Water and other liquids are hazardous to your Apple iPhone. Moisture can damage internal components and render your phone useless. The iPhone contains integrated liquid indicators that inform you when the device has been exposed to moisture from a liquid spilled in or on the phone. You can also detect telltale symptoms of water exposure and damage if you can't access the liquid indicators on the iPhone.
Power and Startup Issues
One symptom of iPhone water damage is the phone not turning on at all or turning on and restarting immediately — known as boot loops. Your phone may also present a white screen during the startup process. This screen is called the "White Screen of Death." If any of these symptoms are present, power off your iPhone and consult a repair service.
Your iPhone's speaker and microphone failing to work properly is the second symptom of water damage. Depending on how water entered your iPhone, the damage may only affect certain components, such as the speaker or microphone, even though everything else on your phone may be working. If left on, the iPhone will begin to overheat and be hot to the touch. The overheating is another symptom of water damage that leads to the phone eventually shutting off with or without warning. Power off the iPhone immediately and contact a repair service.
The third symptom of water damage is one or more errors when connecting your phone's connection cable to sync the device or the phone's charger. You may receive the following errors: "This accessory is not made to work with iPhone" or "Charging is not supported with this accessory." These errors, along with your phone not syncing at all with your computer or not charging at all with the charger, are indications of water damage to one or more internal components. Disconnect the sync cable or charger, power off your iPhone and contact a repair service.
Applications such as the Safari browser, email and other programs opening and closing spontaneously is another symptom of a water-damaged iPhone. This symptom may or may not happen along with other symptoms. In addition, the iPhone may freeze or pause while this symptom is occurring.
Checking Accessible Liquid Indicators
To check your iPhone's liquid indicators, shine a flashlight or use a lighted magnifying glass to look inside of the headphone jack for a red dot on the very back of the component; normally, the back portion of your phone's headphone jack is white or silver. The other liquid indicator is on the phone's charging jack. If you shine a light inside of the jack and a red dot is present, your phone has been exposed to water or other moisture.
Do not attempt to open or repair a water-damaged iPhone yourself. There are no user-serviceable parts inside of your phone and opening the device will void any warranties your phone may have. Attempting to repair your iPhone may also cause further damage, including cracking the phone's case, breaking protective seals and damaging the phone's keyboard and other internal components.