Falling into a lake isn't the best of ideas...

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by motorazr, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. motorazr macrumors 6502

    motorazr

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    #1
    So, I was out doing a photo shoot.. and somehow decided to get this great angle on the edge of water . . . which would have been fine, had I not mis-stepped and fallen into the water, taking my macbook air, hard drives, camera, lenses, iphone, etc with me.

    So... anyway, amazingly my backpack (made by booq) is weather proof or some such, and my Air was almost totally sealed from water, except what started to rise before I got out... which was as fast as I was able... and it was just fine. But my iPhone (mind you, a heavily damaged iPhone 4) was in my pocket, and it wasn't so fortunate. Same for the camera .. but I'm still drying that with some sort of hope it recovers.

    About two hours later, my iPhone is sitting in a bowl of rice while driving, and suddenly it must have powered on, because my car's bluetooth connected to it. The spotty reliability continued for three days .. until last night, when the battery got low enough to shut off the phone, I plugged it in and can't get it to start at all.

    I'm guessing a cell died or was damaged from the water .. but any ideas how to get one last sync out of the phone? I put it in the freezer (temperature seemed tp be affecting its reaction to the power cord..) and even got it to boot... except to my surprise, it booted to a welcome to iPhone screen as if it'd never been used before, and then proceeded to shut off.

    I don't think I've got anything on there that I havent' backed up (in terms of data within apps and such) .. but ? Any ideas? I've tried to put it into DFU mode with no success, too.
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    Yes, electronics that get in contact with water are pretty much ruined.
    No DFU mode or any software can fix falling in the lake with your macbook air, hard drives, camera, lenses and iphone.
    Why would one put that stuff so close to the water seems to amaze me.
    Some people have more money than common sense I guess...
     
  3. aDRock1154 macrumors 65816

    aDRock1154

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
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    Ohio
    #3
    Wow, that's terrible! And to think, I feel bad when I leave my Mac in a neoprene case out on a table when I go to sleep (have 2 cats lol)..
     
  4. motorazr thread starter macrumors 6502

    motorazr

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    #4
    Sometimes when you're hired as a photographer, you're kinda particular about the angle you get ... and unfortunately, it's not always the most convenient place to get it. I keep all my things on my back because I don't want them stolen while I'm running around in the open. My lesson is learned to find a way to get insurance, someday, on my next device.

    .... and I really don't appreciate the comment on how much money I must have, since I won't be able to replace my camera without selling everything I can find in my home... and the phone I plan to replace when the next iPhone comes out, assuming I've got the cash for it.


    That said, water isn't usually what kills electronics .. esp. not lake water. It's typically something acidic that causes the corrosion on a board which kills it (ie. soda or coffee or something like that). I've had many instances where a unit which was only damaged by plain water can be recovered by drying it out thoroughly via. hairdryer and such.

    My camera, in my opinion, would be fine except it can't dry out since it's too sealed to get water out of the very inside ... and the phone, well .. I don't know why it took 4 days of further use to die .. but I'll run with it I guess. The problem was't the board, unless something with the messed up battery has done it in (or I did get it into DFU mode, basically, and now its stuck)?

    ----------

    All I'm looking for, is for someone to tell me how I can get the phone to boot without the battery since that seems to be the cause of my issue.

    Order of events:
    • Phone goes into water
    • Phone goes into cloth wrap in car
    • Phone starts up on its own
    • Phone works on and off for a day
    • Phone doesn't seem to charge, but doesn't loose charge when plugged in
    • Phone becomes more reliable by next day; no more random shut-downs
    • Phone looks totally dry internally (water spots on screen dry)
    • Phone battery is used until 0%, phone shuts off.
    • Phone is plugged in + charged to 6%.
    • Phone is used to 0% again (it was a crazy day ... I know that's a harsh power cycle in general).
    • Phone refuses to do anything except display the red battery on the lowest screen power when plugged in.
    • Phone is placed in refrigerator.
    • Phone powers on enough to see it get to the 'Welcome to iPhone' screen**, strangely battery shows to be 100% and no service.
    • Phone shuts off at random again.

    **note, this is after I've tried to get it to boot quite a few times, including holding the power + home button for 10+ seconds.

    ----------

    Cat urine would kill your computer indefinitely... unlike a glass of water, which would probably give your macbook a solid chance for survival. My biggest fear with water is it entering a hard drive and leaving water stains on the drive itself, which would ruin it. SSDs, on the other hand, are more or less fine once dry --- like the memory card in my camera I pulled all the pictures off of today.
     
  5. dkersten macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #5
    I don't have a solution for you but don't listen to that earlier poster. Accidents happen and there is nothing you can do about it. It is very possible that you took your backpack off before taking the shot and somebody stole all your gear. I bet someone would say 'well maybe you shouldn't have taken off your backpack'.

    Anyways I wish you the best of luck in salvaging your data and camera.
     
  6. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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  7. cirial macrumors regular

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    May 2, 2010
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    Pompano Beach, FL
    #7
    Water kills electronics. It doesn't matter what water. If it conducts electricity and shorts two points, then game over.
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
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    #8
    Exactly.
    According to the OP's scientific explanation only acidic liquids kill electronics:D
    Sure, jump in the lake again.
     
  9. motorazr thread starter macrumors 6502

    motorazr

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    #9
    Yes, since we continued the shoot after I went and picked up rice + my film camera.

    ----------

    If it shorts something, that's kinda irrelevant .. it needs to actually burn something out when its shorted. If you put two wires and a lightbulb in water it doesn't just die and never work ... the connection made with the water needs to be a harmful one (not just one that doesn't work right) . . .


    I suspect with my camera its made a few harmful connections .. like I said, the reason I don't get what's up with my phone is that it *did* dry out almost completely, not to mention it *did* work right after being drowned, and for the next couple days... which is why I suspect a dead cell in the battery, and that dead cell is what was used at 0% / made it so I can't charge it at all... it can't get past that point...

    Anyway.. I appreciate the humor in my actions of taking a wrong step (no, really, the person I was shooting with didn't understand why I wasn't angry... I just don't see a point in being angry at what's happened ;p) ... but I'm looking for someone here to tell me if there is any good reason that my phone worked for a couple days and now isn't able to start (other than "water kills things").... and if they think there's even a slim chance of a series of actions I could take toward for recovery, I'm happy to give it a shot.

    ...after all, isn't the whole purpose of these forums to help find a better answer, not a hopeless one? :(

    ----------

    ? I'm serious with my comment on acidic liquids ... I've had whole sound boards that were hosed down (someone else's fault, that time)... unplugged, dried with hairdryers for hours, reassembled and they worked perfectly... not to mention that was the replacement for the one coffee spilled on and truly fried not a month before (as in, dried and cleaned and such .. the circuit board was fried from the coffee eating through the little tiny lines of metal).

    Anyway.. all I'm saying is you'd be amazed what comes back after only touching water.. like my macbook here which experienced no damage ..but the iphone is a tighter unit and I suspect water got somewhere with the battery or the charging circuit or between some connection on the board that let it have a voltage spike or something that killed it? maybe? I'm not an engineer I've just worked with a lot of electronics and know that water is the one thing there's usually hope for ....
     
  10. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #10
    Hehe, I thought you just happened to have rice in the car!
     
  11. motorazr thread starter macrumors 6502

    motorazr

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    #11
    haha .. no, but I'm actually half considering keeping a large tub and rice after all this.... just in case...
     
  12. 808? macrumors 6502a

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    Hong Kong
    #12
    I keep an airtight plastic container (iPhone sized) at home full of rice, just in case. :)
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    I rather not argue with your logic or your illogical beliefs.
    If something shorts out in an electronic device is very very relevant.
    Two wires in the water and a complex logic board full of different conductors and chips are not the same.
    A few drops of water when it started raining while a friend was talking on his iphone was enough to short it out and never worked again.
    Sure, according to you we should all hose down all our electronics, laptops, TV's and iphone and everything will be fine:rolleyes:

    To try to answer your question when things get wet they get corroded and then they stop working.
    Just because it turned on a few times doesnt mean it will work again. You should have left it a full week or so in rice to get most of the moisture out without ever trying to power it on cause thats when the damage is done.
    In order to fix it you will have to find out what parts are damaged and start replacing them. It can get real expensive if you keep guessing on what could have fried and what still works. Apple has an out of warranty replacement where you can bring in your wet iphone and get it replaced for $149.
    Not sure about your macbook or if Apple offers a similar service but doesnt hurt to ask. About the camera you will have to contact the manufacturer to maybe fix it or replace it.
     
  14. motorazr thread starter macrumors 6502

    motorazr

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    #14
    Oh well.. looks like leaving it on top of my iMac for a few hours with video rendering seems to have helped :eek:... in that it starts again and is charging / had a successful sync. I guess that means there's moisture in there somewhere shorting something . . . hence why freezing or heating helps the issue. I'll shove it back into some rice in the morning for a couple days (in the sun or somewhere warm, probably).

    I've been advised that my camera will likely recover if I leave it sealed and submerged in rice for a week... mostly because it went from doing nothing, to giving me an error 40 after two days of rice and an hour of heated hair drier air...

    The macbook didn't suffer any damage, amazingly. I was least worried about the camera, since it's "weather sealed" . . . which I know doesn't cover submerging it, but it was such a short dunk I was hopeful. The hard drives that were in the backpack also seem to have been left intact... I'm kinda amazed.

    (of note, I posted this reply over personal hotspot... my ISP has been down for about four hours...)
     
  15. motorazr thread starter macrumors 6502

    motorazr

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Frozen Waste...wait. Duluth, Minnesota.
    #15
    I disagree. They're all the same, really.. it's all just something conductive acting as a bridge for electrical current. Wires are all the same, some are just bigger or smaller or more resistant or whatnot... and the ones on circuit boards are all just thin (very thin) lines of metal (gold, copper, tin and a lot of blends, no?) . . .and they connect everything together in a very small space. Water doesn't insulate like air, so if water gets on unshielded or insulated parts of a board, it will let the charge jump over the lines of the printed board, and that causes a short... right? That's my understanding, anyway... and the whole reason that's dangerous is because if it allows too much current to go into the wrong thing, you'll burn something out and the entire board is ruined. If the device has any safeties built in, it should have some sort of surge protector and stop the current before it does amazing damage. . .

    Back to my comments about an acidic liquid, that just makes the corrosion process instant ... hence why there's basically no chance of recovery... again, this is from my understanding.

    Again, I disagree. I really don't advise falling to a lake with all of your valuables, nor do I suggest washing your computer / phone / camera down with water on a daily basis (or ever, if avoidable). But I am suggesting that if your electronics are soaked in water, and they're just circuit boards . . . they stand a solid chance. Hard drives are a bit of an exception, since water on the disks is kinda the end of that . . .but apparently in my case the enclosures kept the water out almost completely... and I'm quite thankful for that.

    As much as I agree with your logic here, I would have tried in about two days if the phone hadn't turned itself on. I'm not sure if you have an iPhone or not (or if you've used one, other than your friends that died?) .. but they kinda like to stay on. If you plug it in (and it was powered off), it boots. If it has a loss of power, the second it is able, it boots. There isn't a really "off" mode for it... especially since you can't easily pull the battery. If the best way to turn it "off" and avoid damage is to remove all power from it... a process that requires the phone to drain completely to 0%, and then drain past that until it won't even light up to show you the 'charge me' icon. I did get there, and that's actually when I started having trouble... could have just been bad timing, or it could be a sign that my battery has suffered some irreversible damage. I'll find out.



    The iPhone has very few parts to it... it's got a main board, a camera, another camera, home button, battery, screen... Most of the pieces you can actually replace are assemblies, unlike in older macs or whatnot. I know there's a little bit of damage on my screen that will never be back to new (some color distortion near where it had a water line...) . . .but I'm not too worried about it since my phone has had a long-lived life, all things considered.

    Thanks. I think I've used that once before when someone decided to smash my iPhone 3G for fun.. (they paid to replace it after a lot of work... but still really inconvenient)... but no, I won't bother replacing it with a new model just around the corner . . . I'll stick it out with a tracfone or this incredible zombie-like phone (assuming it actually stays alive after some more drying... we'll find out).
     

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