Spilled water on my Macbook Pro

staceyd317

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2018
10
2
Today my cat knocked over a full glass of water next to my laptop. Quite a bit got on my desk but the computer got a good portion of it too. It was plugged in to the power source at the time.
I jumped up to clean the water quickly but I can't remember how quickly I unplugged it. But the time I really looked at the computer it was black. Power off.
I unplugged, wiped it down and at first threw it in a bag with gel packs to absorb the liquid. As I was reading through other posts I decided it could be a good idea to take the back off. I did and wiped it down. There was water on the case. I assume in the actual computer too. I have it on, opened on its side. I used a cold air hair dryer on it for a little bit.
When I first started drying it out it made the noise it usually does right before starting. Not the chime but the machine-y sound. It stopped there. I did hold the power button down to see if it would come on. It didn't.
Now it's sitting on it's side with no back on. What should I do next?
From posts I've read I should let it dry 24 hour to 5 days. My biggest concern is that it was plugged in when it happen and it shut itself off. Is there any hope???
 

PROFESS0R

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2017
343
320
I don’t suppose this is a newer MacBook Pro that is under an AppleCare plus warranty which covers two cases of accidental damage.
 

martyjmclean

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2018
647
2,382
Sydney, NSW
I knocked over a litre of water on my MacBook Pro last year.
Towelled it off, left it in a ^ shape in front of a fan for 48 hours. No problems! I've even had Apple check for water damage twice and they couldn't find any.
 
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staceyd317

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2018
10
2
I don’t suppose this is a newer MacBook Pro that is under an AppleCare plus warranty which covers two cases of accidental damage.
No. I purchased from Mac refurb site. It's been less than a year, but pretty close.
[doublepost=1544226516][/doublepost]
I knocked over a litre of water on my MacBook Pro last year.
Towelled it off, left it in a ^ shape in front of a fan for 48 hours. No problems! I've even had Apple check for water damage twice and they couldn't find any.
Thanks for your reply. I was reading a lot of posts here that said similar. Yours may have been one. Sounds promising. I'm most concerned that it was plugged in to the power source and shut itself off before I got to it.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,904
2,159
I wouldn’t worry about it to much. Either it’s toast or it’s not, but the damage is done (or not). You’re doing the right thing leaving it off.

When you say gel packs, you’re talking about desiccant packs right? I don’t think I’ve seen those in gel form before. Can you provide a picture or any details?
 

staceyd317

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2018
10
2
I wouldn’t worry about it to much. Either it’s toast or it’s not, but the damage is done (or not). You’re doing the right thing leaving it off.

When you say gel packs, you’re talking about desiccant packs right? I don’t think I’ve seen those in gel form before. Can you provide a picture or any details?
The little gel pellets. Its the same thing. I took it out this morning. I feel like air is better than being inside a plastic bag. I don't know.. I want to turn it on now to find out. I keep thinking "Good things come to those who wait".
 
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Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,106
1,403
FWIW, being on power adapter shouldn't affect it all that much, the battery is connected so logic board is under power either way.

the machine-y sound might just be hairdryer spinning the fans.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,904
2,159
The little gel pellets. Its the same thing. I took it out this morning. I feel like air is better than being inside a plastic bag. I don't know.. I want to turn it on now to find out. I keep thinking "Good things come to those who wait".

Ok. Gel packs will do nothing, but dessicant packs will help.
It’s better in the bag with desiccant packs than being in the open air.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,106
1,403
they're super cheap. I bought a 100-pack for 5$ to keep in my lens drawer.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2013
368
103
Years ago I spilled coffee all over my rMBP. I was on campus at the time. I quickly hard shut down the computer. Walked home, took the back off, unplugged the battery, vacuumed the keyboard, and left it in a V shape over night with a fan blowing on it (back off). Much to my relief, it started up in the morning and worked.

Took a while to get the keyboard not to be sticky though. I cleaned it as much as I could with a Q-tip and some slightly soapy water. That and some time fixed the remaining stickiness issues. Man, it was freaking hard to get the keys back on!

Although it started up fine that morning, it did tend to crash on me for no reason. I could never figure out why. I figured the water damage had caused some kind of problem. But the crashes were like once a week, then they happened once a month, then eventually it just stopped crashing, as if it had somehow fixed itself.

I can't say I understand. Maybe the crashes were due to a MacOS bug and not the water.

The computer went on to last 5 years as my main machine and is now part of my entertainment setup, replacing a 9 year old macbook.
 
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Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,106
1,403
Years ago I spilled coffee all over my rMBP. I was on campus at the time. I quickly hard shut down the computer. Walked home, took the back off, unplugged the battery, vacuumed the keyboard, and left it in a V shape over night with a fan blowing on it (back off). Much to my relief, it started up in the morning and worked.

Took a while to get the keyboard not to be sticky though. I cleaned it as much as I could with a Q-tip and some slightly soapy water. That and some time fixed the remaining stickiness issues. Man, it was freaking hard to get the keys back on!

Although it started up fine that morning, it did tend to crash on me for no reason. I could never figure out why. I figured the water damage had caused some kind of problem. But the crashes were like once a week, then they happened once a month, then eventually it just stopped crashing, as if it had somehow fixed itself.

I can't say I understand. Maybe the crashes were due to a MacOS bug and not the water.

The computer went on to last 5 years as my main machine and is now part of my entertainment setup, replacing a 9 year old macbook.
Previous retina models were more robust.

I spilled coffee over mine twice then whiskey on separate occasion. After i spilled whiskey (was already drunk) i vacuumed it and continue working.

That was over a year ago. It fell on the floor twice and its barely dented... still works more reliably than my i9 ever did.

On the other hand i saw 2016 models that got bent inside a sleeve inside a backpack.
 

pendragon1984

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2013
368
103
Do we know if the current models have any kind of plastic seal around the keyboard? The older models had the keyboard sealed off from the internals, so that moderate amounts of liquid would be unlikely to make it through to the logic board.
[doublepost=1544535211][/doublepost]Just checked ifixit. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Touch+Bar+2018+Teardown/111478

Does seem like the keyboard is sealed off from the logic board.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,106
1,403
Do we know if the current models have any kind of plastic seal around the keyboard? The older models had the keyboard sealed off from the internals, so that moderate amounts of liquid would be unlikely to make it through to the logic board.
[doublepost=1544535211][/doublepost]Just checked ifixit. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Touch+Bar+2018+Teardown/111478

Does seem like the keyboard is sealed off from the logic board.
Nope.

I actually cleaned my 2008 unibody kb with WD40.

New ones are way too finicky...
 

_Kiki_

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2017
961
279
Do we know if the current models have any kind of plastic seal around the keyboard? The older models had the keyboard sealed off from the internals, so that moderate amounts of liquid would be unlikely to make it through to the logic board.
[doublepost=1544535211][/doublepost]Just checked ifixit. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+Pro+15-Inch+Touch+Bar+2018+Teardown/111478

Does seem like the keyboard is sealed off from the logic board.
there is no seal, backlit sticker isn't much help
 

_Kiki_

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2017
961
279
Is that for the backlight? Looks just like the black plastic seal on the older model. I think it would help with small spills.
black backlit sticker (above the battery), one of the cheapest solution, perfectly catching any food particles and bacteria


from eBay non-TB model


other side
 

staceyd317

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 7, 2018
10
2
I left it alone to dry for 3 days. The fan comes on but nothing else. I assume its toast. Any suggestions?
 

deadworlds

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2007
1,026
752
Citrus Heights,CA
I left it alone to dry for 3 days. The fan comes on but nothing else. I assume its toast. Any suggestions?
Are you able to shine a very bright light onto the screen and see if you can see anything like the Apple logo during boot or a login screen etc. If you do see something on the screen and are able to use the computer to some extent then one could probably say that the water mostly damaged the monitor cable or the monitor backlight. I think either way you are looking at having it repaired either by apple or at an apple authorized repair center.
 
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