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Throwback: Uh Oh…Drenched Macbook Air

Man, I got myself in some deep doo doo back in February of 2013, so much so that it has taken me 2 years to write about it.

Rache and I were watching a movie in our minuscule kitchen while making some gluten free linguine and clams (yea, a temporary sojourn from our usual vegan diet). I opened the fridge up and pulled out a bottle of water and tried to get the top opened unsuccessfully, as I pulled on it harder I got more and more PO’d and suddenly the whole top flew off and sent water flying , and everything went into slow motion as I watched the stream of water move straight toward Rache’s Macbook Air….and splash, all over the computer it went…I ran towards it and grabbed it to turn it upside down and dry it off.

Rache finally realized what happened, and I was like, oh damn, I really did it now. This was the third time (and third MacBook) she has had drenched with water. Man, after an initial burst of anger, she was way cool about it and I totally appreciate that, more than you can know….she’s the best. So the computer is still working, but sometimes it takes a while to know the outcome. We’ll see tomorrow if it still works…if it doesn’t, it’s death row for me…no no, not really. We both realize that it is truly just a ‘thing.’ Things can be discarded and can be replaced.

I did a lot of research and found that sometimes, over a period of time, the water can cause corrosion to the electronics over weeks or months even. I hope this isn’t the case with ours, maybe we will get lucky.

Here is what MacForums recommends if this happens to you:

“Here at Mac-Forums, we see quite a few questions about what to do after spilling liquid inside of Mac Notebooks. Obviously, liquids and electronics don’t mix, so while the answer may seem obvious, there are a few tricks you can try to bring your equipment back to life.

  • First and foremost, immediately remove ALL power, this includes the battery (if possible). The chances of a short occurring as the liquid continues to travel within your machine are greatly reduced by removing power quickly.
  • Allow the machine to dry out for a significant period of time, preferably in an area of low humidity and with good air circulation. Generally this means a minimum of 72 hours. Longer time periods may be necessary depending on the ambient humidity level. Drying time may be decreased by sealing the notebook in a box with uncooked, dry rice or silica gel packets, which reduce humidity.
  • DO NOT test the machine until after you’ve allowed a significant drying period. Obviously, you’re probably anxious to see if you’re facing a hefty repair bill, but your patience will be rewarded. Generally, the longer you wait to plug it back in, the better.
  • Disassembling the machine to clean it will void your warranty – but then, if you spilled liquid in the machine, your warranty is void anyway. So, if you’re comfortable with it, it might not be a bad idea to get in there and clean as best you can. Disassembly instructions are available at iFixIt.com Use lightly moistened cotton swabs to gently blot the liquid effected areas. Do not use any kind of solvents on the internals.
  • Spill damage is always very evident. Most electronics manufacturers, Apple included, affix liquid-sensitive stickers on the insides of machines to detect spills. Don’t take the machine to an Apple Store, expecting a warranty repair.
  • If you power the machine on and find that it’s not fully functional, or that functionality is limited, the damage is likely already done. You should not expect it to improve without replacing the systemboard and/or cabling and other components. In most cases, these repairs can easily exceed the value of the machine.

And finally, it makes no difference what the liquid was. The steps to take are the same for each type of liquid. Water, beer, wine, orange juice, apple juice, coffee with lots of sugar and cream, milk, soda… anything… if it’s wet, then it’s bad.”

Wish us luck!

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