iPad Water Damage
iPad Water Damage

Apple includes Liquid Contact Indicators (LCIs) in many of its devices to help determine if they’ve been exposed to liquid, which can void the warranty and lead to internal damage. Here’s a table summarizing which Apple devices have LCIs:

Apple Devices with Liquid Damage Indicators (LCIs)

DeviceLCI Location(s)Notes
iPhone (all models after 2006)SIM trayTypically a small red dot that turns red if exposed to liquid.
iPad (all models after 2011)Dock connector or Lightning portA small white square that turns red if exposed to liquid.
Apple Watch (Series 2 and later)SIM tray or back of the watchA small red dot that turns red if exposed to liquid.
iPod (all models after 2006)Headphone jack or dock connectorA small white square that turns red if exposed to liquid.
AirPods (2nd generation and later)Charging caseA small white dot that turns red if exposed to liquid.
MacBooks (2008 and later)Logic board or battery compartmentSmall white or red indicators that may be difficult to locate without disassembling the device.

Please note:

  • Not all Apple devices have LCIs.
  • The location of the LCI may vary depending on the specific device model.
  • LCIs are not foolproof and may not always indicate liquid exposure.
  • If you suspect your Apple device has been exposed to liquid, it’s best to contact Apple Support for assistance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Apple devices have built-in indicators for water damage.
  • User experiences vary with water-damaged Apple products.
  • Third-party repair options can sometimes offer solutions when Apple does not.

Understanding Apple’s Water Damage Detection

Apple devices, including iPhones, MacBooks, and AirPods, are equipped with Liquid Contact Indicators (LCIs) that change color when exposed to water or a liquid containing water. These indicators are usually located in places where liquid exposure is likely, such as near the charging port or SIM card slot.

Apple LCI iPhone 15

User Experiences with Water-Damaged Apple Devices

Reddit users have shared diverse experiences regarding water damage to their Apple devices. In one case, a MacBook Pro owner faced a surprising claim of extensive water damage from Apple, leading to a voided warranty and a high repair cost. Another user, however, had a more positive experience, with Apple offering a reasonable repair price for water damage not initially visible.

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Apple’s Official Stance and Repair Policies

Apple’s official support documentation clearly states that water and other liquid damage to iPhones and iPods are not covered by their warranty. This policy often leaves users with the dilemma of either paying for expensive repairs or seeking third-party repair services.

Third-Party Repairs: An Alternative Solution

Several users have found solace in third-party repair services for water-damaged Apple products. These services can sometimes offer more affordable solutions, although the reliability and longevity of these repairs can vary.

Real-World Scenarios and Practical Advice

Scenario 1: Accidental Water Spillage on MacBook

A user accidentally spills water on their MacBook. They immediately turn off the device and dry it as best as they can. After a few days of drying, the MacBook turns on, but certain functions, like the Face ID on an iPad, stop working. In such cases, Apple’s repair costs can be high, and the warranty might not cover the damage.

You can see pictures of a water damaged Macbook (where the battery indicator is showing red on the indicator) below:

Scenario 2: AirPods Surviving the Laundry

In an interesting turn of events, a user accidentally washes their AirPods in the laundry. Surprisingly, the AirPods continue to work, albeit with some minor issues. This scenario highlights the varying degrees of water resistance in Apple products and the unpredictability of water damage.

Tips for Dealing with Water-Damaged Apple Devices

  1. Immediate Action: If your device gets wet, turn it off immediately and dry it thoroughly.
  2. Rice Method: While not always effective, placing the device in a bag of rice can help absorb moisture.
  3. Professional Assessment: Consider taking the device to a professional for a thorough check-up.
  4. AppleCare+: If you have AppleCare+, check if your issue is covered under the accidental damage protection.
  5. Backup Data: Always keep a backup of your data, as water damage can lead to sudden device failure.

Technological Advancements in Water Damage Prevention

Recent advancements in technology have led to increased water resistance in Apple products. For instance, the iPhone 13 offers an IP68 water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand submersion in water to a certain depth for a specified duration. However, it’s important to note that water resistance can degrade over time due to normal wear and tear.

The Future of Water-Resistant Technology

Apple continues to invest in improving the water resistance of its devices. Future models are expected to have even better protection against liquid damage, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of such incidents.


Water damage in Apple devices is a complex issue, with varying outcomes based on the extent of the damage and the specific device model. While Apple’s official repair services can be costly and sometimes limited in scope, third-party repair shops offer an alternative, albeit with their own set of risks. The best approach is to prevent water exposure and have a backup plan, such as AppleCare+ or a reliable third-party service, in case of accidental damage.

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