Water, my Iphone and my Wallet - Advice please.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by SuperGlued, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. SuperGlued macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #1
    Hello all, thank you for reading my post. I will try to be succinct.

    *Iphone 3G 16 Gig*

    Last weekend I went to the beach with my iPhone in my pocket. I then proceeded to hop in the ocean with said iPhone still in said pocket. 10 minutes later I realized my mistake and spent the next few hours trying not to either cry or destroy our cooler out of rage in front of my girlfriend and her friends.

    I immediately attempted to wash as much of the salt water out of my iPhone as I could. When I returned home I then soaked it for a period in isopropyl alcohol, alternately shaking it out and then re-soaking. Afterward I placed I wrapped it in a paper towel and then packed it in a container of silicone desiccant. Over the course of 3 days I kept the iPhone in the desiccant while occasionally placing it on top of my toaster for some indirect heat.

    This morning I removed it from the desiccant. The phone appeared to be completely dry and no longer smelled of alcohol. However it would not boot.

    • I plugged it into the wall and I DID get the Apple symbol for about 10 to 15 seconds and then it disappeared.
    • If I power it up (while again plugged into AC power) by holding both the power and home buttons I will get a Plug --> Itunes symbol. This symbol will stay on for 10 or 15 minutes before going out.
    • The phone will do nothing if plugged into USB.

    In your collective experiences do you believe my phone is toast? Is this behavior indicative of a destroyed battery and would a switch-out with a new battery bring me back?

    My LCD looks a bit funky but if I could get the phone to run I would be happy. Otherwise I believe I may just go to Apple and do an early upgrade and get a new or refurbished phone(and Ebay the old one as a water damaged unit.) While not as bad as buying a phone w/o a contract it's still a pretty penny. I am currently on the cusp of not wanting to deal with too much hassle via trying to repair the phone and also not wanting to break the bank.

    Any advice and perspectives would be appreciated.

    Best
    -Lee
     
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #2
    1st, you weren't succinct! :)

    You could try doing a DFU restore, since it sounds like you're getting something when plugged in. Hold the home and sleep buttons for 10 seconds while plugged into iTunes. See the attached for the steps:

    http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=1034

    Oh, and the alcohol stuff. NOT a good idea.
     
  3. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #3
    Haha, I assure you I tend to be far more verbose if left unchecked.

    I tried DFU mode. Unfortunately when plugged into the computer via USB I get absolutely no activity on the phone. I went through the steps nonetheless but to no avail.

    When the phone is plugged into an outlet and I try the DFU procedure I get the "plug into iTunes" image. As soon as I disconnect the AC power however it goes black again.



    *Feeling as though I've run over my own dog*
    -Lee
     
  4. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #4
    Well, all is not lost. You could pay $199 for a replacement, since it's now out of warranty due to water damage. And it might kick in in a day or so and work fine.
     
  5. optophobia macrumors 6502a

    optophobia

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hudson MA
    #5
    Seems to me with all this science lab stuff in your house you could make your own phone :)
    Seems to me like YOU think your iphone is toast and not a phone :)
     
  6. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    #6
    lol are you serious? rubbing alcohol is science lab stuff? silica dessicant comes with almost everything you buy. seems to me like you need to finish high school!
     
  7. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #7
    AI may very well take Apple up on a new phone.

    Soo tempted to try some more tinkering however. I've got quite a bit of notes on that phone...

    Does my phones issues sound like a battery that is just plumb dead? Not just out of a charge but completely out of service? I'm tempted to order a replacement battery and a opening tool and swap them out.

    Thanks again!
     
  8. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #8
    I just dissected my dearest friend. While the camera seems ok with the occasional SLIGHT touch of corrosion on some contacts (which I cleaned.) The battery appears to have leaked just a touch of it's innards (though barely.) Thus I get the feeling the battery is a goner and perhaps that's the reason it's been behaving as it has.

    I'm going to give a new battery a go. If that doesn't work it's off to Apple and Ebay I go.
     
  9. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
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    #9
    Hey, I was just getting back to you, but it looks like you've already done the deed. That's not for the faint of heart, but I assume you got it apart w/o causing further damage. I'm thinking the alcohol may have caused the battery to do that, but who knows. Maybe the seawater did that while it was on. Well, good luck. Let me, I guess, know how it goes, since the other guy just wanted to give you a hard time. Or he was just funnin' with ya. We do that on here. Welcome to MR.
     
  10. ryhno45 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    #10
    I read it, and I am interested in the story!

    I like the fact that your willing to tinker, and I do believe it is the battery that is causing this problem.

    Next time, try to leave it in a container of uncooked rice. The toaster was a bad idea though, but it is all good.

    If worse comes to worst, you could just pay the $199 and get a replacement, or do the early upgrade. Good Luck and please keep us informed!:):apple:
     
  11. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #11
    Cheers iphone.aggie and thanks for the welcome. And thank you to everyone else. Even those who ribbed me just a bit ;) Honestly I took it as good natured fun. Trust me, I shake my head at my own (mis)adventures sometimes.

    I agree that the additional soak of alcohol may have been the killing blow for the battery. In retrospect I should have disassembled the phone and cleaned it ala cart (so to speak.)

    I was able to get the phone apart with little to know problem. Lacking a specialized tool I used a suction cup to pull the glass out. Worked like a charm. A tiny screw driver and a guitar pick came in handy. Wish me luck on getting the sucker back together.

    Thanks you ryhno45 for the kind words. I'm a tinkerer at heart. I have heard good things about the rice. However the desiccant I used will dry the milk from a cow. It's amazing stuff. It's essentially the stuff in those packets of Tylenol that keep it the contents dry (you know, the stuff you're not supposed to eat.) The toaster may have not been the best however the phone was encased in dessicant and sitting on TOP of the toaster, so it shouldn't have gotten too hot. I hope. :eek:

    Thanks again everyone and I will certainly post a follow up.

    Best
    -Lee
     
  12. Gin Gin macrumors regular

    Gin Gin

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #12
    I'm sorry to hear about your phone. I had a similar sinking feeling a few weeks ago. My phone was only in water a few seconds though, and not salt water. After a thorough drying every thing worked except the back light would not come on. I wound up doing the $199 out of warranty replacement. If you go this route be aware Apple will take your damaged phone, you won't be able to ebay it. Good Luck!
     
  13. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #13
    Update

    I have successfully installed a 1600mah replacement battery. The phone now boots up and connects to Itunes. Unfortunately it appears that the LCD is toast however. While it seemed to be only mildly damaged prior to the battery swap-out it is more or less useless now with mostly black and grey splotches and some vertical and horizontal lines here and there. There was a faint, discernible image initially but I think the man-handling of the LCD during the disasembly process sealed the screen's fate.

    I've ordered a replacement LCD off of Ebay.

    I hope a new screen solves the problem and that my video issues aren't because of water damage on the motherboard.

    Otherwise, with the exception of the LCD and the camera (takes blank green pics) the phone can make and recieve calls. I haven't tried Itunes as the LCD pooped out before I could get to it.

    In case I can't resurrect this phone am I screwed regarding Apple's water damage deal? I don't have to tell them I tried to fix it and I can't imagine them finding out unless they open the phone. I don't think not telling them is dishonest as broken is broken. Any thoughts?

    More later

    Best
    -Lee
     
  14. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #14
    Well, everything installed. It seemed to be working fine. LCD and digitizer doing their job. However I couldn't not hear anything from the ear speaker. So I took er apart again and made sure all the cables were plugged in right. Well now the digitizer doesn't work. The touch screen is dead. I'm not sure where to go from here as I have double checked multiple time for the connections to no avail.

    Any advice would be appreicated.

    Thanks
    -Lee
     
  15. SuperGlued thread starter macrumors newbie

    SuperGlued

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #15
    alas - failure

    Sorry for the delay in update. I finally said the hell with it. I was sooo close. It became an obsession and $45 and a number of hour later I thought I was going to sh*t. Well as I complained to my girlfriend (who was by now SICK of hearing about the phone) that I screwed up having been so close, she replied "no, you walked into the ocean with it, now go and get a new one." So that's what I did. $199 for my "water damage warranty" phone. Oh well, at least I know I can get a pretty penny for it on Ebay when I go to get my 3GS.

    On a side note; it's been humbling knowing how attached I was to my iphone. I shudder to think what will happen in 10 years when my personal assistant droid breaks down. I'll probably need counseling.

    Thanks for everyone's ear/advice.

    Best
    -Lee
     

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