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iPhone XR won't turn on after contact with water

Hey everyone

I've been using my iPhone XR which has several cracks and recently have been hit by a wave (yes, a very big one that caught me on the beach) whilst having the phone in my pocket.

I immediately turned off the phone (seemed to be working fine at that moment), dried it, put it in a bowl of rice later and left it there for 2 days.

Ever since then however, the phone won't turn on. I've tried holding the power button for longer times, connecting it to the power cable, doing a soft reset (up, down, power for 10+ seconds) - no reaction whatsoever.

As the phone didn't even get that wet, I'm a little bit stunned that it isn't turning on at all.

I wondered if there's anything I can do if maybe I open up the phone. Check for remaining water, replugging back some cables whatsoever.

Has anyone had a similar experience and been able to revive his phone? I would very much appreciate your help then!

Thank you very much in advance :-)

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Hi,

The impurities in the water causes corrosion and provides circuit paths for the electricity which were not in the phone's operating design and could damage the components. The corrosion starts immediately and is ongoing until it is completely cleaned away.

Rice does not fix the problems caused by corrosion. Rice is for dinner, not repair

First do not try to charge or to turn on your phone and then remove the battery as soon as possible from the phone to minimize any further damage.

Then you need to dis-assemble the rest of the phone and clean all the affected parts using Isopropyl Alcohol 99%+ (available at electronics parts stores) to remove all traces of corrosion and water. If possible do not use "rubbing alcohol" as in some cases this is only 70% IPA or less, can contain additives and is not as effective. If you do have to use it check the label to verify the amount of IPA. The higher the percentage of IPA the better

Here is a link that describes the process. Electronics Water Damage

As always with electronics, especially surface mounted pcb be gentle when handling and especially when brushing away the corrosion. You do not want to remove any components from the board. Remove the shields that may be covering some components as the water may have got in under there. The ends of any flex cables and their connectors need to be cleaned as well

Hopefully after you have done all this the phone might possibly work correctly again.

Here is the ifixit iPhone XR guide that may help.

If this process seems too daunting, take your phone to a reputable, professional phone repair service, experienced in liquid damage repair and ask for a quote for a repair. If you decide to do this, do it sooner than later.

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Thank you so much, it worked!

I followed the steps and cleaned all of the components and connectors (with 70% IPA, as I only had this one at home), and after having it dry for another day at some point I was able to power it back on.

Main cause definitely seems to be the battery, as the phone only works when it's between 10-20% and else powers off immediately.

The display took some damage too, as well as the Taptic Engine that's making weird noises now, so I probably will be replacing the phone, but at least this way I can now save all my data :-D

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@Kev Da Silva

Glad that you got it going, at least enough to retrieve your data.

Don't know much about Apple but perhaps it may be prudent to think about using their iCloud feature to safeguard your data.

That way in future if the same or any other accident happened to your phone and it couldn't be accessed at least you will still have your data.

Looking at the link it seems that "basic" iCloud is free and is good for storing all the basics, like contacts, calendars and notes.

Scroll to the bottom for more info. Also the prices etc may be different to what is available in your location.

Just a thought.

Cheers.

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You’ve let the corrosion from the salt water take hold and set into the board by leaving it in ‘rice’ for 2 days which does nothing to dry out the phone. Chances are the board could now be beyond repair due to corrosion eating away at the board and components. Take it to a phone shop and see if there’s any chance of saving it.

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