One of the smartphones produced by Apple, the iPhone 4 is part telephone, part Internet device, and part music and entertainment player accessible from anywhere for constant entertainment. As a result, many owners choose to take the device everywhere they go, including on runs, while brushing their teeth, and during meal preparation, so it comes as no surprise that one of the most common accidents involving the iPhone 4 is dropping it in water or other liquids. Fortunately, the repair steps are simple for owners of any technical ability and the parts are readily available at local electronics stores and online at eBay.
Remove the dropped iPhone 4 from the water or liquid as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. Then, if it is not already shut down, power the phone off and wipe as much excess water off the front, back, and sides as possible to prevent short circuiting and permanent, irreversible damage.
When dealing with water damage, it is important to work quickly using a specific set of tools and materials.
Tools and Materials
To open the phone case
To free the clips and remove the phone battery
Large resealable plastic bag
To store the phone during drying
Rice or silica gel packets
To draw moisture from inside the phone
Cotton swabs and absorbent towels
To dry the phone's components
Before beginning the repair, spread out a thick, fluffy towel to catch any excess moisture and provide a soft surface on which to work. This also prevents the liquid from damaging the work area.
The first step in saving a water-damaged iPhone 4 is removing the back of the phone to access the battery and SIM card. Using a case opener tool, pry the back cover off one side at a time, taking care not to damage the plastic security clips. Slip a pick tool from the set or a pair of tweezers underneath these clips to release them safely and set the case aside to dry.
Using the same pick tool, remove the battery, and use the tweezers to disengage the battery ribbon for safe reattachment later. Then, remove the SIM card. Immediately use a dry towel and cotton swabs to dry all traces of moisture inside the case and the phone itself.
Fill a large zipper plastic bag about halfway full with any variety of dry rice or add 15 to 20 silica gel packets and slip the phone inside. Zip the bag shut to create a barrier from the outside air. Leave the phone in the rice or gel packs for at least 24 hours, and then remove the phone to a towel to dry for an additional 48 hours in the open air. During this time, it is vitally important to let the components dry at their own pace. Using a heat source to try to dry the phone can melt the components of the phone.
After the phone is completely dry, work in reverse to reassemble the phone. Begin by replacing the SIM card in its proper slot and then connecting the battery cable and reseating the battery in its compartment. Lightly press the back cover into place, taking care to ensure the clips seat properly.
Turn the phone over and gently depress the power button for about five seconds to start the booting process. Be patient during this time, as it may take up to 30 seconds to fully power on. If everything functions, resume using the device to connect with friends or surf the Internet.
Whether you need a screen removal tool set, a new touchscreen, or other internal components, you can find them on eBay. You can search the Daily Deals or the rest of the site using keywords in the Search bar located on any site page. Try phrases such as "iPhone 4 digitiser and screen" or "screen lifter tool" to find what you need.
When owners drop an iPhone 4 in liquids of any kind, they should remove the device as quickly as possible and start drying the phone right away. Doing so can ensure the device continues to function. Having rice or silica gel packets on hand is always a good idea, and shoppers can find both on eBay.