Girlfriend dropped 3gs in the bath

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by lewys, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. lewys macrumors 6502

    lewys

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    #1
    So last night my girlfriend dropped her 3gs in the bath. she said she got it straight out turned it off and put it in some rice and put it buy a heater.

    anyway today she turned it back on and everything is working perfect except the iphone wont read her sim card. we have tried other sim cards but they wont work either.

    is there anything she can do to get it fixed? could leaving it it the rice abit longer sort it out?

    i know apple wont fix it as it is water damage but the thing in the earphone socket was red but now it is still red but not as dark as it was (nearly white again), its still noticeable but hardly. will it get even lighter
     
  2. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #2
    1 day doesn't sound very long. I'd leave it a lot longer. Leave the SIM out too, to let that contact area dry off.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    You might as well just buy a new phone. If it was completely submerged there's no telling what kind of damage occured.
     
  4. JamesMB macrumors 68000

    JamesMB

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    #4
    She should have left it in the rice for a minimum of 48 hours. If she turned it back on before it was completely dry that will/can cause corrosion, which will just get worse with time.
     
  5. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #5
    True, but many do have success drying with a desiccant such as rice.

    Dunking in water will probably reduce the life of the phone, but if you manage to 'resurrect' it, then why buy a new one?

    There are very few moving parts in a device like that. The PCB will be coated, most external contacts are gold plated. There's relatively few places that will corrode - so a thorough drying has a good chance of working.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Agreed, but not relevant.

    No. Most solder joints, either SMT or through-hole, are not gold plated. Why would they be? Solder does not contain gold.

    Corrosion isn't the issue. When electronics are dunked in a mildly conductive solution like bathwater, the nicely defined paths that electrons normally flow through are shorted out. Shorting out electrical components is generally bad.
     
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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  8. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    #8
    Please don't tell us she was taking a bath and talking on it when it got dropped....
     
  9. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #9
    I must have missed that unit when I was doing my masters in electronics, but thanks for the lecture.

    I would expect the immediate effect of water to be worst on a high voltage circuit - where component damage could occur. On a low voltage circuit such as a phone, immediate damage due to water causing electrical shorts during the immersion would be unlikely.

    Where the danger is will be in conducting salts coming out of the water and getting deposited on the PCB. These are more likely to occur due to electrolysis effects if the device is kept powered up - hence the advice to remove power. Once dry, there's a good chance of the circuit working again - however, these deposited salts may become conducting once more if the device is used in a humid environment - and this will reduce the device's life.


    It is relevant, because a moving item like the microphone, speaker and vibration motor will be more susceptible to the effects of corrosion.
     
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #10
    It would be, but if you really have a masters in electronics you know that if an electrical component "fails" there is rarely a distinction between a "worse" and "better" failure.

    I have no idea what you mean by this. The speed at which arcing occurs isn't really dependent on the voltage if it happens.

    Fixed that for you.

    Edits: In any case, dropping it in water is bad. You could try opening the phone up and seeing if there are any visible deposits on the circuitry and SIM, in which case a soft-bristled toothbrush and some distilled water would be in order. If there is electrical damage it will likely not be visible, in which case you'll need to replace the entire phone.
     
  11. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #11
    What does this sentence mean? Two separate and unrelated facts somehow joined in an attempt to justify one another. Makes no sense. (And yes, I have a masters in electronics).

    Arcing as a failure mode at 1.8v or less? Now I know you're making it up as you go along. :D

    Whoop-de-do. :rolleyes:
     
  12. lewys thread starter macrumors 6502

    lewys

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  13. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #14
    All in good fun :D

    Bottom line... try giving it a bit longer in the rice, and if it works then you're in luck - but it may end up being less reliable down the line.

    Bear in mind that Apple are sneaky and they put water sensing paint in their devices - so even if there's no other sign of damage, the paint will have changed colour and they'll know it's been wet.
     
  14. lewys thread starter macrumors 6502

    lewys

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    #15
    just turned it back on and it still wont read the sim
     
  15. Badfoot macrumors 6502

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    #16
    What about trying isopropyl - alcohol spray? This is sold in electronic hobby shops as non-lubricating contact cleaner.

    ps. aren't the circuit boards 'varnished' (or similar) after they are assembled?
     
  16. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #17
    at the end you can pay for a $200 out-of-warranty replacement for it. :cool:
     
  17. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #18
    Could it be because the sim has been corroded? When I visit countries with hot, damp climate, my sim corrodes easily if I keep it outside my phone to use a local sim. This usually entails that I have to get my sim replaced when I come home because my phone can't read it.
     
  18. catony macrumors newbie

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  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #20
    This seems your best bet, but it is a long shot.

    Unfortunately, this is most likely what you will need to do OP.
     
  20. JamesMB macrumors 68000

    JamesMB

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    #21
    That is one of the WORST things that you can do. A blow drier will force water into places that weren't wet.
     
  21. chargit macrumors 6502a

    chargit

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    #22
    you must not work on iPhones....I do alot of water damage repair. most are corroded immediately. I see alot of damage where the phone was charged and it shorted out the plug on the board and the lcd. now I dont have a degree in electronics but it doesnt take a rocket scientist to know that if you have an electronic device of any kind that is wet....dont charge it!!

    for the rice trick to work the phone needs to be completely taken apart and all items put in the rice. it will then need to be cleaned with a soft brush to get off any corrosion or rice. then it needs to be cleaned with contact cleaner. alot of them still require a new battery and/or a dock connector.
     

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