Swimming Killed My Series 4 Watch

Ambulater

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 14, 2012
86
75
So, I just got a brand new Apple Watch Series 4 for Christmas and decided to try my first swim workout at the gym this morning. I started a swim indoors workout on the watch which is supposed to prevent false watch faces inputs from the water. I then swam laps for about 30 minutes.

When I got out I tried to spin the crown to turn the face back on and clear the water from the speakers, but the the watch was completely off. I could not turn the watch on using any method (including a hard reboot by pushing both buttons). It appears to be completely dead even though it was fully charged fresh off the charger before I went to the gym.

It seems to me that shallow water in a lap pool killed the Series 4. Anyone else heard of this?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,384
35,515
So, I just got a brand new Apple Watch Series 4 for Christmas and decided to try my first swim workout at the gym this morning. I started a swim indoors workout on the watch which is supposed to prevent false watch faces inputs from the water. I then swam laps for about 30 minutes.

When I got out I tried to spin the crown to turn the face back on and clear the water from the speakers, but the the watch was completely off. I could not turn the watch on using any method (including a hard reboot by pushing both buttons). It appears to be completely dead even though it was fully charged fresh off the charger before I went to the gym.

It seems to me that shallow water in a lap pool killed the Series 4. Anyone else heard of this?

Even though the Apple Watch Series 4 is rated at 50 m water resistance, it’s very possible the water might have penetrated past the water seals and caused water damage. Your watch _should_ have survived swimming with it, but you wouldn’t be the first wear your watch was affected by the water.
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
Even though the Apple Watch Series 4 is rated at 50 m water resistance, it’s very possible the water might have penetrated past the water seals and caused water damage. Your watch _should_ have survived swimming with it, but you wouldn’t be the first wear your watch was affected by the water.

That is something that Apple should remedy through a replacement though? I would assume if water has penetrated the water seals and caused damage that is a warrantable defect?
 

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
The warranty is now voided. Hope you have applecare+...

I would not think so since they specifically state on the Apple Watch Website "Sweat, surf and swim proof" and go on to say "Apple Watch Series 4 is water resistant to 50 meters and tracks both pool and open-water workouts."

The only restrictions that they list for this is:
  1. Apple Watch Series 4 has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, Apple Watch Series 4 should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.
Unless the OP was scuba diving or similar, it sounds like a defect and a warranty issue.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,384
35,515
That is something that Apple should remedy through a replacement though? I would assume if water has penetrated the water seals and caused damage that is a warrantable defect?

I have read instances where Apple has acknowledged water defects with the Apple Watch and others were they have been turned away, I can’t speak for this situation, but I would advise that Apple should a minimum look at the watch to determine what they will do for the OP. (Which I’m assuming they don’t have AppleCare Plus). I think they should replace it if it is proven to be defective, but that’s not for me to decide.
 

Ambulater

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 14, 2012
86
75
I just took it to the local Apple authorized repair center. Apple is replacing it for free and one is on its way. I actually do have AppleCare+ on the watch, but highly doubt it would be necessary in this case. I’ve had the watch for a week and a half and only used it in the exact way specified by Apple. While not true of some earlier versions, the series 4 is intended to be used for swim workouts, per Apple, and its water resistant specs should easily be able to accommodate a few minutes of laps in a shallow lap pool.
[doublepost=1546539716][/doublepost]
The warranty is now voided. Hope you have applecare+...
I believe that might be correct for some earlier models, but not the series 4. The series 4 has a higher water resistance rating than some earlier models, is explicitly promoted by Apple as being compatible with swimming, has built in swim workout functions, and tutorials by Apple on their website on how to use the swim workout functions. I believe if a series 4 fails while being used exactly the way the manufacturer intends and while still in the warranty period, it should be covered. I think we must be talking about a faulty water seal or something here, which for the series 4 would be a manufacturing defect....again should be (and apparently is) covered under the standard warranty.
 
Last edited:

SDColorado

macrumors 601
Nov 6, 2011
4,348
4,315
Highlands Ranch, CO
I just took it to the local Apple authorized repair center. Apple is replacing it for free and one is on its way. I actually do have AppleCare+ on the watch, but highly doubt it would be necessary in this case. I’ve had the watch for a week and a half and only used it in the exact way specified by Apple. While not true of some earlier versions, the series 4 is intended to be used for swim workouts, per Apple, and its water resistant specs should easily be able to accommodate a few minutes of laps in a shallow lap pool.

I am glad that they are taking care of you. The Apple Watch has been water resistant for shallow water activities such as swimming since series 2. While they do have some restrictions and avoidances such as soaps, shampoos, conditioners, perfumes, solvents, etc. I would think that the burden would be on Apple to show that misuse or exposure to one of these would be the cause for denying a warranty claim.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000
 

bananaz19

macrumors newbie
May 12, 2019
2
0
So, I just got a brand new Apple Watch Series 4 for Christmas and decided to try my first swim workout at the gym this morning. I started a swim indoors workout on the watch which is supposed to prevent false watch faces inputs from the water. I then swam laps for about 30 minutes.

When I got out I tried to spin the crown to turn the face back on and clear the water from the speakers, but the the watch was completely off. I could not turn the watch on using any method (including a hard reboot by pushing both buttons). It appears to be completely dead even though it was fully charged fresh off the charger before I went to the gym.

It seems to me that shallow water in a lap pool killed the Series 4. Anyone else heard of this?


I am an owner of a 3-month old Apple Watch Series 4 Nike Edition. An hour ago, I took a quick dip in a portable pool. So before I went in, i enabled the waterlock mode from the notification I center of the apple watch. I was in that shallow pool for less than 20 minutes and went out. When I was trying to turn the digital crown of my watch, to eject water, it was not responding. The apple watch then restarted, not once but many times. When the watch booted, I tried the digital crown again because it is still in waterlock mode. It wasnt working. I turned the watch off because it was heating up. I called the Apple Customer Care and they instructed me to bring it to an authorized repair center to have it checked.

I will have to wait for the result of the check up, but as for me I am not willing to pay any cent. I will demand a free replacement. This is a series 4, it is supposed to work with swimming in the pool. It was just a portable pool. I have been an apple user for years, and was surprised to see the quality of their products deteriorate.

Attached is a picture of the portable pool
 

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Ambulater

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 14, 2012
86
75
I am an owner of a 3-month old Apple Watch Series 4 Nike Edition. An hour ago, I took a quick dip in a portable pool. So before I went in, i enabled the waterlock mode from the notification I center of the apple watch. I was in that shallow pool for less than 20 minutes and went out. When I was trying to turn the digital crown of my watch, to eject water, it was not responding. The apple watch then restarted, not once but many times. When the watch booted, I tried the digital crown again because it is still in waterlock mode. It wasnt working. I turned the watch off because it was heating up. I called the Apple Customer Care and they instructed me to bring it to an authorized repair center to have it checked.

I will have to wait for the result of the check up, but as for me I am not willing to pay any cent. I will demand a free replacement. This is a series 4, it is supposed to work with swimming in the pool. It was just a portable pool. I have been an apple user for years, and was surprised to see the quality of their products deteriorate.

Attached is a picture of the portable pool
For what it’s worth, Apple replaced my Series 4 Watch that went dead during my very first lap swim. I’ve been swimming twice a week with the replacement for the last 5 months now without any problem at all. I also spent a week in Mexico pretty much in the swim up bar all day long everyday with my Watch on. No problem. This one seems to be just fine in water. There must just be a few out there with bad seals.
 

rojocrandall

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2009
154
82
Sorry to hear of the issues. To share my experiences with my S4 and water:
I've used it in my pool (11' deep), in my spa (3') with temps up to 108 degrees,
also in lakes and rivers - and sometimes I did not invoke the Water Lock and I guess I am lucky,
but no issues so far.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,227
Jacksonville, Florida
Sorry to hear of the issues. To share my experiences with my S4 and water:
I've used it in my pool (11' deep), in my spa (3') with temps up to 108 degrees,
also in lakes and rivers - and sometimes I did not invoke the Water Lock and I guess I am lucky,
but no issues so far.

The water lock only stops the screen from being touch sensitive.
 

JRHorne

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2019
3
1
For what it’s worth, Apple replaced my Series 4 Watch that went dead during my very first lap swim. I’ve been swimming twice a week with the replacement for the last 5 months now without any problem at all. I also spent a week in Mexico pretty much in the swim up bar all day long everyday with my Watch on. No problem. This one seems to be just fine in water. There must just be a few out there with bad seals.
How did you go about the replacement? First time swimming in a pool, my watch died. Apple is refusing to do a replacement because liquid damage isn’t covered under the hardware warranty. The watch is six months old and never been in water before. I might just keep escalating the repair at Apple...
 
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Monkswhiskers

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2018
316
207
How did you go about the replacement? First time swimming in a pool, my watch died. Apple is refusing to do a replacement because liquid damage isn’t covered under the hardware warranty. The watch is six months old and never been in water before. I might just keep escalating the repair at Apple...

It is in the spec that it is waterproof so how can it be liquid damaged? Unless a bash to the screen has compromised it maybe. I would pursue this as them refusing is completely unacceptable, I go swimming regularly in sea and pool and have had no issues.
 

Ambulater

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 14, 2012
86
75
How did you go about the replacement? First time swimming in a pool, my watch died. Apple is refusing to do a replacement because liquid damage isn’t covered under the hardware warranty. The watch is six months old and never been in water before. I might just keep escalating the repair at Apple...
I just went to an Apple authorized repair shop in town. They inspected it, said the series 4 is rated to withstand lap swimming, that the unit must have a bad seal, and that it wold qualify for replacement. They sent it to Apple and I had a replacement within a week. There really was no hassle at all. I did have Apple Care+ but I don’t think that really entered into as the watch was only maybe a couple weeks old and still under normal warranty. I can’t imagine Apple refusing to replace a series 4 for water damage unless they can prove it has been used outside the specs they list.
 

Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
359
285
Newcastle Upon Tyne
It is in the spec that it is waterproof so how can it be liquid damaged? Unless a bash to the screen has compromised it maybe. I would pursue this as them refusing is completely unacceptable, I go swimming regularly in sea and pool and have had no issues.

They can't refuse it, their website clearly states it is waterproof to 50m. While I can't say this didn't happen, it has come from someone who has just joined MacRumors today and its their 1st and only post...
 
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Resqu2

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2011
774
183
I will add to this thread, had a series 3 SBSS for 1.5 years, ran in the rain a few days ago and it started acting funny, screen doing crazy stuff. I called Apple and in less than 24 hours I had a new series 3 on my wrist. I returned my bad one in the same box the new one came in. I did have AC+ and asked for the express replacement option. No store around here to go to.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,304
8,176
Here(-ish)
They can't refuse it, their website clearly states it is waterproof to 50m. While I can't say this didn't happen, it has come from someone who has just joined MacRumors today and its their 1st and only post...
They can. They do.
[doublepost=1561342697][/doublepost]
It is in the spec that it is waterproof so how can it be liquid damaged? Unless a bash to the screen has compromised it maybe. I would pursue this as them refusing is completely unacceptable, I go swimming regularly in sea and pool and have had no issues.
If someone has mistreated their device or repeatedly bashed it or dropped it, seals could be compromised.
 
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Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
359
285
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Water resistant.

Stand corrected.

Just an addition, their small print says...

  1. Apple Watch Series 4 has a water resistance rating of 50 metres under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, Apple Watch Series 4 should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing, or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.

Given this they could quite easily say you went deeper than the watch is tested for... AppleCare+ will be the only protection I guess.
 

KeanosMagicHat

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2012
1,546
544
Pleased to see the OP rightfully had their Watch replaced.

At this point, I’ve no immediate intentions of going swimming with mine, but this thread makes me think I might test it in the sink to make sure the seals are good whilst it’s still under warranty.
 

jaymc

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2012
312
126
Port Orchard, WA
Just curious if you have a stainless steel WATCH? And polish it regularly like many on these forums? And maybe that polish gets into the seals that protect the WATCH? Maybe?
 
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