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Tummy

chances of recovering a water damaged device

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello everyone,

 

My sister needs a new laptop, I'm really liking my "new" macbook pro from 2012 and my sis also likes it and wants a macbook. They are rather expencive (at least for us) but I see a lot of water-damaged devices on the second hand market and I'm asking myself what's the true chance of recovering a water-damaged device. I heard the man of a employee bought a almost brand new laptop with liquid-damage and recoverd it succesfully. Like it's super easy and 100% guarante to work.

 

I always thought the chances were near zero and i have always rejected them instanly but what do you guys think? Is there a resonable change it will work? I know it depends on the severity and what the owner did after his device got wet. But can I assume it just works again when everything is very dry? My biggest fear is that the internals got shorted and are permanantly damaged, but i seem te be almost the only one that assumes this is the case when I see a water-damaged device.

 

I would like your opinion on this matter.

Kind reguards, Tummy00

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2 minutes ago, Tummy said:

Hello everyone,

 

My sister needs a new laptop, I'm really liking my "new" macbook pro from 2012 and my sis also likes it and wants a macbook. They are rather expencive (at least for us) but I see a lot of water-damaged devices on the second hand market and I'm asking myself what's the true chance of recovering a water-damaged device. I heard the man of a employee bought a almost brand new laptop with liquid-damage and recoverd it succesfully. Like it's super easy and 100% guarante to work.

 

I always thought the chances were near zero and i have always rejected them instanly but what do you guys think? Is there a resonable change it will work? I know it depends on the severity and what the owner did after his device got wet. But can I assume it just works again when everything is very dry? My biggest fear is that the internals got shorted and are permanantly damaged, but i seem te be almost the only one that assumes this is the case when I see a water-damaged device.

 

I would like your opinion on this matter.

Kind reguards, Tummy00

Unless your name is Louis Rossmann, I would not recommend wasting money on a water damaged device. Whenever I am asked to fix a piece of electronics equipment, I always disclose to the client that they should assume the device is 0% working (aka completely broken, never to work again) when they give it to me because of the microscopic nature of electronics these days. If I can fix it, then great, but otherwise in almost all cases water damage results in replacement of motherboards or component / board level soldering, neither of which I do for my clients.


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4 minutes ago, HypedKid said:

But why apple? Just buy better product for less

Apple makes good products, they're just a bit expensive.

 

Also, your statement isn't helping the OP since he/she was asking if it's worth buying a water-damaged device, and not whether or not Apple makes good products.


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7 minutes ago, HypedKid said:

But why apple? Just buy better product for less

Because OP and his sister like their Macs?

What problem is there if they like 'em?


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20 minutes ago, Tummy said:

But can I assume it just works again when everything is very dry?

No, the main problem is that a liquid spilled on a circuit board that has a voltage applied to it immediately causes an electrolysis effect that causes near instant corrosion, we're literally talking seconds here to do irreversible damage. If a board that's completely powered down were to get wet and dried quickly there'd be no problem, but in the age of laptops with built-in non-removable batteries boards always have voltages present.

 

A small enough spill on a non-critical location is probably recoverable but then again such a spill would not cause the device to (completely) fail in the first place.

 

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You have a chance if you know what you're doing with a soldering iron, hot air rework, and the circuit diagrams, but if a laptop is being sold with liquid damage it's probably already gone. The original owner probably already tried to fix it, but couldn't or was told that it was dead. 


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If you don't know what a qfn or bga package is or how to reflow one, chances are you wont be able to repair a damaged part on the computer.


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