iPhone 5 (or 5s) beyond repair?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by kattjeveln, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. kattjeveln macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010

    My GF accidentally washed her iPhone in the washer a few years back, and although it seemed fine directly afterwards, the screen stopped working a few days later. However, the phone itself works, and is recognized by my Mac when connecting it through USB. The phone then went in a bag of rice, was put in a drawer and forgotten about, until recently when I found it.

    Since I recently replaced the screen and battery of my own iPhone 5, I was curious to if I could fix this one as well. Before ordering a new screen I went ahead and looked inside the phone to check if any cables were disconnected or whatnot. Unfortunately, when I disconnected the screen, the connectors on the logic board and the screen looked as if they were missing some pins, and that some sort of reaction has caused a green (liquid?) to cover some of the pins. The same green color was also found on the part just below the connectors on the logic board (see photos, if blurry, it's because they were taken with my iPhone 5 using its magnifier mode).

    My initial thought is that this phone is done for, and replacing the screen will have no effect, is this correct? Also, is there a way to back it up before I in that case recycle it? When I tried accessing it through iTunes it said it was locked by Find My iPhone being turned on.

    kattjeveln IMG_2335.PNG IMG_2336.PNG IMG_2337.PNG
  2. BugeyeSTI macrumors 68030


    Aug 19, 2017
    Corrosion.. You can try to clean those pins off but, if they’re missing your only option is to replace the terminal on the board.. You can always sell it as a parts phone.
  3. kattjeveln, Nov 7, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017

    kattjeveln thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    This is what I thought, and no way I'm replacing the terminal on that phone, not worth the effort...

    I'll recycle it, thank you for the reply!
  4. Minho macrumors regular


    Oct 4, 2017
    Montreal, Canada
    The connectors on the logic board don't look too bad. Clean them with IPA (>90%) and a soft brush. Let them air dry and them inspect them under magnification. What can happen, when there is localized corrosion like this, is that the solder connection gets eaten away. Sometime a light touch-up with a fine point soldering iron will fix it, other times the connector needs to be replaced. I wouldn't say this is DIY, as the density on those boards is quite high and everything is so tiny but an experienced micro-solderer can do this no problems. The connectors on the screen assembly are more damaged so you'll have to replace the screen.

    Putting a water damaged phone in rice is, sadly, a persistent myth. The rice does nothing other than let the water fester and corrode. This phone may actually be salvageable.
  5. kattjeveln thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    Thank you for the reply, the water damage seem to be more than just the screen connectors though, I tried repairing the OS through iTunes and all I get is error messages, which lead me to believe the corrosion has spread to other parts as well.

    I salvaged one screw which I rounded on my other phone :D It'll be recycled tomorrow. I'll remember not to put it in a bag of rice if this happens to me ;)


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4 November 7, 2017