing to spend on a phone that is a toy for my 4 year old as much as it is for me (she loves to watch movies when I'm grocery shopping).

    I think she is missing the phone more than I am.

  6. cruelmemory macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2007
    From my experiences with iPhones/iPods, this is very true. Third party repair centers may be able to use refurbished parts and keep the cost low but if there is any hardware issue with an iPod/iPhone, they swap it.


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