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How to Fix iPhone’s Water Damage After ‘Liquid Detected in Lighting Connector’ Error

by Gaurav Bidasaria
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Water damage is a common problem that we all face at some point of using an iPhone. You will see the ‘Charging Not Available. Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector’ error on your iPhone’s screen when you drop your iPhone in a swimming pool, potholes filled with water, rainwater, coffee spills, and so on. Here’s what you can do, and must never do, when the lightning port on your iPhone is damaged by water.

Things You Can and Should Not Do When Water Is Detected

There are a lot of small, sensitive chips and wires inside your iPhone that keep it functioning. Using home remedies may sound like a good idea, and also a cheap one, but it is not always the best. Here are some tricks you must avoid if your iPhone’s lightning port is damaged.

  • Don’t use an external heat source to dry off the water like a hair dryer.
  • Don’t try canned or suppressed air containers that are commonly used to clean the laptop’s back.
  • Don’t even think about microwaving it. You will end up frying the chip or motherboard.
  • Using rice bags to soak moisture is a myth and doesn’t work. In fact, small food particles may enter your iPhone further blocking and damaging it.
  • Don’t insert foreign objects like pins, paper towels, or buds to clean the port. It may damage the minuscule pins that connect with your lightning cable to charge the iPhone.
  • Don’t charge the iPhone immediately. Wait until you are sure water and moisture have left the lightning connector (more on how to do that below). Otherwise, pins on the lightning connector or cable may corrode. The former is harder and more expensive to change.

Now, if you are in an emergency and need to use your iPhone, there are some things that you can do and are probably safe. Depends on the condition and case-to-case basis, but these are general guidelines from Apple.

  • You can use wireless chargers to charge your iPhone. Because it uses the back of your iPhone, the lightning connector port is bypassed completely.
  • If you don’t need your iPhone immediately, you must switch it off immediately.
  • Place the iPhone with the lightning connector port facing down so gravity will do its work and excess water will slowly drizzle out.
  • Wipe drops of water and residue off with a clean cloth, preferably microfiber. Don’t insert the cloth forcefully in the port though.
  • Let it dry in the sun or use a table/ceiling fan.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before trying to charge it again. Ideally, Apple recommends waiting for up to a day before charging it. So if you are not in a hurry, better stay put and use a spare or someone’s else phone as needed.
  • Only use Apple-certified chargers. Many users found out that sometimes, iPhones give a false positive that there is water detected in the lightning connector when using 3rd-party chargers.

If you are confident that there is no water damage and still seeing the ‘Charging Not Available. Liquid Detected in Lightning Connector’ error, it’s either because you are using a 3rd-party cable or charger that is not Apple certified or the lightning connector’s pins are bent or damaged.

Note: If the charging is on hold instead, then you are reading the wrong article. But we have covered that angle too in a separate guide.

What Different IP Ratings Mean

Most modern-day iPhones come with an IP rating or Ingress Protection rating. IP ratings are determined and set by an international body called IEC.

An IP rating consists of two numbers. The first number determines the protection level against dust and other fine or solid objects. It is usually between 0 and 6. The second number is what determines how much tolerance the iPhone model has for moisture and water. That’s between 0 and 8. Here is what all IP ratings mean:

  • IP65 – iPhone is “dust tight” and can protect from nozzle water
  • IP66 – iPhone is “dust tight” and can protect from powerful jets of water
  • IP67 – iPhone is “dust tight” and can handle immersion for 30 minutes at depths of up to 1 meter.
  • IP68 – iPhone is rated as “dust tight” and can be completely and continuously submerged in water for up to 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.
iphone ip ratings and what they mean

It is worth noting that even with the highest IP rating, it is not recommended to take your iPhone for a swim. Apple has a dedicated page with all their iPhones and their IP ratings. A rating of IP68 under IEC standard 60529 means your iPhone can sustain a maximum depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.

Just because your iPhone has an IP rating, doesn’t mean it is fully protected against water though. There are open ports like lightning connectors, power and volume buttons with some space around them, and so on. While the inner parts like chips are sealed off, water can still enter and damage outer, exposed parts like the lightning connector.

Because IP ratings are not foolproof, here is a list of things that you must generally avoid while carrying an iPhone:

  • Swimming or bathing with your iPhone
  • Exposing iPhone to pressurized or high-velocity water like showering, water skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, etc.
  • Taking your iPhone to saunas or steam rooms
  • Using your iPhone outside mentioned temperature range or in extremely humid conditions
  • Disassemble your iPhone including removing screws

Cool Tip: You can now create custom charging animations and there is no need to jailbreak to do so. Easy and simple.

Make a Splash

It is important to know what to do when your iPhone suffers from water damage resulting in the ‘Charging Not Available: Liquid detected in the lightning connector’ error. But it is equally important to know what you must not do in order to avoid furthering the damage in any way.

By the way, did you know you can now use StandBy Mode on the newest version of iOS with cool widgets? Learn how right now.

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