Can Water Damaged iPhone be Fixed?

What’s the scoop with putting my water exposed iPhone in uncooked, white rice?  Does it really work?

There’s not many of us who haven’t heard of someone who’s put their iPhone that went for a swim in uncooked, white rice for 48 hours and it miraculously revived. Does this really work?  Can water damaged iPhone be fixed in this manner? The theory is that the rice will absorb the moisture in your iPhone and voila…water is gone. The simple truth is that it doesn’t work.  Before you disagree with me, I can tell you with certainty that if the rice “worked” its because you didn’t have a significant amount of water enter your iPhone in the first place. Can Water Damage iPhone Be Fixed

Most of us know that water happens to be a wonderful conductor of electricity, so when water is introduced to an electrical current a short circuit will take place. You see, electricity likes the path of least resistance.  When water creates that path, it will take it and cause a circuit to “short”.  You might think of it this way.  Electricity follows a designed path, and a water drop creates an unplanned path for that electrical current.

This is a big deal with iPhone logic boards because they are a complex network of thousands of circuits that even the smallest droplet of water can short circuit. Here are THE MOST IMPORTANT things you should do when you take your iPhone for a swim.

  1. Your iPhone will likely shut off.  DO NOT attempt to turn it back on under any circumstance and certainly DO NOT plug it in to your charging cable. You don’t want to re-introduce an electrical current to the water inside your iPhone.
  2. Get your iPhone to the nearest repair center ASAP (like within a couple of hours).  The sooner a water exposed iPhone can get opened to begin drying out with the battery disconnected, the better.

If you have the tools, and you’re a DIYer at heart, then check out my step by step instruction below or visit my video tutorial on how to open your iPhone 6 to get it dried out to have the best chance at survival. Repair videos are coming soon so check back often.  *Please note, if your iPhone is less than one year old, having anyone (even yourself) open your iPhone other than a certified Apple dealer, it will void the one year manufacture warranty.

More likely than not, you’ll need to replace the battery.  This is common practice in the industry as batteries don’t do well after water exposure.

The absolute HIGHEST possible success rate for water damaged iPhones is getting it to a repair shop within a few hours. The water typically doesn’t destroy your phone initially. It’s the rust and corrosion after it sits for a couple days (in rice).

Can Water Damge iPhone Be FixedIt’s money well spent. I had a customer recently who was thrilled to retrieve her 2,200+ Hawaiian vacation pictures after dropping her iPhone in the toilet. She brought me her iPhone within a couple of hours, and it wasn’t working.  Hers was a success story; however, no one can guarantee revival success, but the permanent damage rate exponentially increases the longer you wait. One more tip…sync your iPhone regularly or have some method of storing your irreplaceable videos and pictures.

iPhone 6 Step by Step DIY Guide for drying out your newly submerged iPhone

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  1. Tools you need from left to right.  Suction cup, iSesamo pry tool, #00 phillips screwdriver, pentalobe screwdriver, plastic spudger, tweezers and magnetic mat (not imperative but really helps keeping screws in place).

 

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2. Using the pentalobe screwdriver, remove the two pentalobe screws. From left to right, here on the iPhone 6, you have the headphone jack, lower microphone, dock, speaker holes.

 

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3. Place suction cup on glass just above the home button.  As you apply mild pressure upward, the screen will separate from the frame.  Many DIY videos want you to pull with enough force to completely pop the screen off the frame.  Although this technique works, if too much force is applied, the screen will pop up too far and rip important flex cables attached at the top of the screen.  I recommend lifting just enough to insert a plastic spudger just underneath the separated glass above the headphone jack.

 

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4. Be careful not to insert the spudger too far.  1/8-1/4 inches is plenty.

 

 

 

 

 

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5. Once inserted, pry (leverage) the spudger upwards at an angle using its flat edge.  The motion would be similar to tightening a screwdriver a quarter turn to the right. The screen will pop up on that bottom right side.

 

 

 

can-water-damaged-iphone-be-fixed6. Begin sliding the spudger to the right of the home button and repeat lifting the screen in the same manner as before.  Now repeat this motion sliding down the right side of the screen lifting every inch or so.  You will see and feel the screen lifting out of its frame.

 

 

 

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Optional:  If your iPhone screen is cracked, you may not get a good seal with the suction. Just above and between the headphone jack and lower mic. insert an iSesamo pry tool and gently pry up to release the bottom left of the screen.  Again, be careful not to place the iSesamo more than 1/8-1/4 inch into the phone.

 

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7. This is important!  Open the iPhone screen by lifting from the bottom.  (like a clam opening) The screen cannot be removed.  It is attached by four flex cables under a protective shield at the top of the iPhone. Notice the water inside still pooled on the battery and logic board.  With one hand hold the screen upwards and do not exceed a 90 degree angle.

 

 

can-water-damaged-iphone-be-fixed8. It’s time to disconnect the battery.  The battery connects below a shield that has two phillips head screws securing it in place.  Remove the two screws and place on magnetic mat.

 

can-water-damaged-iphone-be-fixed9. Once the screws are out, remove the shield.  The foam adhered to the tops of the battery flex and dock connector flex under this shield can create a mild sticky feel.  In other words, the shield may need a bit of motivation to lightly pry it up.

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10. There are two flex cables connected to the logic board.  The one shown here is where the battery connects.

 

 

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11.  Take the flat end of the spudger, place it under the battery flex and lightly pry using an upward motion like turning a screwdriver a quarter turn to the left this time.

 

can-water-damaged-iphone-be-fixed12. Lift the battery connector so it’s completely separated from the logic board.  It’s ok to bend the flex cable so it stays upright.

 

 

can-water-damaged-iphone-be-fixed13. Set your iPhone on end like shown. Allow it to air dry for at least 24 hours.

If you followed these steps within a couple of hours of water exposure and haven’t tried to turn your iPhone back on or plugged it in, your survival rate is much higher than placing the phone in rice (which doesn’t work) or hoping it didn’t do anything major.

 

can-water-damaged-iphone-be-fixedThere are a couple of water damage indicators in the iPhone 6. One is at the top of the iPhone just to the left of the EMI shield as shown.  It it’s white, water hasn’t penetrated into this part of the phone.  If red, like here, water.

Once again, there is no sure fire way to guarantee an iPhone’s survival when exposed to water; however, your chances exponentially increase if you follow the above steps or get it to a local technician.

Once you’ve waited 24 or more hours, you don’t need to put the iPhone back together to test if it works.  Simply reconnect the battery, lower the screen so it’s just resting on the frame, and Power it up.  If your lucky, you’ll see the Apple Logo staring back at you.

If it fires up test all the functions of the iPhone. Cameras, buttons, touch ID, touch screen, vibrate motor, headphone jack, microphones and speakers, etc.

If it all checks out, my suggestion is to REPLACE THE BATTERY. I will soon have a battery replacement video produced to DIY and recommend where to buy a new battery.

But I have a different iPhone model.

The above steps can be followed for the iPhone 5 and 5c with the only difference being the configuration of the brackets holding down the battery flex.

The iPhone 5S is a completely different animal in that the home button is attached by a flex cable just above the dock connector.  If you pull up on the screen, you will tear the home button flex.  Although this can be replaced, your touch ID will never work again because that home button is paired to your iPhone. Comment on this page, and I can help you through that tricky little connection.

The iPhone 6S is different only in that Apple added a relatively strong adhesive around the glass adhering it to the frame.  You can use the same technique above, but the adhesive makes it a bit more of a “sticky” situation.

If your iPhone 7 goes for a swim…well, I hope you have insurance at this point.  I would not recommend opening your 7.

I hope this helped you out.

If you have any thoughts or questions please comment, and I’d be happy to help answer any questions you may have about your water damaged iPhone.

iPhone Insurance Plans

Why pay for iPhone insurance plans since deductibles are so expensive?

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The owner of this phone 6S here walked into my store the other day.  Maybe you’re in the same boat.  If you’re an owner of a broken iPhone and you currently have insurance, you’re probably frustrated at the high deductible replacement cost and still have a broken screen.  What’s the point of even paying for iPhone insurance plans?  It doesn’t seem to be saving me money.

You’re not entirely wrong about that premise; however, to me the number one most important reason insurance is if you’re iPhone gets lost or stolen.  Deductible costs are far less than having to buy a brand new iPhone, and in most cases, less expensive than a refurbished one (unless it’s an older model…and who wants that?).  Broken iPhones can be repaired.  Stolen iPhones cannot.

How likely is it that someone will steal my iPhone?

iphone insurance plansAccording to Consumer Reports, 3.1 million Americans had their smartphone stolen in 2013. What does that mean put simply?  1 in 10 owners of smartphones fell victim to theft, and 68% of them never did recover their phones.

Let’s see if you can guess where smartphones are most prone to theft.

 

A. A public setting

B. An automobile or house

C. Right off the victim’s person

According to a study compiled in March 2014 by IDG Research, the most likely place a smartphone was stolen was “A” a public place.  Now let’s see if you can guess the most common public place.

A. At work

B. A nightclub or bar

C. Restaurant

According to the same study, the most common place a smartphone was stolen was at “C” a restaurant.

The crazy part?  Of those surveyed, the highest percentage of those iphone insurance planssmartphones stolen in restaurant were simply because the owner left their phone behind.  That’s right.  They forgot and left it behind.  Take inventory when you go to leave a public place.  Wallet? check. Purse? check. Keys? check. Cellphone? check.

There is some good news in these statistics because just last year, Consumer Reports reported, in a similar study, that smartphone theft lowered from the prior study in 2013.  Only 2.1 million smartphone owners had their phones stolen in 2016 compared to 2013’s survey totaling 3.1 million.

The fact remains, there is still a 1 in 13 chance if you’re an owner of a smartphone, it will be stolen this year.  Why?  Because we’re forgetful. Yikes.  One last piece of data that is important when deciding whether to insure your iPhone.  In addition to the 2.1 million stolen smartphones, 3.1 million are reported lost each year.  Both good reasons to insure your iPhone.

What’s the best insurance for my iPhone?

I’m glad you asked.  Check back as I post a review of the top iPhone insurance providers.  If you miss the post, go to my homepage and look under Product Reviews in the menu.

If you enjoyed this read, please leave a comment letting me know.  If you have a question about iPhone insurance or repairs, I’d be happy to address these as well.

Thanks for reading, but before you go…grab your iPhone.

 

iPhone Repair Service Near Me or DIY?

Do It Yourself – You CAN do it!

apple-iphone-repair-screenIf you’re one of the 30% of iPhone users who have a broken iPhone, you’ve searched online for iPhone repair service near me or something similar. The internet is filled with hundreds of videos detailing procedures to fix your broken iPhone along with a DIY kit.  The repair business has made a cool $5.9 Billion dollars repairing broken smart phones in the past ten years.

Being part of this repair business for five of those years as a mobile technician and current owner and operator of a store front, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly regarding DIY iPhone repair advice.  As I write, the number one viewed Youtube repair video for an iPhone 6 with a staggering 4.5 million views is produced well and seems clear.  Heck!  It makes the repair look easy, BUT IT HAS FLAWS that, for the DIYer, can cause at minimum lots of frustration, and at worst, irreversible damage.  

I make part of my living repairing iPhones, but the thing that brings me great joy is helping folks in all areas of iPhone repair and advice.

I hope you will find this website a great resource to help guide your iPhone repairs with clarity and honesty from years of training, learning and practice.  I’ve seen and heard almost everything in the iPhone repair business.  The stories I’ve heard and iPhones I’ve seen are as varied as your imagination can take you.  I’ve repaired iPhones from dropping in a toilet to dropping into a glass of chocolate milk…being driven over by a car to being rolled over by a steamroller (really)…being dropped from a lap to being thrown against a wall by an angry girlfriend.

Our iPhones get broken, and for whatever the reason, we need them repaired.  For those of you DIYers out there brave enough to take on the challenge, ask me a question.  I want to help you. Go jump over to another post I have to check out a repair kit I recommend that’s affordable and highly rated for an iPhone 6.  Check out my own screen repair video for an iPhone 6. It gives step by step instructions and time saving strategies to guide your way to a successful DIY iPhone repair.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about your repair, please email me at patrick@iphonerepairtips.com or leave a comment below, and I’d be happy to respond.  Happy repairing!

iPhone Screen Repair Cost: To DIY or not to DIY?

Save on iPhone Screen Repair Cost & DIY

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Is it possible to keep my iPhone screen repair cost down by repairing my own iPhone screen, or should I just pay someone to do it?  Apple will always tell you to take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store, and sometimes that’s warranted, especially if your iPhone is still under its one year manufacturer warranty.  However, do you take your Honda to the Honda dealership to fix an oil leak or repair a broken transmission?  Many of us don’t.  We take it to a mechanic we trust.

Well, if I was a better salesman, I’d tell you to take it to an experienced iPhone repair tech, like me, to get the job done quickly and efficiently.  However, don’t we all want to save money where we can?  If I can learn how to fix iPhones, you can do it.  Trust me. Buy an iPhone Repair Kit and GO FOR IT!   I recommend this affordably priced, yet highly rated iPhone 6 White Screen Repair Kit. An order link for an iPhone 6 Black Screen Repair Kit is given at the bottom of this post.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s a simple process.  If it was, many more people would be doing it.  (Go and read my “About Me” article in the main menu to hear my first repair story.) The problem IS NOT the repair process itself. The trouble lies in the repair videos, guides and products that are lacking information that will, at best, cause you serious frustration, and worst, damage your iPhone irreparably.  I’ve previewed many iPhone DIY repair videos and guides over the years, and many of these miss vital information.

Here’s a simple example of what I mean by alleviating frustration in your own DIY repair that so many videos advise regarding an iPhone screen repair.  iphone screen repair costAfter removing the two pentalobe screws (5 point)  on each side of the dock connector, many “how to” guides recommend and model removing the screen using a suction cup. iphone screen repair cost

 

 

 

 

The trouble is, they often show the removal or lifting of the LCD/Digitizer assembly on a clean, unbroken screen. Suction works great on a clean, unbroken surface.  Not so much on a shattered screen.  You won’t damage your iPhone screen more, but it will cause you serious frustration because it just doesn’t work. You’ll just end up yelling at your computer screen like I do when I watch a DIY repair video that isn’t working the way it shows.

There is a much better, frustration free method, but you’ll need to head to  my repair guides (currently under production) to find out more DIY tips. However, I have posted a step by step process to partially remove a screen for water damage iPhones here. If you’re ready to repair your broken iPhone 6 screen, be sure to check out my step by step repair video of a live screen repair here.

Advice to consider:

  • Just because a Youtube video has millions of views, it doesn’t mean it’s error free or the BEST approach to take in repairing your iPhone.
  • Most videos and guides show you how to take your iPhone apart, but they don’t reverse the process.  If you’ve ever tinkered with taking apart anything, you know that putting it back together is even harder than taking it apart.
  • Guides that show you a scale of difficulty, in other words, on a scale of 1-10 this is a 7…or a rubric that states easy, moderate, difficult.  For an absolute beginner, it’s likely going to take you longer and be harder than it appears.  BUT, you can do it!

What’s my advice?

Since I’m a DIYer, I’m interested in your success as a DIYer.  I want you to be successful and save money. I recommend an affordable and highly rated iPhone 6 Black Screen Repair kit here.

Please come back and check out my repair videos as I complete them for a thorough representation of actual repairs that I perform out of my store.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

I would be thrilled to answer your DIY iPhone questions, so feel welcome to ask away!

 

iPhone Battery Drains Fast: What Can I Do?

My iPhone battery drains fast iPhone-Battery-Drains-Fast

Does your iPhone battery drain fast?  It can over time.  But here’s a tip not many of my customers know when they walk into my store.  Sometimes, it’s actually an issue with the digital sensor.  Do you find your digital readout showing 75% then dropping to 20% and possibly jumping back up to 50%? Does this sound similar to what you are experiencing? Many believe they need a new battery. It could very likely be a calibration issue.

How long should my battery last?

It is true that all LiIon iPhone batteries have a life cycle.  They will eventually wear out; however, generally speaking they will maintain 100% strength for anywhere from 400-500 charging cycles.  After that, the battery will drop to about 80% of its initial capacity.  Multiple issues can negatively effect this “normal” life cycle.  Excessive heat, water exposure, and leaving the iPhone on a charger much of the time to name a few.

However, if your iPhone digital sensor jumps from full charge to low charge in a short amount of time it may very well be a calibration issue.  That digital sensor needs to be calibrated to the actual battery life.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Make sure your iPhone battery is fully drained
  2. Charge it up to full WITHOUT USING THE iPHONE (this is important)
  3. When fully charged, Go into SETTINGS
  4. Select General

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5. Scroll down to Reset

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6. Select Reset All Settings (DO NOT CHOOSE Erase all Content and Settings…that would be bad)

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7. It will ask if you’re sure you want to do this.  Yes you are sure.

This will calibrate your iPhone’s digital sensor to the actual battery life in your phone and will likely stop the battery’s rapid decline in charge percentage.  What will resetting all settings do to my content?  NOTHING.  The only inconvenience will be that you’ll need to re-enter passwords for apps you typically log into automatically.

 

I’ve saved countless customers time and money with this simple tip.

If this simple and FREE advice gets you back up and running, comment and share your story.  If not, call Apple and they can determine how many charging cycles your battery has  completed.  It may be that it is time to invest in a new battery after all.

 

 

 

Apple iPhone Screen Repair or Claim Insurance??

Should I Repair My iPhone or File an Insurance Claim?

“To Fix or not to Fix, that is the question?  Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous insurance deductibles or to take payment to get my iPhone repaired…”  Quite possibly Shakespeare, if alive today, would write such a soliloquy.apple iphone repair service

With more and more regularity I get the unfortunate and sheepish customer walk into my store asking the familiar “how much” to fix my iPhone 7? My response is always the same.  I ask, “Do you have insurance?” More often than not, the reply is, “Yes, but the deductible is expensive!”

Here’s the scoop.

There are 3rd party repair companies and individuals who will repair your phone, and I’m sure you’ve already searched the internet under iPhone repair service near me; however, BE AWARE! What many of my customers don’t know is this:  If your phone is less than one year old and anyone outside of Apple repairs your phone, it will VOID the 1 year limited manufacture warranty.  Is this a big deal?  Actually, yes.

My iPhone is brand new

Brand new iPhones can have “issues” involving their home buttons, charging ports, batteries, hardware or software malfunctions and the like. In fact, as I write this, the new iPhone 7 is having issues with the front and rear cameras totally BLACKED out.  I had a customer come into my store today asking what happened?  After visiting Apple’s support page, apparently he’s not alone.  If your iPhone has any legit issues , like a camera sensor malfunctioning causing black out camera issues, that weren’t due to your dropping, throwing, spilling on or inadvertent slip of your iPhone, it’s likely covered under Apple’s limited 1 year manufacture warranty.  Let me tell you, these issues DO happen.

Sound Advice

So here’s my advice to my customers.  As I write this post, after market LCD/Digitizer replacement assemblies are actually more expensive than your deductible, so you won’t be saving money getting your iPhone repaired.

The bigger issue is the manufacture warranty.  My advice?  File an insurance claim and get a replacement iPhone if your iPhone screen is broken.  Unfortunately, if your iPhone screen is cracked, and you DO have a qualifying issue under the 1 year limited manufacturer warranty, it won’t be honored.  Why you ask?  Because your “break” was likely a reason for the camera blacking out or the home button not functioning properly.  Even if the issue you are having with your camera blacking out was happening prior to your dropped iPhone, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will honor the warranty.

Bonus Advice

You want some bonus advice for free because I care?  If you don’t have your iPhone 7 insured, BUY an insurance plan.  There are a few good options to choose from.  If you want to know more about comparing plans, check out my “What’s the Best Insurance Provider for my iPhone?” post under PRODUCT REVIEWS coming soon.

Please don’t hesitate to leave comments or ask questions.  I’m happy to respond or help advise you just as any customer that walks into my store.