Water got into mac, not starting up

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
Yesterday morning, my drink magically fell of my bedside table and went on the floor, next to where my mac was. My mac was both closed and turned off, however the charger was on & plugged in. The amount of water was the equivalent of a full glass, but that didn't directly spill onto the mac. It went on the floor near it and some obviously got in.

A few hours later, I opened my mac to carry out my daily routine (mindlessly scrolling through Twitter) and found water on the keyboard & screen. I got a t-shirt and wiped everything up, then tried to turn it on. To my horror, nothing happened. I believe I woke up briefly before I found it like this and unplugged the charger so I thought "Oh, don't panic, it probably just ran out". So I plugged the charger in and the light didn't come on. Neither did the mac.

I searched for ages trying to find solutions. Here are the ones I came across:

- Put the mac in an airtight container full of rice and store the bag in a dry place (like a cupboard) for 48 hours. I don't have any airtight containers.

- Dab a small bit of alcohol on a toothbrush, open up the mac and rub the corrosion with the toothbrush. I don't have any alcohol or screwdrivers. I was also told not to meddle with it as I could make it worse.

That's pretty much all I found. I emailed our friend who's a technician and he said he "doesn't hold out much hope" for my computer and the best we can do is take it to the nearest mac repair store.

If that doesn't work out, should I go to my nearest Apple store (which is about 45 minutes away)? I've heard horror stories about people being charged $700-900 for water repair damage there.

I'm hoping to not spend too much; I currently have around £900 ($1500) which I have been saving up for a long time.

So here are my questions:

- What are the chances of my calamity being irreparable?
- If it is repairable, how much should I expect to spend?
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
It doesn't sound too good. Have you got access to another charger to try it with?
You could also try the rice in a plastic bag. The damage may already be done though with trying it while it was still wet.

Barney
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,468
USA
You really need to try the rice thing. That might fix it for you. If it doesn't, you're going to have to pony up a pretty penny. I feel really bad that you worked hard to save up $1500 and it would be really crappy to have to spend it on this, but don't let it discourage you from saving in the future. It's important to save your money because you never know when you may need it.

Again, try the rice thing. It's a lot cheaper than what they will charge you at Apple. And if the worse case scenario strikes, consider getting a new computer like a MacBook Air from the refurb site. The cheapest are going for 599.

Try eBay, but make sure you don't get ripped off.

And worse case, dare I say it, there's always cheap PCs that work great. Nobody HAS to have a Mac. It's a nice luxury, but not a necessity.

Good luck :apple:
 

iamMacPerson

macrumors 68030
Jun 12, 2011
2,743
863
AZ/10.0.1.1
Try taking it to Apple. AFAICT, the LoBo will need to replaced along with a few other components (MagSafe board, AirPort, Bluetooth and others are all possibilities).
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,843
30,363
Boston
If water was on the keyboard it seeped into the logic board. Turning on it in affect shorted out the logic board.

You're only option at this point is to take it to apple and get a quote

Bummers though :(
 

bigeasy_uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2005
272
5
Leamington Spa, England
My wife spilled a cup of coffee on her mbp about 18 months ago. she didn't tell me until I finished work (so several hours later) She didn't even pull the battery! it was turning itself on and off the whole time. When I found out I immediately pulled the battery, took it apart and put all the components in a bag full of rice for 48 hours. I put it all back together and it actually worked! The only thing that didn't work was half of the keyboard back lighting.

It can't hurt to do the same with yours, you have nothing to loose now!
 

Fondaparinux

macrumors member
Jul 13, 2013
81
53
If you opened it and nothing shows up, Try setting light through the display's Apple logo (iPhone flash/any strong light). If you see your computer turned on, but backlight is dead, it's pretty much too late to do anything. New logic board is expensive, might as well get a new computer.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
The good news is that mindlessly scrolling through twitter and similar tasks can also easily be performed on an iPad or similar device. These are much cheaper and, since they have less opening, more resistant to water spills.
 

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
You really need to try the rice thing. That might fix it for you. If it doesn't, you're going to have to pony up a pretty penny. I feel really bad that you worked hard to save up $1500 and it would be really crappy to have to spend it on this, but don't let it discourage you from saving in the future. It's important to save your money because you never know when you may need it.

Again, try the rice thing. It's a lot cheaper than what they will charge you at Apple. And if the worse case scenario strikes, consider getting a new computer like a MacBook Air from the refurb site. The cheapest are going for 599.

Try eBay, but make sure you don't get ripped off.

And worse case, dare I say it, there's always cheap PCs that work great. Nobody HAS to have a Mac. It's a nice luxury, but not a necessity.

Good luck :apple:
Do you know how much rice I need to use?
I've put rice in a plastic bag, put the mac in it and then I covered the top with more rice. I trust I don't need to fill the whole bag?

----------

It doesn't sound too good. Have you got access to another charger to try it with?
You could also try the rice in a plastic bag. The damage may already be done though with trying it while it was still wet.

Barney
I don't have one, but I'm going to a mac repair shop tomorrow and they'll definitely have some.

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My wife spilled a cup of coffee on her mbp about 18 months ago. she didn't tell me until I finished work (so several hours later) She didn't even pull the battery! it was turning itself on and off the whole time. When I found out I immediately pulled the battery, took it apart and put all the components in a bag full of rice for 48 hours. I put it all back together and it actually worked! The only thing that didn't work was half of the keyboard back lighting.

It can't hurt to do the same with yours, you have nothing to loose now!
Unfortunately I have no screwdrivers and will probably either lose the parts, break them or put them back completely wrong (knowing me).

Here's what I wish I was able to do:

1. As soon as the liquid is spilled, pick up the mac, tip it upside down, get a towel and wipe everything up.

2. Once everything is dry, open up the mac to see if anything is wet. If there is, wipe the parts and blow them with a hair dryer.

3. If there is any corrosion, put a little bit of alcohol on a toothbrush and brush it.

4. Take out all the parts, put them in a bag full of rice and store the bag in a dry airing cupboard for 48 hours.

Unfortunately, the day it happened I didn't realise what had happened until hours afterwards and didn't know any of this information.

I have put the mac in a plastic bag with a bit of rice (just enough to cover the top and back of it - I hardly have any) and stored it in my airing cupboard overnight. I would store it there for longer but I've arranged to meet my local mac repair wizard.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,468
USA
Do you know how much rice I need to use?
I've put rice in a plastic bag, put the mac in it and then I covered the top with more rice. I trust I don't need to fill the whole bag?

----------



I don't have one, but I'm going to a mac repair shop tomorrow and they'll definitely have some.
Cover the WHOLE macbook in rice! You should not be able to see your computer after putting rice on it! That's how much my friend.
 

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
The good news is that mindlessly scrolling through twitter and similar tasks can also easily be performed on an iPad or similar device. These are much cheaper and, since they have less opening, more resistant to water spills.
Unfortunately I was joking; I manage websites and stuff. I do have an iPod which also got water on it a while ago (will I ever learn?) and it was fine.

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Cover the WHOLE macbook in rice! You should not be able to see your computer after putting rice on it! That's how much my friend.
I only have a small bit of rice... Is it worth going into town and buying some or should I just go to the repair shop?
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,468
USA
Unfortunately I was joking; I manage websites and stuff. I do have an iPod which also got water on it a while ago (will I ever learn?) and it was fine.

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I only have a small bit of rice... Is it worth going into town and buying some or should I just go to the repair shop?
You might as well give it a shot. Buy the cheapest brand to save some money. Leave it there for a couple days. And pray.
 

duffyanneal

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2008
607
67
ATL
When my two year old spilled water on my wife's MBP we tried the rice trick with no luck. It wasn't until I removed the mobo and dried off some patches of water that it came back to life.
 

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
I went to the "repair" shop today.

The bloke didn't even try anything; he just said it probably killed it.

I told him about how people brush the corrosion with alcohol and he said he only does it when there are some signs of life.

He said he doesn't recommend doing it myself because he spent £3,000 on a course to learn how to do it.

I asked if Apple would do anything and he said "No, but they might charge you £600 for a replacement logic board."

He then suggested that I sell the parts on eBay (which apparently can earn me £400+) and then buy a new one.
 

Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
Get the right screwdrivers, strip it down and try to clean it.
There is quite a possibility that there is still liquid on the board stopping it from booting.
The £3,000 course doesn't exist, he just doesn't want you to attempt it.
Worse case scenario is you wreck the board, it is already dead as far as you are concerned, so nothing to loose.

Barney
 

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
Get the right screwdrivers, strip it down and try to clean it.
There is quite a possibility that there is still liquid on the board stopping it from booting.
The £3,000 course doesn't exist, he just doesn't want you to attempt it.
Worse case scenario is you wreck the board, it is already dead as far as you are concerned, so nothing to loose.

Barney
Yeah, I bet he was just doing that because he wanted me to buy from him. He even said to sell the parts on eBay and then buy one of his refurbished macs.

When he opened it up, I saw some corrosion (the green stuff), but it didn't look like much. I'm getting some alcohol and the screwdrivers soon.

Do you know what type of alcohol it's supposed to be? Methanol? Ethanol?

P.S He took the hard-drive out for me while I was there. Hopefully I'll be able to put it back in once I've done the cleaning thing.
 
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Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
So I went to the DIY store earlier.

The guy gave me the right screwdrivers but didn't give me Isopropyl, instead he gave me a contact cleaning spray made especially for electrical devices.

I opened the mac up, sprayed the liquid on a toothbrush head and started cleaning the corrosion (which wasn't much at all). Almost instantly, the corrosion disappeared. I kept brushing in the nits and grits of it (there was still tiny bits left) and now I can't see any corrosion at all.

I've put the hard-drive back.

My charger doesn't work any more so I need to buy a new one.

Questions:
1) Where can I buy a complete macbook pro charger?
2) How long should I leave it until I try to turn it on?
3) Should I do the rice thing too?

(Edit: Just found out that chargers are around £65 and stop working within a year. That's just great... ;/)
 
Last edited:

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
I wouldn't use contact cleaner, it leaves a residue. Get some IPA, a chemist may also stock it.

Barney
From the tin: "It rapidly penetrates into hard to reach areas, fast drying, without leaving any residue."

It also says "This product can be used on electrical equipment, contacts, plastic and rubber."

I don't know why he wouldn't give me what I asked for instead, but there we go. If this doesn't work, is it too late? I don't know what I'd do with the IPA because all the corrosion has disappeared.

I want to check if there's any under the motherboard but I'm not sure how to safely take it out and put it back in again without making it worse.
 

Will79

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 20, 2014
30
0
So apparently my mum tried to turn it on and it didn't work.