Resolved MacBook Air. Water Spill. Working with power cord. LED Green. Battery Not Charging

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rxrv17, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. rxrv17, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

    rxrv17 macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    I got my new MBA last week and spilled water on the FIRST evening (just hate myself for that :mad: ).
    I let it dry for 4 days when I tried to power on following things happened:
    - Did Not power up as is.
    - Did power up with power supply chord and worked just fine.
    - Battery not charging, even though the Green LED glows in the adapter.

    I shut it down and too it to the Genius bar and got an estimate of $755 to fix it telling the log board needs to be replaced. I came back depressed as I don't have that kind of money :( (I could afford MBA after saving for 8 months)

    Today, I have buried MBA in a air-tight container filled with rice (rice + MBA + rice) and planning to leave it for 5-7 days.

    Do you people think there is STILL a chance of it reviving?

    PS: This is my FIRST Mac ever and I am really sad that it was jinxed. I know you people are experts in the :apple:, so please help.
  2. Spoonz macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
    Gonna be straight up here and say I don't think you've not got much hope I'm afraid. I know that's hard news to hear, but if you've taken it to a Genius bar and it's still not working after this much time, I'm afraid things aren't looking good :/
  3. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    The green light on means there is power but the battery is NOT charging. If nothing worse happened at this point from running the computer, it's probably dry and drying it further won't do much if anything at all.

    First off, was it water water, as in pure H2O, or water as in juice or something else? It sounds silly to ask but I'm just making sure because if it's just water, there will be minerals and such too, but it's not so bad compared to if you spilled something else on there.

    Second, does it function perfectly on AC power? Are there any performance or stability issues? Run memtest and disk speed tests, as well as the Apple hardware test (boot up and hold D, I think for MBAs).

    My guess is the only thing that's damaged badly is the battery, either the battery itself, or perhaps the connector or cable. If it's the battery itself, it needs to be replaced, but that's not too expensive. If it's the cable(s), even easier. If it is the battery chip on the logic board, then it'll be more expensive; you'll have to replace the board completely, but if you can buy a working one on eBay and do it yourself (it's not hard, just check iFixit), it will several hundred but not Apple ridiculous prices.

    Run the hardware test and report back with what it tells you.

    Also, did Apple's guys actually take it apart and look at it? If you told them it was water damage, then I'm sure they just assumed it was logic board damage (which it doesn't seem to be in my opinion) and quoted you the replacement cost. Or perhaps they saw the tripped red water indicator stickers (which may or may not have even turned red; I spilled water on a different Air than my 11" once and none of the indicators changed from white to red).


    Also, take it out of the rice. That's a horrible idea. The concept behind it is that by putting your wet electronics device among some kind of dry substance to act as a dessicant, it can draw out the liquid, but I don't really believe in this being substantial, and while this might help for a phone, your Air has big holes in it... you probably have rice in there now and you will want to take it apart and clean it out to make sure there isn't any stuck in the chassis.

    I know not everyone has technical skill to do this, but my strategy for water damaged devices is just to take it apart, clean the parts with ethanol, and let them air dry while disassembled. In your case, I think some disassembly is in your future now anyway.
  4. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Electronics really aren't capable of self healing.

    Check your CC company or home insurance, see if they cover accidental damage.
  6. rxrv17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    -It was just water.
    -I think it worked just fine with AC power. Though i will run the hardware test once I return home from work.
    -Apple guy opened the MBA, he also mentioned the litmus patches have turned red due to water.

    -Which brand of screwdriver should i use to open the MBA, I bought T5 from Walmart and also from Radio Shack and both did not work.
    A link to the product site will be a help.

    Thanks and I will keep you posted.
  7. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    #7 will describe the tools and procedure to open the MacBook Air.

    Not much you'll be able to do though.
  8. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    You will need a pentalobe screw drivers. It's proprietary, but amazon and ebay have tons of them for cheap.

    I second the advice of checking your credit card of home insurance for coverage. I know Discover would cover this damage if I had used it to buy the computer.
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010

    Did you pay with it using a credit card? If so, lots of credit cards have 90 days of accident protection. Check your credit card benefits online or call the number on the back of the card to see if that's the case. $755 is their standard charge to replace the logic board. They really do a nice job (that happened to me once), but of course to have it happen to a brand new machine is unfortunate.

    The fact that it works at all is somewhat encouraging. Perhaps it means that the entire board isn't shorted. However, I'd be worried about it failing in the future. Perhaps an authorized Apple service center (not an Apple store) can take a look at it.
  10. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    As some have mentioned, certain credit cards will cover accidental damage, so that may be an option.

    Ifixit's guides list all the steps to disassemble as well as the tools required. If you have questions and plan to embark on this, feel free to PM me and I'll try to help if I can.

    I'm of the opinion that if you can repair what seems to be possibly minor damage, then keep your logic board. There's no need to replace it until it fails, especially since you don't have the money and this isn't an option. Whether you take it to Apple or an authorized tech, they will charge you equally outrageous quotes. The danger with taking it to Apple is that there's a chance they noted your serial # has water damage, though I'm not sure if they always do this. That said, since it was just water, and the damage seems localized to being battery-related, this is promising (though again, the whole board may still need replacing).

    Run the AHT and hopefully it can diagnose which part is problematic.
  11. rxrv17 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Sorry for delay is response (I was travelling because of work)

    I had a hunch that the rice thing would work but it was in vain, I took it out after 5 days but it was in vain. (I sealed the ports on the side so the grain did not get inside)

    I checked with my credit card and luckily they will cover till $500.

    Apple guys put this comment is repair estimate:
    'Checked LCI in previous appointment. LCI on main logic board was tripped.

    I guess will i break my back and spend $255 (755-500) because that way I will get a warranty back for almost a year, that would feel a bit secure after blowing so much cash.

    Really appreciate all of your time, thanks for your inputs.
  12. Robyr macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Sucks that they knocked it as LCI, but I am glad you found a path to repair.
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    No worries. For that $755 Apple will essentially rebuild your MacBook Air. I spilled a glass of wine on my 2010 MacBook Air (about a week before I was about to put it on sale to buy a new model). The Genius Bar was nice enough to waive the charges (I will ALWAYS hold the 5th Avenue store in NYC in high regard). I got my MacBook Air back a week later with the following:
    • New logic board (which I expected since it shorted)
    • New bottom case
    • New keyboard
    • New Wi-Fi card
    • New battery

    So the bottom line is that you will find that the $255 net repair charge is worth it. They will fix whatever needs to be fixed, and then some.

    On a side note, look into a personal articles policy from your renter's insurance (or your parents' homeowner's insurance). I have one that I took out after my little incident with the 2010 MBA. It cost me $60/year and covers everything from theft, loss, to mechanical damage. It came in VERY handy a month ago when I lost my 2012 MacBook Air while traveling. I used my insurance proceeds towards the 13" rMBP that I'm typing this message on right now. :)
  14. rookpsu macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Just a friendly heads up.

    I had the pleasure of spilling a considerable amount of German lager on my keyboard during a red-eye last week.

    It occurred in an Ambien-induced state of slumber so I wasn't very diligent about taking precautions/cleaning. I wasn't sure EXACTLY how much spilled so I just did my best to wipe the keyboard with napkins.

    The battery was dead as this point so I had that going in my favor. I didn't put a charge in it for 48 hours but when I did the screen lit up temporarily and then went out, never to return... or so I thought.

    At first the computer itself seemed unresponsive, the backlit keyboard wasn't working, nor were the volume keys (couldn't hear anything). It was booting though (I could hear the boot chimes).

    Hours later I noticed the backlit keyboard came back on, and shortly thereafter realized the screen WAS on just not lit. The volume keys starting working and from what I could tell the ONLY issue was the backlight for the screen.

    Well, two days later and the screen was still off. I was working on an external monitor.

    Three days later? The screen magically reappears. All is now well. My laptop seemed to have repaired itself.

    Anyway, I thought this anecdote might be interesting to those in a similar situation and considering expensive or sensitive repairs.
  15. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    The only time the rice trick would work is if you spilled water on an electronic device but never powered it on until after all the water was evaporated/cleaned/absorbed. If the device is powered on at the time it's likely the water will create a new conductive path and destroy components. No way out of that one with power applied unless you get lucky when something spills and can totally disable all sources of power before the water intrusion harms anything. That's not normally easy.

    We had it happen on aircraft in the military where water gets into electronics, but when we saved the parts it was due to never enabling power before pulling the parts and getting them dry (and clean of any minerals) first.
  16. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009

    yay! yes, absolutely that's a no-brainer!
    man, reading this thread was rough...your FIRST day with it? ouch - i can't even imagine how much that ruined your day.

    so happy you fixed it, now up yours for the emotion roller-coaster you put us all on. ;);):D
  17. Barborik macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
  18. Barborik macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2016
    Hi! I have a question about my mac. I spilled water all over my keyboard. I flipped it over straight away and whiped it off with a towel but didn't turn it off. I tried to google something first and it took me probably about a minute or two. I noticed that my screen was blinking a little bit and then I finally turned it off and flipped it over again. I don't know if I made a huge damage by not turning it off immediately and even trying to type something. Should I try to turn it on after 12 hours just to see if it works and then let it dry for another day or so? Or should I just leave it like that and take it to the service. Thank you in advance !
  19. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I'd let it dry another day before turning it on.

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