I drowned my iPhone

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo, David

I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 4:06 am

Here's my adventure trying to revive my drowned iPhone. Fellow battery geeks, please read and help me out a bit...

My iPhone took a dunk two days ago. Water seeped inside and did some damage. At first, the touchscreen didn't work reliably (pressing it would sometimes click, sometimes do nothing). There was a lovely mottled design across the screen itself, which made the screen overall much darker, even though some areas were much brighter than they should have been. The volume buttons worked, the home button worked, but the silencer button didn't, and the power button was shorted so that it was constantly being activated, which meant I could not turn off the phone, as it would constantly turn itself on again. I buried it in a bucket of rice and left it for a day.

After a day of freedom not having a phone, I dug my iPhone out of the rice. It was in no better condition than it was. I could have kept it in the rice for longer, but I figured that charging it might heat it up and force the moisture to evaporate out of the phone. I hooked it up to my desktop's USB port and left it there overnight.

When I woke up this morning the phone was still not charged at all. I concluded that the constant turning-on that the phone endured due to the stuck power button must have undervolted the battery to the point where it was essentially dead. To revive it I'd need more amps, so I hooked it up in my car on the way to work. Happily, the phone charged to 20% in just about 40 minutes. It got very hot, though.

Now that the phone was charged a bit I hooked it up to my desktop at work. Eight hours later, the phone was just around 50% charge. On the ride home I plugged it into the car again. It charged up to 60%, where it changed to the 'plug' icon, indicating full charge, when it clearly was at 60%. I talked on the phone for a few minutes and dropped about 10% battery capacity. :o Then I plugged it in again in the car and it charged past 60%, but took over an hour to get up to 100%. At 100%, a <10 minute phone conversation took 7% battery life from the phone.

The iPhone still gets amazingly hot. Not too hot to touch, but still way too hot. The power button stopped being constantly in a depressed state, but it works unreliably. The silencer button goes through periods, sometimes several minutes long, when it thinks it is being activated and deactivated. Sometimes it'll do it, sometimes it won't, but it's nerve wracking to have the thing sitting on my desk or in the car just randomly vibrating.

I imagine it's dangerous to use, as the heat probably indicates that the battery is going to melt or explode, but at least it works. I'm going to have trouble rounding up $600 for a replacement. Either way, I'm glad I was able to get it to work, at least for a little while longer.
Sheep Rustlers in the sky! <S> Slapt | <S> FUI | Air Warrior II/III
FireGryphon
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7328
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 7:53 pm
Location: the abyss into which you gaze

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:58 am

Have you looked into options for cracking the case and replacing the battery?
He who laughs last, laughs first next time.
ludi
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5407
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 3:26 pm

...and Angry Birds on the toilet claims another victim.
UberGerbil
Gerbil Khan
 
Posts: 9971
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 3:58 pm

UberGerbil wrote:...and Angry Birds on the toilet claims another victim.

Lawl. :D
Synchromesh
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 996
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:56 am
Location: The Land of Beetles.

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 10:05 pm

Too late now, but your best bet was probably to put it somewhere really warm (125-150F) overnight. I doubt the rice accomplished much; the moisture was trapped inside as liquid water, and the rice would've done very little to help vaporize it. I suppose if it was brand new rice out of a completely airtight package, or if you baked the rice first to drive out any moisture it had already picked up it may have helped a little (by reducing the humidity of the air around the phone). But IMO it is more likely that the rice had already reached equilibrium with the ambient humidity level (and therefore accomplished nothing, or even made matters worse by hindering air circulation).
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37510
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:10 pm

just brew it! wrote:Too late now, but your best bet was probably to put it somewhere really warm (125-150F) overnight. I doubt the rice accomplished much; the moisture was trapped inside as liquid water, and the rice would've done very little to help vaporize it. I suppose if it was brand new rice out of a completely airtight package, or if you baked the rice first to drive out any moisture it had already picked up it may have helped a little (by reducing the humidity of the air around the phone). But IMO it is more likely that the rice had already reached equilibrium with the ambient humidity level (and therefore accomplished nothing, or even made matters worse by hindering air circulation).

I dunno... I've known several people who drowned their phones, and rice was always the most successful remedy. However, a day was probably not sufficient. I would have left it in there several days.
Buub
Maximum Gerbil
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 4192
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2002 11:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Fri May 25, 2012 11:24 pm

Unless controlled tests are done with identically wet phones of the same model, where some are put in bowls of rice and some are not, I don't think we can draw any firm conclusions. The phones may have dried out in the same amount of time without the rice.

Rice that has been exposed to ambient air for any length of time isn't going to be a very good desiccant unless you bake it first to drive out the moisture it has already picked up...

Oh, and the OP really should've taken the battery out immediately when the phone got wet, and not tried to charge it until it was dried out. Much of the damage water causes to electronics is actually due to galvanic corrosion that results when energized circuits are exposed to moisture. You really need to remove all sources of power until the water's gone...
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37510
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: I drowned my iPhone

Postposted on Sat May 26, 2012 2:43 am

Just Brew It has the right idea. Relying on rice as a dessicant to draw out the moisture will not be a reliable option. What I've done in the past, which has worked to save a number of devices which managed to get wet, one way or another:
  • Immediately remove all sources of power. For you Apple fans this means you have to open the case and cut the battery leads. You want to do this as quickly as possible -- while the battery is powering the wet circuit boards it is galvanically destroying them.
  • Rinse everything thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol. It's relatively benign and wil help remove the water and any other contaminents (like salts).
  • Put it in a warm oven at around 130-150 degF. Cook it for a few hours; overnight is better.
  • Inspect everything before re-attaching the battery. If you see any signs of contaminants repeat the rinse and bake.
Having said all that... Sometimes the device just can't be saved.
mnecaise
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia


Return to Mobile Tech

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests