Macbook Water Spill While in Backpack

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
hi,

my macbook was on sleep when i left it sideways in my backpack. and somehow, my water bottle was leaking and so the left side (that has plug openings) was dipped in water.

it shut down on its own, so i'm guessing it shorted? i immediately took out the battery and left the whole thing out to dry.

there's also this faint plastic-y smell coming out of the jacks. i can only smell it when i'm really close (haha don't ask me what came over me to make me go sniff my macbook).

so what are my chances that it'll be ok?? also, is that spillage-detecting patch on the left-side of the board? THANKS!
 

Matthew Yohe

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2006
2,198
129
Depends on what model of MacBook you have. All of the recent ones have water sensors in multiple places. The older plastic ones did not. Still, if water was the cause, it's not going to be difficult to tell that there is water damage.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,167
1,212
NYC
Since it's a MacBook I would suggest removed the top case to let it air out and check for water damage.
 

KielderWolf

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2009
129
0
Northeast England
If the processing chips were soaked for a while, there are three outcomes, depending on what was in your flask.

Plain water:

1. It might be fine. My housemate dropped a full tumbler of tap water over his netbook, and after leaving it on a radiator for two days it was running again.

2. It might corrode. If you have a naturally high iron-content in your water supply for example, it will have built up over the circuits and it'll cause no end of trouble. But it'll do it slowly and annoyingly and you'll likely lose things one at a time.

Fruit juice, citrus juice, carbonated drinks, fruit squash, mineral water, coffee, soup... basically anything that isn't plain water:

3. You'll be lucky if the hardware works. Anything that has sugar in it will cause corrosion. Anything that has salts or minerals in it will cause corrosion. My best friend dropped a can of Relentless (carbonated caffeine drink) next to his CE Aluminium MacBook; a small amount foamed over and slopped into his keyboard and the entire machine is dead.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but liquids and electronics don't mix at all. Neither do crumbs. Got a blasted lump of paper stuck in my phone audio jack. Ketchup too can cause disasters despite being substantially gloopier than a liquid - don't ask how but ketchup was how our VCR died. Well, my brother helped.

So I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that it was tap water in that flask. My best advice would be to carefully remove the palmrest, and sit the laptop upside-down (you'll need to prop it up) with the battery removed over a source of heat, such as a radiator or towel rail.
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
Water also causes corrosion depending upon what minerals are in it, and you would be surprised what is in most people's drinking water.

Nothing short of a scrubdown in a good heated ultrasonic cleaner at around 140F with the proper chemical bath (not a cheap ass jewelry cleaner) is going to get rid of every last bit of stuff on there. It doesn't matter if it has been left to dry.
 

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
it's filtered tap water, so i guess i'll just hope for the best. not sure if i'm comfortable with opening it though... maybe i'll get someone to help me with that.

thanks for the advice!
 

ouimetnick

macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
2,523
803
Beverly, Massachusetts
it's filtered tap water, so i guess i'll just hope for the best. not sure if i'm comfortable with opening it though... maybe i'll get someone to help me with that.

thanks for the advice!
Is it a plastic macBook, or a unibody Aluminum MacBook. Its worth a shot. Try a site like iFixit.com and it will tell you how to open up the computer. I'm 14, and took apart my gateway laptop just for the fun of it. no guides, just be being very careful not to static damage it.
 

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
alright, so i left it to dry for 2.5 days, didn't really do anything fancy. just turned it on and it runs alright!!!!

the weird thing is that the bottom left corner of the screen have the weird 'brighter' and white blotches. they still display the screen colors alright, but it seems like there's some extra light shining through it. does anyone know what that is? is it because of the screen or logic board? will they evaporate with time??

THANKS for all the advice! really happy that i don't have hurt my wallet for my dumb mistake.
 

NewMacbookPlz

macrumors 68040
Sep 28, 2008
3,266
0
alright, so i left it to dry for 2.5 days, didn't really do anything fancy. just turned it on and it runs alright!!!!

the weird thing is that the bottom left corner of the screen have the weird 'brighter' and white blotches. they still display the screen colors alright, but it seems like there's some extra light shining through it. does anyone know what that is? is it because of the screen or logic board? will they evaporate with time??

THANKS for all the advice! really happy that i don't have hurt my wallet for my dumb mistake.
Could be water that got in the panel...you'll just have to wait and see. It should evaporate over time if that's the case.
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
It evaporates but it'll never be perfect. At best with poorly sealed screens 99% of it leaves but on a white backdrop you will see dark spots. These screens are pretty well sealed so that is stuck in there.

Take it from someone who has spilled liquid into three very expensive panels. :(
 

student_trap

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2005
1,879
0
'Ol Smokey, UK
glad to hear that it is working for you, although tbh I am not surprised. Years ago someone spilt half a bottle of coke in my G4 powerbook keyboard and after leaving it to dry out, the computer has been fine for another 3 years.

Similar story with a friend of mine's mbp too
 

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
so i take back the part where i said everything was running fine.

my MB actually doesn't turn on without the charger plugged in. and it just shuts down whenever the charger's unplugged. is it a problem with the logic board? or the battery?

and the charger light only appears green.
 

adamlbiscuit

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2008
152
0
so i take back the part where i said everything was running fine.

my MB actually doesn't turn on without the charger plugged in. is it a problem with the logic board? or the battery?

and the charger light only appears green.
My guess would be the battery. Maybe it got a bit of water on it which has in turn damaged it.
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
so i take back the part where i said everything was running fine.

my MB actually doesn't turn on without the charger plugged in. and it just shuts down whenever the charger's unplugged. is it a problem with the logic board? or the battery?

and the charger light only appears green.
Turning the board on without putting it through the cleaning paces is a big mistake.
 

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
Turning the board on without putting it through the cleaning paces is a big mistake.
sorry, but what're the cleaning paces? and i guess your saying that the logic board's damaged, so that's why my MB won't turn on unless the powercord's plugged in?
 

l.a.rossmann

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2009
1,054
162
Brooklyn
sorry, but what're the cleaning paces? and i guess your saying that the logic board's damaged, so that's why my MB won't turn on unless the powercord's plugged in?
You said it worked before, right? but doesn't work now?

It's possible that it was fine before but still corroding. The cleaning paces are an ultrasonic cleaner with a decent chemical solution and then something to displace the water afterwards, then a proper drying, or else it corrodes and corrodes.
 

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
oh, i think i was already not working before. cause i was transferring some files over to an external hard drive when i shifted the MB and the plug came off and it shut itself down. i thought it shorted because i was overworking my MB.

i carry my MB around so i didn't realize that it doesn't work unlessed it's charged.

maybe i'll see what i can do when i go home for the holidays. thanks a lot for your advice, been real helpful :)
 

dfa18

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 29, 2008
9
0
i just checked my battery stats:

Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 0
Fully charged: Yes
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 0
Health Information:
Cycle count: 116
Condition: Check Battery
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 0
Voltage (mV): 12450

so my battery's dead right? or, that plus my MB isn't charging it?
 

KielderWolf

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2009
129
0
Northeast England
Either the battery is dead, or your PMU (Power Management Unit) is fried.

Simple way to check, insert your battery into another MacBook and see if it works. If it doesn't, then likely it has died. If it does, your PMU is dead.

Or, if your überly unlucky, both. :(
 

Similar threads

  • hawkeyefxr
3
Replies
3
Views
231
  • supertiffany
2
Replies
2
Views
287
  • jcmc
3
Replies
3
Views
332
Replies
0
Views
208
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.