Do’s and Dont’s with a Liquid Spilled Macbook
Liquid Spilled Macbooks are a common accident type we receive in our Adelaide Macbook Repair Workshop right after cracked Macbook Screens. Our Adelaide Workshop gets overwhelmed at times with phone calls from users who spilled a liquid on their Macbooks, and after leaving it to dry overnight, Macbooks do not work anymore.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation on the web regarding What to do when spilled liquid on Macbook? or Spilled liquid on Macbook. What to do?
There are a couple of actions that make sense when liquid is spilled on different types of electronics. But they do not apply to consumer electronics such as Macbooks and Laptops. In fact, have a devastating effect which we will explain shortly.
Here are couple of things you should not do when liquid spills over your Macbook.
- Do not let the Macbook Dry if a liquid is spilled over it!
The residue of a liquid is more damaging than the liquid itself as it oxidates the copper and alloy.
- Do not try to turn on Macbook that has liquid damage, even if it looks dry!
We know it is tempting to check if it still works, but every time power is applied, it will do more damage. Especially when the battery is connected inside, it keeps circulating power even when switched off.
- Do not use a dryer to dry the keyboard of your Macbook!
This often leads to a melted keyboard (especially a butterfly model) and requires keyboard replacement on top of a logic board repair. It does not help in removing the residue.
- Do not charge the Macbook if a liquid is spilled on it!
More electricity you circulate inside the Macbook, the more damage you do. This leads to an increase in repair costs and decreases in success rate.
- Do not rely on rice to absorb the moisture!
Unless you just unwrapped a Macbook and spilled a liquid at the first 5 minutes of ownership. “Rice absorbs humidity” trick won’t help you.
Why? Because Macbooks accumulate dust inside, when liquid spills, it turns that dust into mud. No rice in the world can absorb enough humidity to dry that mud!
- Do not wait for it to fix itself!
Every minute you waste NOT getting your Macbook Repaired reduces the chances of a successful Repair. Especially if your data is not backed up, acting quickly and having it Repaired ensures a higher success rate.
What you should do when liquid spills over your Macbook.
- Understand the process! You need to understand electronics and ensure you are ESD-safe to follow along.
There are many articles around, and most of them require some soldering skills and electronics knowledge. DIY is fine as long as you do not do more harm than good. Check some of our repair cases to gain an idea of what is involved in the Macbook Liquid Damage Repair Process.
- Disconnect the battery.
It is essential to disconnect the power source immediately. Longer power runs through the Macbook, the more damage it does to the circuitry.
- Resolder any damaged traces or replace oxidated components. Otherwise, they will fail as time goes on.
When oxidation occurs, it feeds on copper and alloy, meaning that components are not making good contact with traces anymore. If chips and components are not resoldered/replaced, the system may be unstable when in use which may cause data loss or complete logic board replacement required (usually above 2000$)
- Clean oxidated areas and residue completely.
This requires solid but gentle to chips chemical such as flux-off in an ultrasonic cleaner (UC) to ensure residue has been removed from the board and underneath the chips. “IPA and brushing” may be a temporary solution due to residue left on the board. Or even worse may damage traces or lost components by knocking them off with abrasive brushing.
- Lastly, we know it’s cliché but: Leave it to the Professionals!
If you do not have the skills, equipment or knowledge above, check local Macbook Electronic Repair Businesses in your Area. Be aware! There are lots of computer repair shops around that employ the “IPA and brushing” technique. In some cases, it resolves customers’ issues, but in most, it is a temporary fix or irreversible damage on an expensive Macbook. Ensure the credibility of the places!
Effect of a Spilled Cola over Macbook
To explain how time is your enemy with liquid damage Macbooks, you can check these excerpts of videos our colleagues in NYC, who specialises in Macbook Repairs like us, posted a couple of years ago.
These videos show how a drop of Cola on a Macbook Board, which is not even turned on completely, causes immediate oxidation and corrosion through the components. This clearly demonstrates how urgent it is to treat and repair liquid-damaged Macbooks.
Effect of Water spilled on a Macbook
Another experiment with distilled water shows that even if the water is clear of sugar or acid components still causes damage and stops the functionality of the Macbook from 12.58V to 0.62V in under 10 minutes!
Is Liquid Damaged Macbook Repairable?
It depends on the do not do factors we have explained earlier. The severity of the damage in liquid spilled Macbooks depends on the quantity of the liquid and impacted areas.
We are often being asked, can we repair it or how likely it is to be repaired? We would not know the success rate of the repair without starting the repair process itself. Hence we have explained our repair and quoting process in detail on our Terms and Conditions page.
Is it worth repairing Macbook, or is it better to buy a new one?
Another common question we are asked by users who have spilled liquid on their Macbooks is if repair is worth it. That question depends on the damage’s extent, which we will know once we start the repair.
Most importantly, we must acknowledge that Liquid Damage on the Macbook was most likely caused by accident. We have customers trying to convince themselves/or their parents that replacement is required due to the age of the Macbook or being “due for an upgrade”. We do not have a say in this decision, but we have seen numerous cases where customers had accidents in a row with their new Macbooks.
If we spare $2000 or even $1000 today on buying a new one and instead fix the current one, we will have that amount available when or if an accident happens again! Perhaps most importantly, we will save one more device from ending in e-waste and can teach our kids to be mindful of global consumerism trends.
Liquid Damaged Macbook Repair Reliable?
Liquid damage is one of the trickiest repairs out there, considering that when the liquid dries, there is sometimes no visible residue left on the board. Most importantly, it requires electronic knowledge and an understanding of how Macbook electronics work within. Following schematics and accessing costly tools allows us to successfully tackle most of the repairs.
We have a sophisticated equipment workshop with high accuracy microscope, ultrasonic cleaning bath, reflow machine, and tools for micro soldering to achieve high-quality logic boards repairs. With thousands of components in stock, we quickly locate and replace failed components!ITSolve Repairs
When professional equipment and know-how are used in the repair process, we ensure that the fault is resolved and areas are treated to prevent future oxidation and corrosion.
In some rare cases, for example, if the liquid damages the screen cable connector (where liquid entered through/around the Macbook Air/Pro logo of the screen), we may need a logic board repair and a screen replacement. These two can bring the cost close to a cost of a replacement Macbook!
In most cases, if customers follow the Don’t section of our FAQ, we have a high success rate where we can keep the repair cost low and ensure a quick turnaround.
To avoid a locked-in situation where cost exponentially grows, we have a flexible cancellation policy that only charges a diagnostic fee for unrepairable Macbooks. Also, it applies to Repairs where cost changes from the initial quote we give before we start the repair.