iPhone 5 went for a swim... Works under water?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by therocket, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. therocket, Dec 16, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012

    therocket macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2010
    So, I slipped on a dock and my iPhone 5 fell out of my pocket and landed in about 5 feet of water... it was submerged for over 5 minutes before we found it and let me tell you, this thing is one tough phone (so far).

    When it first fell in, I couldn't see it in the water and I wasn't sure how deep it was at the dock. Once it hit the water, my first thought was that it found its grave and I'd have to shell out a bunch of cash for my carrier and then buy a new phone. I figured, once it was in the water there was no saving it, no matter if it spent 15 seconds, or an hour.... After a few minutes of cursing at myself for being clumsy and having my phone in a shallow hoodie pocket, a few buddies came over and they were ready to jump in the frigid water to see how salvageable it would be.

    Now this lake isn't very clean, and the bottom consists of 12-18 inches of lake mud. We had no clue where it would be or if it could be found, then my friend spotted it! It was on the lake bottom, AND IT WAS ON!!! Seriously, after over 5 minutes of being 5 feet under with nothing but a cheap little bumper case, my phone was face up and displaying the lock screen at the bottom of the lake.
    Needless to say, my half naked friend was eager to be of help so he jumped in and grabbed it for me. As soon as I had it in my hand I turned it off and when I got home, stuck it in a bag of rice.

    It's been in the rice for about 2 hours now and it is starting to boot itself...... I've turned it off the 4 times that it's done this in the last 30 minutes by using slide to Power Off, so at least right now I know the power button works and the touch screen is responsive. I recon some water damage makes it think the sleep button is being pressed which is turning it on? I'm not too sure what's going on and that's why I'm here.

    Is there anyone else that has had excessive water damage and then recovered their iPhone 5? What functionality may be missing, or will the water damage ultimately claim my phone after a few days in rice like it did this phone??

    I'll update in a few days to share how it goes.

    Edit: One thing that is giving me hope is that maybe apple is prototyping water proof/water resistant devices with it's newest models. I remember reading about third party Lightning connectors and part of the specs is that Apple requires them to be water proof. And seeing that my phone was on and had a working display at the bottom of the lake for over 5 minutes, maybe the next devices will be water proof, and the iPhone 5 and lightning connector are stepping stones to that. Any thought on this?

    TL/DR iPhone 5 display was working on the bottom of a lake after being submerged for over 5 minutes, is Apple working on waterproof devices? Hopefully it will keep working after a couple of days in rice.
  2. unknownbeing macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2012
    New York
  3. itjw macrumors 65816

    Dec 20, 2011

    If you'd read the forums you'd think the phone would bend/scuff/explode AND lose wi-fi connection before it even hit the water, let alone keep working!

    I too had heard Apple was testing liquipel coating some of it's early batch phones. It was just a rumor I had heard from a store manager I know, but it came from a fairly credible source, so there ya go. Unfortunately there's no way of telling which one's got it, but maybe you got really lucky.

    Let us know if it returns to normal
  4. irod87 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2012
    My wifes phone took a full submersion dip in the sink for only about 10 seconds but I was able to dry it off, blow out any water and knock on wood it has worked normal. I do think Apple is using some form of the liquipel technology on the 5 and not advertising it.
  5. LoloBond, Dec 16, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012

    LoloBond macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2011
    My phone took a dive in the toilet and it didnt lasted 2 seconds... As soon I felt the phone falling my hand went after it.. like the matrix in slow motion lol and as soon it hit the water the screen went rainbow... it never came out of the rainbow. :(
  6. hismikeness macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2009
    I had an old 3rd gen iPod touch. Dropped in the clean water of the toilet (knocked it off the counter). I was just about to move, in that I mean the uhaul was packed and I was taking a wizz before I left. So I didn't have rice readily available, so I stuck it bottom end in the vent of the air conditioner the whole drive. After we got there I put it in rice for a couple days. Turned it on, and the screen was dim, like right before it turns off. Gave it a day or two and it was back to normal. I sold it a couple moths later.

    I've had an iPhone 4 and now 5 since and have kept them away from the drink so far. A couple nerve wracking fumbles, but no water.
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Lucky break.

    I go with logical explanation: The phone went in such speed and angle that the inside air pocket prevented from water getting in. Try again see if my theory holds.:D
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
  9. pooryou macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    Why would the lock screen stay lit for five minutes?
  10. Afbar1114 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2012
    water acts as a captive touch...so it thinks its be touched. or something like that it maybe restive but it works the same as a stylus
  11. therocket thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2010
    I'm guessing that the water shorted out the sleep button every once in a while and that's what would open up the lock screen. When it first fell in the water, I never noticed it on the bottom of the lake but as soon as my buddy saw it, he jumped in and grabbed it. Maybe it was only on for the 15 seconds that we happened to be looking in the water. It would make sense because it was booting itself in the rice bag earlier. Speaking of that, it hasn't happened again since starting the thread.... I'm not sure if I should be happy or scared about that... yikes.

    Edit(Afbar114 beat me to it with a more logical explanation, but it could be a combination of the both, explaining why I never saw it after it was first submerged?)

    Other than that, I have no idea... It's kind of funny with this water thing, I had a second gen iPod touch a few years ago and somehow I managed to render the sleep button useless from my sweat on an arm band after a run. And now after having my ip5 fully submerged in murky lake water, it might end up better than my old iPod.

    I just pray that it comes out fully functional, but as I've done more research, it looks like phones that get water damage don't bite the dust until 24+ hours after the water incident (Same thing happened in the original video that I posted)
  12. itkindaworks macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2012
    That makes sense what you say about it not dying until 24+ hours after submerged, I had that happen with an iPod touch. It fell out of my pocket and the undercurrent kept pulling it further.
  13. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    When you start a sentance like that you shouldn't use so many pronouns. :eek: :D

    I ran my kids' iPod Touch through the washing maching and dryer a year or so ago and it's still working like a champ! I don't recommend a dryer but in this case it may have done more good than harm.
  14. Mrg02d macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2012
    You are a naughty boy OP!:D
  15. therocket thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Haha, too funny!

    Anyways, I have an update for everyone. I had my phone in a bag of rice for about 24 hours, then I decided to open up the screen so there was maximum exposure for the rice to absorb all the moisture. I did this yesterday and surprisingly, the inside of my phone still looked brand new, no obvious indications of water damage except 2 little bright red water indicator stickers (I only saw 2).

    I kept the phone open and put it in the rice again for about 20 more hours. This morning I took my phone out for the moment of truth. If the rice wasn't done sucking up all the moisture by now, then it would never finish. To my dismay, my phone wouldn't turn on using the power button and I was ready to accept defeat.

    But after I plugged in my lightning connector, the backlight turned on and my phone was booting!!!!!!!! It booted in less than 10 seconds, I checked all of the features and everything is functional. I turned the phone off and it is able to boot up with just the power button now. It's charging fine, and battery drainage is normal. Cameras, light, speakers, mic, antennas, vibrator... EVERYTHING IS WORKING!!!

    I am so happy right now. Christmas came early.

    And for some background info if anyone is wondering, my phone is a black iPhone 5, 32GB. Ordered it on day 1 and got it with the first shipments on release day. I only had it in a rubber bumper case with clear plastic back and hole for camera, open front - absolutely no waterproofing what so ever.

    Thanks for the words of advice and support from all of you. So far my phone is lookin great, and now I'm convinced apple is doing some sort of water proofing on some batches of phones. Nothing else can explain why my phone is still alive after spending almost 10 minutes five feet under in a dirty/murky lake (displaying the lock screen while under water).
  16. itjw macrumors 65816

    Dec 20, 2011
    This is awesome. I truly believe more than luck was involved here, and there probably ARE some phones floating (pun) around with Liquipel that aren't aware of it. I remember seeing a guy on YouTube put his in a bowl of water for a few minutes and it kept working too.

    Pretty cool stuff, and I'm really happy for you OP!

    Anyone want to try this with a Galaxy??? :D
  17. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008
    I believe the moment the phone hit the water, it was born again: all defects gone.

    Anyone with a bent iPhone wants to test this theory?
  18. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
  19. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    I've always wanted to get this coating on one of my devices to test it out.


    Anyone have it here? I've been youtube videos and those phones work perfectly underwater!
  20. KramerA macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2013
    My iphone5 was in the river for a good 5-10 minutes untill the screen was shining red from the bottom of the river, I hoped in and got it. Opened it up and put it in rice it was fine the next day after a charge.
  21. Bahroo macrumors 68000

    Jul 21, 2012
    Keep it in rice for like 3 days straight in a zip lock bag... Dont turn it on at all... Let all the water get sucked out and you might be safe
  22. XboxMySocks macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2009
    They're complete snake oil. Any coating which would make your phone resistant to water would prevent conducting of electricity to the ports; you can still charge them, ergo they're useless.
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    You first.:p
  24. zman150 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2014
    Heres another case for you...

    As I was having a pleasant afternoon fishing on the lake at my house.... the pedestal seat in my john boat decided to break, catapulting me into the lake...backwards. Once I got my head above water I scrambled to get my phone up. It was in the lake for 15 to 20 seconds. My friend powered the phone down immediately. About 10 minutes later my buddy had towed me back to shore (having a lot of great laughs), I got the phone tapped it gently to knock moisture from any orifices. We were out of rice at my house (ofcourse!) so I found a neighbor with some. It probably took me 20 to 30 minutes to get the phone in a bag of rice. Its been 72 hours and the moment of truth is this evening.

    I will give you an update once I know.
  25. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I kind of hope Apple gives the next iPhone some kind of official waterproof rating. That plus the new sapphire display could make the iPhone a fairly rugged device. It would be nice to not have to baby our phones all the time...

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