Condensation on iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by INBLUT, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. INBLUT macrumors newbie


    Jan 5, 2009
    I've been reading sooooo many posts of users complaining about this problem that I'm already backing down on this...

    I cannot find a word on apple about this. Can anyone tell me is this problem has been taken care of? After all the post I read where all from beginning 2008 ... the problem might have been solved already...or not.

    Is it really something that is solved by letting the mac on for a couple hours?

    I read that I will have to put the mac on the room it will be staying for 2 days before turning it on, to let it get used to the temperature.

    Is this so?
  2. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    As long as you are not using it in a sauna you should be ok. :p
  3. INBLUT thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 5, 2009
    But, isn't it strange that so many people had the same problem?
    unless they're all in South America :)
  4. Ashmanspice macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2009
    I can't see how a computer would take time to get used to its surroundings lol, its not a fish, but who knows, i may be wrong :confused:
  5. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    The myths that develop surrounding a machine. Maybe the iMacs are sweating that Windows 7 is going to be installed...
  6. hatehereyes macrumors 6502a


    Oct 18, 2008
    Moreno Valley, Ca
    It's true, you also have to leave the iMac in the box while in the room, so it slowly gets used to the temperature.
  7. Migsy macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2009
    London, UK
    This is technically true of any electrical equipment. If something has just been shipped to you it will usually be quite cold from being in outside temperatures, and you need to allow the temperature to gradually adjust to room temperature before switching it on.

    OK, I admit, I never bother do this for my own equipment :) - But I do this at work when I am installing servers into Data Centres, where there is a large difference between the outside and inside temperature and humidity levels.

    Due to the way the iMac is designed, there maybe areas inside the case where condensation isn't blown out by the fans, so that condensation will only escape though much slower diffusion into the surrounding air.

    File this post under "OCD" ;)
  8. Mactagonist macrumors 65816

    Feb 5, 2008
    NYC - Manhattan
    I think the temperature difference would have to be rather extreme for this to be a big issue.
  9. tenutanuova macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    My iMac has Condensation!

    I am reading these threads and must admit that I am dumbfounded that my 2 month old iMac 24" has what the Apple 'Genius' Bar believes to be liquid trapped in the LCD.

    My computer was purchased in the NorthEast, at an Apple store, on a cold day in January, transported home via my car, and was set-up on my desk in my apartment and used under 'normal' conditions (64 - 72 degree temperatures).

    A few weeks back I noticed some cloud-like marks on the screen. I tried to wipe them away with my thumb, but quickly realized they are behind the screen.

    I will upload a photo which clearly show these bands when I am home this evening. They are situated in the top-half of the screen and range in width from an inch to probably 18 inches... [​IMG]

    Long story short, I brought my computer to the Apple Store. They said that they would check-in my repair under warranty, but if they opened up the machine and determined that it was liquid inside, then the warranty would be voided and I would need to pay for the repair out of pocket ($130 for labor and ~$800 for the LCD!).

    So I'm sort of in a catch-22 here. I am positive that I have not spilled any water on the machine or even near the machine. I have no built in sprinkler system in my apartment, and no pets or animals that would have oh, say, dumped a glass of water on the machine.

    My situation is that they are telling me that if there is water in the machine, then they did not put it there and are not responsible, and of course, I am saying that I did not put it there if that's what they claim they find. I still contend that it's simply defective, but in order to find out I have to trust them to properly inspect and rule on what's wrong... The whole reason I bought this machine was because my Powerbook died!!

    I dropped $2400 on this machine in January, and have applecare, and they are going to make me drop close to $1000 to repair it?

    Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, home remedies? I already called my credit card to discuss disputing this charge... Your thoughts and input are greatly appreciated.
  10. shamanjr macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    IMAC Condensation Problem is real, explainable, and solveable

    The IMAC condensation problem is real and does not take unreal situations to precipitate it (no pun intended). Read below for etiologies and potential solutions. It happens when a temperature gradient occurs between the inside of the IMAC and the glass. This is likely to occur when the IMAC has been dormant for some time and in a cool, semi humid environment. Nonetheless, it is an example of a poorly designed product in which form has exceeded function:

    I started having the same problem when I moved my IMAC to our vacation home in MA. There is no A/C at the house, but it gets cold at night, and we often leave the computer off for 2-3 weeks. I noticed an impressive fogging that filled about 1/3 of the screen and disappeared approximately 1 hour later. I think the explanation of what is happening is fairly simple since I never had this problem when we left the computer on or were in a different environment. Condensation forms when humid air (water that is in the gas phase) becomes cool and turns into liquid. That is why you get condensation on your car window in the winter or why a cold Coke can gets condensation in the summer when you take it outside. The gaseous water is cooled and it becomes a liquid, forming condensation. So what happens in the IMAC is that the computer is cold and then warms up. The air inside the computer has water inside it that hits the glass, which is colder than the inside of the IMAC. The gradient causes the water to liquify on the glass. So, is it really an environmental problem? NO, NO, NO. Any manufacturer should take into consideration the likely environments that the product will be used and design accordingly. In this case, Apple has let form exceed function. In some real world situations, the IMACs will have condensation because a gradient exists between the temperature inside the IMAC and the temperature of the glass. I have not tried this, but it would make sense that heating the glass gently with a hair dryer or with a heating pad could prevent this problem. As long as the glass is as hot or hotter than the inside of the IMAC, the condensation should not occur. Is this ridiculous for a $2000 machine? Yes. Is it likely to work? Yes. Also, a cover for the screen when it is not going to be used may also solve the problem somewhat, although not as likely as the first solution. Nonetheless, Apple should acknowledge this design flaw and offer realistic solutions.
  11. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    yes... because humidity and heat are only present in South America... right? :confused:

    boy... you really need to travel some more -or at least watch better TV :p
  12. shamanjr macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    IMAC Condensation problem occurs in any environment where temperature gradient exists

    Guess the explanation was too complicated for you to comprehend. This problem would occur anywhere the IMAC is dormant and the glass becomes colder than the interior of the IMAC when it is turned on. It has nothing to do with geography. As long as there is humidity in the air (most places) and the IMAC is in a cool room before being turned on, this problem can occur. Our house is in the mountains of MA, which is fairly cool at night. It has nothing to do with saunas or rain forests. It is a real design flaw and does not take into account the likely exposure of the computer.
  13. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Not complicated at all... thanks, Mr. Science!

    ... but for this one, try "unnecessarily long and boring" :eek:

    (just kidding) :p

  14. wetrix macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2006
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Long story short: turn on your iMac and use it for a couple of hours. The condensation will go away - magic.
  15. shamanjr macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Magic to make IMAC functional???

    Agreed. However, the repetitive appearance of condensation is likely to lead to deposits on the glass screen, necessitating removal and cleaning. It also has lead to some users have problems with the LCD, apparently. I would prefer to prevent the condensation from occuring. Additionally, I really would not expect to need magic to make a $2,000 IMAC functional. This is clearly a design flaw and Apple should fess up. Come on Steve! Don't pull a Bill on us (look at all the problems with the XBOX 360).
  16. shamanjr macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Here is a pic of the condensation on my 24" 2.8Ghz IMAC

    It's about as real as it gets. BTW, we have 3 other IMACs in similar environment that have not had this issue.

    Attached Files:

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