Water damage is often the kiss of death for high-tech devices like the iPhone. Water seeps into the hardware and components in the phone, causing corrosion and eventual malfunction. One of the ways that malfunction manifests is in the display. Water damage can make the screen look dim or dark and nearly impossible to navigate. You can try to fix your iPhone on your own to avoid paying top dollar to repair the damage or getting a replacement phone from Apple.
Before you attempt to fix your water-damaged phone, you should be clear about the Apple warranty on iPhones and iPods. When you purchase an iPhone, you automatically receive a one-year warranty that protects you against software or hardware failure that is not your fault. The warranty does not protect against water damage, since it's usually avoidable. Your iPhone has a water damage indicator located in the headphone jack that lets repair technicians know whether or not your iPhone has gotten wet and whether you're eligible for your warranty terms.
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If your screen has darkened or dimmed as the result of your phone coming in contact with water, the water has seeped into the display and made it harder for you to use your phone. Power down you phone immediately and submerge it into a plastic bag or tub filled with rice. The rice helps to draw the moisture out of the phone to help improve the display and prevent further corrosion due to moisture. Leave the phone in the rice up to 48 hours, depending on the extent of the water damage.
When your iPhone comes in contact with water, it's almost reflexive to get a hold of your phone and try to power it up to see if it works. This could make the problem much worse by allowing the phone to power up with corrosive water in the hardware. The first things you should do when your iPhone gets wet is to power down immediately and leave it alone until it dries. That way you don't cause further damage to your screen by allowing the water to affect the hardware while in use.
Service and Repair
Even though the Apple warranty doesn't cover water-damaged phones, you might be able to obtain service if your phone doesn't show signs of corrosion. Unfortunately, a dimmed display points to moderate to severe damage, so it's likely that your warranty will be considered void. Still, if the rice method doesn't work for you, you can still have your phone serviced or replaced at discount rates through Apple. You might need a screen replacement or a replacement for your entire phone, depending on the severity of the damage.