How to fix "No Service" after being dropped in water?

So I went to the pool 4 days ago, and I wasn't thinking and jumped in the water with my iPhone 6 in my pocket. After about 10 seconds, I realized and took it out, and powered it off immediately. Since then, I have left the phone in a bag of rice for 3 days. I thought this would be enough, but it wouldn't turn on after I took it out, even after I tried to give it a hard reset.

So today I opened the phone, only to find water still inside. I let it dry for 5 hours, then used cool air from a hair dryer to dry it out even more. After plugging it all back up, I rebooted it, and it works! However, the lcd screen is very spotty and the backlight is uneven, which I can live with.

Now the only problem is my phone cannot find cell service, it is stuck on "Searching...".

Also the battery is draining about 10x faster than normal, which is a pain. Does anyone know what I can do to fix this cell service problem? I am comfortable doing repairs with the phone, I have a lot of experience. What can I do to get service again?

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You'll probably find there is some corrosion on the logic board thats effecting your signal and also draining your battery through a possible short circuit.

I'd disconnect the battery and remove the logic board and give the board a thorough clean with a soft toothbrush and isoproynol alchohol to remove any residue and corrosion.

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I did use some rubbing alcohol and a q-tip to try to clean it, do you think I need to submerge it?


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Rice does absolutely nothing! It's a myth!

Your best bet is to get it professionally cleaned at a repair shop that uses ultrasonic cleaning.

Toothbrush and 99.9% isypropyl alcohol can help a lot, use a toothbrush on most of it and also submerge it, but ultrasonic cleaning gets under the shields to, where your toothbrush can not.

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That "myth" has saved 3 iPhones so far for me.


Using rice is the same as putting it next to a fan that is turned on to air it out.

If you want an actual fix that clears out the liquid damage in the phone you actually have to open it up and dry it out + 95%+ isophryl alcohol clean the connections.

Depending on how much liquid it may have or may have not gotten into contact with ribbon connectors and logic board.

If it does then there will be signs of corrosion (white / green) and / or burn marks (black) on the board and possibly still be wet / have liquid on there.

Plugging a liquid damaged phone to a charger ends up shorting liquid affected components to the point of where it burns them out and can make the board actually unfixable.


Those 3 iPhones got 'lucky'

And I guarantee that they probably act like complete trash with terrible battery or a few things not working, or not enough water got in.

Don't try come on a fixing forum spreading complete lies about something that has never and will never actually fix phones, it's the same as me sticking my phone by a magic lamp and wishing for it to be fixed.


@gedo1992 " magic lamp and wishing for it to be fixed." are you now saying those don't work either? Darn! lol


@oldturkey03 I am sorry to break your heart, but it's true! :( hahaha


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Ged is absolutely correct. Rice is a myth. If your phone did work after a couple of days, its because the water naturally evaporated out by itself. EXAMPLE: If you left your car windows open during a rain storm, would you... A: Park the car in the garage with the windows up and put bags of rice around your car? B: Park your car in the sun with the windows down?

I am a professional repair shop owner and I hear it all the time. Bring to a repair shop or at least turn it off and put the phone in a food dehydrator for a day !!!

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I wouldn't say it's due to water evaporation that saved it, since when the liquid has evaporated, it leaves behind minerals which cause corrosion, which is why you have a higher success rate on a device that's freshly wet, than a device that's been left to dry, some devices that work after liquid damage only work because liquid didn't get in a location where it causes major damage, or hardly any liquid got in to begin with.

It's a bad idea to let it dry or use a dehydrator, as using a dehydrator will just speed up the corrosion process.

I completely agree that you should get it to a professional that can clean the logic board of the liquid and any corrosion on the board. :-)


Why are you debating semantics here Ged? If it didn't work with water in it, the water evaporates away, and then it works...then the water evaporating is why it now functions. The minerals left behind can cause damage, but not like you're describing. They only cause damage if the phone becomes wet again because they increase the electrical conductivity of the new water by making it saltier.

A person doing it at home doesn't have access to an ultrasonic bath....a food dehydrator is the next best choice for at home repair. It doesn't speed up the corrosion process, as the corrosion is the result of oxidation, not the salts. The dehydrator is increasing the rate at which the water evaporates, which in turn decreases the amount of oxidation that can occur. A food dehydrator will mitigate the damage the water is able to cause. That why all board warmers have a fan in them, to move the high humidity air off the board as it warms. They're the same thing as a dehydrator.


"A person doing at home doesn't have access to an ultrasonic bath"

Which is why I said in my answer "your best bet is to get it professionally cleaned at a repair shop that uses ultrasonic cleaning"

Putting electric in to anything with corrosion will cause shorts, damaging the phone further.

I also gave tips for people at "home" using isopropyl alcohol, and a toothbrush to clean up any liquid, or corrosion in the phone, these are easily obtainable.

I'd rather go out and get those, than leave my phone in a dehydrator, I'd say you have a far better chance of your phone working using isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush, than leaving it to dry in a dehydrator.

I would leave it in a dehydrator if the liquid was pure, but unfortunately, that's not what happens, people don't drop their phones in to deionised water, so minerals are left behind, regardless of how you dry it, I've seen phones been put in dehydrators, or on the radiator, or people using hair dryers etc. Most of them just have corrosion, and don't work.


If a phone is brought in, still wet, that hasn't been charged, then the success of getting that phone working again is extremely high, however, a phone that has been left to dry, charged (electrolysis), or is dried out in other ways, have a less successful percentage.

Board warmers, are mainly used after ultrasonic cleaning, you don't stick a board that's just been soaked in toilet water in there, nobody in this industry would do that, so why would you do that with a dehydrator?


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