Water damage is one of the most common issues that can affect iPhones. If your iPhone gets exposed to moisture, you may wonder if Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider can fix water damage on an iPhone. Here’s what you need to know about getting water damage fixed for an iPhone.
What causes water damage on an iPhone?
There are a few common ways that water damage can occur on an iPhone:
- Dropping the iPhone in water – This includes dropping it in the bath, a pool, the ocean, etc. If the iPhone is submerged, water can get inside.
- Getting caught in the rain – Using an iPhone outdoors in the rain without protection can allow moisture to seep in, especially if the rain is heavy.
- Spills – Spilling water or another liquid on an iPhone can cause water damage if the liquid gets into any openings.
- Condensation – Condensation from temperature changes can build up moisture inside an iPhone and cause water damage over time.
- Defects – Manufacturing defects or cracks/damage to the iPhone casing can allow moisture to get inside even without an obvious water incident.
The degree of water damage depends on factors like how long the iPhone was exposed to moisture, if it was submerged or splashed, temperature of the water, mineral content, etc. The longer the exposure and the more water gets inside, the worse the damage.
Does Apple fix water damage on iPhones?
Yes, Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers can fix water damage on iPhones. However, whether or not they will fix it depends on the circumstances and degree of damage.
According to Apple’s policies, water damage is not covered under the iPhone’s standard 1-year limited warranty or under extended AppleCare+ coverage. So if there is evidence of water damage, you will have to pay an out-of-warranty fee for the repair.
Here are some key points on Apple’s water damage repair policy:
- If the iPhone was recently exposed to moisture but is still functioning normally, Apple can “dry out” the iPhone using special tools. This service costs a flat rate average of about $600 USD.
- If there is hardware damage from liquid, like corrosion to components, Apple can replace damaged parts. The cost for this depends on the parts needing replacement but is typically between $300-700 USD.
- If the damage is too extensive and not economically repairable, Apple may offer a replacement iPhone at a reduced cost. This generally costs around $300 USD for an older model.
- Data recovery services are also available if needed due to water damage. This starts at around $500 for iPhone data recovery.
Keep in mind that third-party repair shops not authorized by Apple often charge less than Apple for water damage repairs on iPhones. However, getting an unauthorized repair can void your iPhone’s warranty.
Does AppleCare+ cover water damage on iPhone?
Unfortunately, standard AppleCare+ plans for iPhone do not cover water damage repairs. AppleCare+ is an optional extended warranty program you can purchase along with an iPhone or within 60 days of buying it. Here is what AppleCare+ includes:
|Hardware coverage||Extends hardware defect coverage to 2 years from 1 year standard warranty. Covers manufacturer defects.|
|Accidental damage||Covers up to 2 incidents of accidental damage from handling every 12 months, subject to service fee.|
|Theft and loss||Provides up to 2 incidents of coverage for theft or loss every 12 months, subject to replacement fee.|
While AppleCare+ covers accidental physical and liquid damage from things like drops or spills, this does not include general water exposure like rain, splash, or submersion incidents.
You would still need to pay Apple’s out-of-warranty fees for water damage service and repairs, even with AppleCare+.
What to do if your iPhone has water damage
If you suspect or know your iPhone has gotten moisture inside, here are some steps to take:
- Immediately power off the iPhone – This helps minimize short circuits and fires.
- Do not charge the iPhone – Charging can cause further damage if moisture is present.
- Dry it out – Remove case, dry accessible openings with compressed air, place in rice or dessicant packs for 24-48 hours.
- Do not turn it back on until completely dried – Residual moisture can short-circuit the iPhone when powered on.
- Backup data if possible – Make an encrypted iTunes backup if the phone still functions.
- Have it inspected by Apple – Set up a Genius Bar appointment or mail-in repair to inspect for damage.
- Be ready to pay for out-of-warranty service – Apple will charge their water damage repair fees if moisture indicators were triggered.
- Consider insurance claim – For heavy water damage, filing an insurance claim may help cover repair costs.
Following these steps gives you the best chance of saving an iPhone from permanent water damage and getting your data recovered.
How much does Apple charge for iPhone water damage repair?
As mentioned previously, Apple does not cover water damage under warranty. Their out-of-warranty repair fees for iPhones with water damage include:
- iPhone drying: $600 USD average
- iPhone hardware repair: $300-700+ USD
- iPhone replacement: $300 USD (approx. for older models)
- iPhone data recovery: $500+ USD
The specific cost depends on your iPhone model, the components affected, and the extent of corrosion or damage present. In some cases, the phone may be beyond cost-effective repair, leading Apple to suggest a replacement iPhone at a lower cost.
Do home remedies work for iPhone water damage?
There are many suggested home remedies for drying out and fixing an iPhone that has gotten wet. Here are some common ones and whether they are effective:
|Method||Does it Work?|
|Rice||Partially – Rice can help absorb some surface moisture but does not dry inside phone.|
|Silica gel packs||Partially – Works better than rice but still limited for internal drying.|
|Alcohol/cleaning liquids||No – These can further damage electronics and coatings inside the phone.|
|Vacuum drying||Partially – May help draw some moisture out but not fully effective.|
|Sun/heat drying||No – Heat can further damage the iPhone; sunlight cannot penetrate inside.|
|Opening/disassembling||No – Exposes delicate components to moisture; resealing is difficult.|
While these DIY methods may help dry out some external moisture, they cannot fully dry the interior or repair corrosion damage. The most effective way is to have Apple open, properly dry, and repair the iPhone.
Will Apple know if my iPhone had water damage?
Yes, Apple is typically able to detect past water exposure when you bring in an iPhone for service. There are a few ways Apple Geniuses and technicians can check for water damage:
- Liquid contact indicators – Small paper/polymer strips that change color when exposed to moisture. Located both externally and internally.
- Corrosion inspection – Corrosion on electronic components indicates water exposure and conduction.
- Diagnostics – Apple’s internal diagnostics can detect hardware issues consistent with liquid damage.
- Tamper checks – Apple can tell if DIY repairs were done, suggesting possible water damage.
If Apple finds evidence of water damage during inspection, they will charge an out-of-warranty fee even if the phone is no longer wet. Be prepared for this cost by backing up data beforehand.
Does insurance cover iPhone water damage?
You may be able to file an insurance claim for water damage on your iPhone. Cell phone insurance from wireless carriers or third-party insurers typically covers:
- Accidental damage – Includes water/liquid damage from spills, drops, etc.
- Theft and loss – May cover losing phone in water if unable to recover.
- Out-of-warranty breakdowns – May cover hardware damage from water/corrosion.
Coverage and deductibles vary by insurance provider. While AppleCare+ does not cover general water damage, cell phone insurance can help pay Apple’s repair fees and replacement cost in a water damage situation.
|Insurance Provider||Cover Water Damage?||Deductible|
|Verizon||Yes||$99 – $249|
|AT&T||Yes||$150 – $225|
|T-Mobile||Yes||$5 – $20|
|SquareTrade||Yes||$25 – $100|
Review your coverage and file a claim promptly after water damage occurs to avoid non-covered pre-existing damage exclusions.
Should I avoid water damage repairs from third parties?
Many third-party and independent repair shops offer iPhone water damage repair services often at lower prices than Apple. However, there are some downsides to using unauthorized services:
- Voids Apple warranty – Apple warranty is void if third-party repairs are detected.
- Subpar components – Aftermarket parts may not match Apple’s quality standards.
- Data risk – Your personal data is exposed to the repair provider.
- Future repair issues – Apple may refuse future service after third-party repairs.
In some cases, a cheap third-party repair may seem worth the risks and tradeoffs. But for extensive water damage, it is safest to stick with Apple or an Authorized Service Provider.
When can third-party water damage repair be OK?
Here are some instances when third-party iPhone water damage repair may be acceptable:
- Very minor cosmetic damage
- Out-of-warranty older iPhone with less risk
- Only temporary repair needed to recover data
- Cost difference vs. Apple is substantial
- You do not need future Apple repairs or support
Research the third-party provider thoroughly, avoid leakage of personal data, and do not expect a lasting high-quality repair from unauthorized technicians.
Can you prevent iPhone water damage?
While you cannot guarantee an iPhone will never encounter moisture, there are ways to reduce the risk of water damage:
- Use a waterproof iPhone case for wet environments.
- Avoid excessive exposure to rain, dust, beverages.
- Keep away from sinks, baths, pools when not in a case.
- Turn on water lock feature on newer iPhones for extra port protection.
- Dry out iPhone after any splashes or spills, even minor ones.
- Repair any device cracks/openings which allow moisture intrusion.
- Utilize silica gel packs in dusty/humid environments.
While not foolproof, smart habits and moisture protection accessories can help you avoid the costs and hassles of iPhone water damage most of the time.
Water damage is unfortunately a common issue with iPhones and other smartphones containing sensitive electronics. While moisture exposure is not covered under Apple’s warranty, Apple can repair water damaged iPhones for an out-of-warranty fee. The cost ranges from $300 to over $600 in most cases. To get the best outcome, back up your data promptly, dry out the phone as much as possible, and take it to Apple or an Authorized Service Provider for inspection and professional water removal. Though water damage can sometimes be costly to fix, going to Apple gives you the best chance of avoiding permanent component damage or data loss compared to DIY methods. With proper care and prevention, you can also reduce the chances of your iPhone getting water damaged in the future.