Water, water everywhere

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by smoked, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. smoked macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    So I call home this morning to check in... one of the kids dumped a full glass of water onto the MBA's keyboard :mad: The MBA was turned over to dry out. Called back a little later to find out ANOTHER glass of water was dumped on the backside of it! :eek:

    Of course the problem with the Air and water is that you can't take out the battery, so it kept turning itself on every now and then as the water shorted the power switch. And the keyboard is shorted somewhere; the caps lock light is on, turning it off shows the caps lock being on, and login password doesn't work.

    Right now it is sitting upside down with the lid open in a large bag with some uncooked rice in it to help draw out the moisture.

    So much for getting the RevD when it came out... since we can't wait for 3-7 days for it to dry out/get repaired I had to go ahead and get the RevC the Apple Store had in stock.

    But there's a few things on the bright side: The RevB (10.5 OS) was backed up on Time Machine/Time Capsule that had been running since Dec 2008. On starting up the RevC the first time, I selected to import from the Time Machine backup. It took a couple of tries to get it going, but once it did the 'old' machine was up and running in 10.6 within a couple of hours with no issues. Nice to have a slight speed bump from 1.86 to 2.13. And it's nice to have a display with NO LINES! :D
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Solution: take the kids into the Apple Store. Exchange them for a new MBA.
  4. Scylax macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    I think you've hit on the perfect solution! Seriously, though, although I've never done this to a computer, from the threads here it looks like you may have a problem. The rice is a good idea, but if what people say here is correct, the fact that it keeps turning itself on and off is a problem, and might be causing more damage each time. I know Apple doesn't help with water damage, but might it be worth contacting one of their advisors to ask for advice? Otherwise, shouldn't it be covered on your home insurance (if you have it)? If it is, why not contact them and ask them to pay for the replacement?

    Sorry about the situation, though. Hope you get it sorted out as well as possible. But yeah, just trade in the kids, it sounds like the MBA is a lot less trouble!
  5. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    Your MBA is pretty much toasted. To minimize loss, your best bet is to ebay it as water-damaged. It will probably sell for $300-400 as parts.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "So I call home this morning to check in... one of the kids dumped a full glass of water onto the MBA's keyboard The MBA was turned over to dry out. Called back a little later to find out ANOTHER glass of water was dumped on the backside of it!"

    The REAL solution to this problem is to get the kids their own cheap computer (Dell Mini 10v w/OS X comes to mind), and keep the expensive MacBook Air locked up when you're not in the house. Seriously.

    What are you going to do when they dump more water on the replacement MacBook Air?
  7. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Take it entirely apart. It's not hard.

    The battery is removable. All the parts is removable with just using a simple Screwdriver.

    I've taken my former air to its base before without any issues.
  8. smoked thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    Did that, and there didn't appear to be any water inside the case. Not sure it soaked through as I found a lot of dust from the fan scattered around. The keyboard assembly appears to be sealed? I didn't see a way to get into the keyboard itself. Unfortunately it appears to be dead now :(
  9. smoked thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    The easy solution is to keep the glasses of liquids well away from the laptops. One would think after the first glass she would have kinda figured that out :rolleyes:

    (Kids don't use that MBA. It was just a bad arrangement and a stray foot. At least that's what I was told...)
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "(Kids don't use that MBA. It was just a bad arrangement and a stray foot. At least that's what I was told...)"

    I stand by my original posting.

    If the MBA had been put away while you're gone, "stray feet" wouldn't have mattered. It would still have been "safe"...
  11. smoked thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    Agreed, which is why I keep my MB at least tucked away when I'm not using it. The MBA, however, was in use at the time. (Plus it isn't 'mine', but when I see it laying around I do put it away.)

    So does anyone have any experience with keyboard protectors? I see that moshi makes one.
  12. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Take the whole thing apart and let it dry for two weeks. Put a fan on it in a location where no more liquids will touch it.

    Seriously, you will probably be shocked when you put it back together in two weeks and it boots and runs fine.

    I had a Dell that got some serious water on it once. I tried and tried to power it up and dry it off and put it upside down on a table. The problem is it has to be completely open and apart to dry properly. Once I tore it apart and let it dry completely for a few weeks, it worked perfectly.

    The key is to stop trying to make it work now. Tear it apart and don't put it back together for a few weeks. Dry every part thoroughly.

    I once took RAM out of a computer and put it in my pocket. I forgot about it and the pants got washed. I realized it when one of the sticks was banging around in the dryer after falling out of the pocket. I put it under a fan for a few days and tried it out, and it worked out perfectly! These components are amazing and water doesn't necessarily ruin the things unless they aren't dried.

    At least give it a try, but you absolutely must tear the whole thing apart.

    Good luck!
  13. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    IMO it's dead. sell it on ebay for parts and buy a new refurb MBA...
  14. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2009
    It sounds like it shortened out. If that's the case chances are the logic board is only good for parts. Personally I'd get a refurbished one instead (why pay more?).
  15. rootsmaneuver macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2006

    might be a good idea to get some insurance. judging by the frequency that glasses of water and your notebooks interact, i highly recommend something that coves "accidental damage" to electronics, etc.

    very sorry to hear of what happened to you, BTW.
  16. smoked thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    Actually we do have insurance but were waiting to see if it dried out. Tried it just now and it came on! :D But it still does not work right, the keyboard only does all caps. Can't zap pram even with USB keyboard. In windows (parallels) the keyboard works better but still isn't quite right... Will take it in again.
  17. Jodles macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    A few weeks ago I spilled a whole cup of roiibush tea on my alubook. Immediately turned it over, took out the battery and hard drive, unscrewed the rest of the back panel and took out the ram, let it stay upside down with screen open (sort of resting on screen and pillows on the other side) for a few days; and now it works like a charm!

    Only my keyboard smells tea. Think I was lucky that the tea was hot. :D

    Anyway, lesson learned!

    As someone here said, the electronics can endure a lot of water unless they're short-circuited. So I would strive to wait as long as possible before turning it on.
  18. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    Wow, that's great news that it's turning on again!

    If you're able to use it for a few days and it's just the keyboard that's acting up, just get a new keyboard installed. It's a very labor-intensive repair (every part must be removed, the computer rebuilt).

    Apple will often quote $755 + tax for the repair, which is a bit ridiculous.

    I know that our MacBook Air keyboard replacement service is very competitively priced, but perhaps you could call some local Mac repair shops and see what they'd charge.

    Again, great news that your Mac turns on!

    (P.S., Even if Macs won't turn on at all after a liquid spill, they can still be repaired. Unfortunately,*very few repair shops can do such repairs economically.)

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