How do you fix a water damaged iPhone that won’t charge?

Dealing with a water damaged iPhone that won’t charge can be extremely frustrating. However, there are several steps you can take to try and revive your iPhone and get it charging again. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through all the troubleshooting tips and repairs needed to fix an iPhone that’s been damaged by water and won’t charge.

Quick Diagnosis and First Steps

When an iPhone gets wet, liquid can seep into small openings and cause corrosion or short circuits with the internal components. This is usually what leads to charging issues after water exposure. Here are some quick first steps to take:

  • Dry it off – Use a soft cloth to wipe away any external moisture
  • Don’t charge it – Don’t try to power on or charge until it’s dried out
  • Disassemble it – Take it apart to dry out and inspect internal damage
  • Remove SIM card & battery – Take out removable components to dry separately

Following these initial troubleshooting tips can prevent further damage as you work to revive the water damaged iPhone.

Thoroughly Dry Out the iPhone

The most important step after water damage is thoroughly drying the iPhone before attempting to power it on or charge it. Water left inside can short circuit components and cause corrosion buildup. Here are suggestions for drying methods:

  • Leave it in dry rice – Bury it in a bowl of dry, uncooked rice to absorb moisture
  • Use a desiccant – Silica gel packets absorb moisture well
  • Try a drying box/bag – These use heat or desiccants to actively dry devices
  • Use a fan – Blow air directly into charging port and other openings
  • Wait several days – Give sufficient time for any interior moisture to fully evaporate

Be patient and allow up to a week for the iPhone to dry out before reassembling and testing it. This gives time for trapped moisture underneath chips or other components to dissipate.

Clean Out and Dry Charging Port

The iPhone’s charging port tends to be most vulnerable to liquid damage. Use the following steps to thoroughly clean and dry it out:

  • Use a toothpick – Gently scrape out any corrosion buildup inside the port
  • Try compressed air – Blast out any stubborn debris or moisture
  • Use a Q-tip & alcohol – Clean the port interior with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol
  • Ensure it’s fully dry – Use a flashlight to visually inspect that it’s moisture-free

Take your time with this process to ensure the charging port is completely clean and 100% dry. Any residual moisture or corrosion left behind can prevent good electrical contact with the charging cable.

Check Water Indicators

iPhones contain special internal water damage indicator strips that change color when they get wet. Here’s how to check them:

  • Locate the strips – They are tiny circular dots inside the SIM card slot and headphone jack
  • Inspect color – White or silver indicate no water contact. Pink or red means water exposure.
  • Note which turned pink/red – This indicates which areas got wet internally.

Checking these water indicators is an easy way to confirm if moisture got inside your iPhone and may have caused damage. Pink or red markers would confirm water exposure.

Examine Internal Components

To thoroughly inspect and dry out the interior, you will need to disassemble the iPhone and open it up. Review repair guide for your specific model on for step-by-step disassembly instructions. Here’s what to look for inside:

  • Battery corrosion – Green or white buildup on metal indicates corrosion
  • Component moisture – Droplets or wet areas inside parts or circuit boards
  • Metal oxidation – Rust, pink or blue tints on metal connectors and contacts
  • Melted solder – Indicates short circuiting damaged solder points

Carefully go over every component and circuit board to identify any apparent water damage. Components may need to be cleaned or replaced.

Clean Internal Components

Use these steps to methodically clean the interior of the iPhone and prepare components to be reassembled:

  • Rubbing alcohol – Use 90% or higher isopropyl alcohol with cotton swabs
  • Toothbrush – Gently scrub away corrosion on metal parts
  • Q-tips – Swab and wipe down all accessible components and connection points
  • Microfiber cloth – Wipe down circuit boards; dry components thoroughly
  • Dental picks – Clean out moisture and debris in hard to reach areas

Take your time and thoroughly clean every component, socket, contact point and circuit board. Be very gentle when scrubbing corroded areas to avoid damaging parts.

Dry Components with Heat Gun

For stubborn moisture inside chips, connectors and boards, apply some gentle heat:

  • Use a heat gun – Low setting 600-800°F
  • Hold 6 inches away – Gradually sweep across components
  • 30 seconds at a time – Rotate and heat from different angles
  • Q-tips for moisture – Use cotton swabs to absorb moisture sweat out
  • Avoid overheating – This can damage components

The controlled heat will help evaporate any trapped moisture without risking damage to components. Take your time and allow components to fully cool off periodically when applying heat.

Check Battery Health

If the battery got wet or shows signs of corrosion, it will need to be replaced. Use a voltmeter to test battery voltage and health:

  • 3.6+ volts – Fully charged battery voltage
  • 2.5-3.2 volts – Partial charge remaining
  • 0.9-1.6 volts – Fully discharged or damaged battery
  • Below 0.5 volts – Likely a faulty battery

If battery voltage tests low or 0 volts, the battery will not be able to hold a charge and should be replaced. Never reassemble or charge a faulty lithium-ion battery.

Battery Disposal and Recycling

If the iPhone’s battery needs to be replaced, properly dispose and recycle the old battery:

  • Discharge battery – Fully drain it before removing
  • Electrical tape – Cover metal contacts before disposal
  • Recycling center – Find a lithium-ion battery recycling drop-off location
  • Do not trash – Never dispose of lithium-ion batteries in the garbage

Replace Corroded Components

If internal components such as connectors, sockets or flex cables show corrosion damage, they made need replacement. Some commonly replaced parts include:

Damaged Part New Replacement Part
Charging port flex cable iPhone charging port flex cable
Dock connector iPhone dock connector assembly
Headphone jack iPhone headphone jack and flex cable
Front camera iPhone front camera assembly
Volume buttons iPhone volume button and flex cable
Battery connector iPhone battery connector bracket

Source high-quality replacement parts online through reliable suppliers such as iFixit. Using authentic OEM connectors and flex cables will provide the best repair results.

Reassemble the iPhone

Once all components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and faulty parts replaced, you can reassemble the iPhone:

  • Follow directions in reverse – Refer to the disassembly guide for putting back together
  • Check alignments – Make sure connectors and flex cables are aligned properly
  • Install screws carefully – Hand tighten; be wary of over-tightening
  • Inspect seals & gaskets – Replace water damaged seals if possible
  • Double check work – Power it on to test speaker, mic, camera, charging functions

Take your time to reassemble correctly. Ensure cables are properly seated and all screws and brackets secured. Check that seals and gaskets are intact or replaced.

Attempting to Charge the iPhone

With the iPhone fully reassembled after cleaning and component replacement, you can attempt to charge it up:

  • Official charger – Use the standard iPhone wall/AC charger
  • Wall outlet – Plug directly into a wall outlet rather than extension cord or power strip
  • Charging cable – Try an authentic charging cable in good condition
  • Force restart – Press and hold Power + Volume Down for 10 seconds before charging
  • Let charge 30+ minutes – Allow time for battery to regain any residual charge

Ideally you will see the battery charging symbol on-screen shortly after connected. If the iPhone still fails to charge, further repair or component replacement may be needed.

Further Charging Port Repairs

If cleaning and drying the charging port does not restore iPhone charging ability, the port may need repair or replacement:

  • Soldering – Resolder any loose or damaged solder points inside the port
  • Contact pin replacement – Replace bent or broken pins if present
  • Port replacement – Swap in a known good charging port assembly
  • Microsoldering – Professional microsoldering of port components may be required

Charging issues localized to the charging port will require port-specific repairs. This may involve soldering work best left to experienced technicians or microsoldering specialists.

Additional Troubleshooting Tips

Try these additional troubleshooting steps if your iPhone still refuses to charge after cleaning, drying and charging port repairs:

  • Try another cable – Test with a different Lightning cable
  • Try another charger – Test with another wall charger block
  • Different outlet – Attempt charging from another power outlet
  • Hard reset – Wipe and factory restore the iPhone to test
  • New battery – Install a brand new lithium-ion battery

Fully test with multiple cables and chargers. A new replacement battery may be needed if those steps don’t restore charging.

Logic Board Level Repairs

If no simple repair restores iPhone charging function, the main logic board likely sustained water damage. Professional microsoldering repairs may be able to fix damage on the board:

  • Corrosion cleaning – Acid wash corroded areas of logic board
  • Chip replacement – Swap damaged chips and integrated circuits
  • Microsoldering – Repair damaged solder points on board
  • Full board replacement – Install known good logic board

Extensive corrosion, damaged chips/ICs, or melted solder points may require advanced microsoldering repairs only performable by experienced specialists.

When to Consider a New iPhone

If you’ve tried all troubleshooting steps and repairs with no success getting an iPhone to charge after water damage, it may be time to consider replacing it. Here are signs it may be beyond salvaging:

  • Won’t power on at all
  • Corroded or damaged logic board
  • Multiple damaged components
  • Professional repairs unsuccessful
  • Cost exceeds a replacement iPhone

At a certain point, investing more money into repairs will exceed the cost of replacing the iPhone altogether. Know when to cut your losses with a severely water damaged device.


Reviving an iPhone with charging issues after water damage involves methodically cleaning, drying, and testing components. Take your time disassembling, cleaning, and allowing the device to thoroughly dry before reassembly. Replace any corroded parts as needed. Cleaning and closely inspecting the charging port is key. For phones with more extensive damage, professional microsoldering repairs may be necessary. In more severe cases of liquid damage, it may be most cost-effective to replace the iPhone altogether.