Does AppleCare Cover Water Damage?

Apple products are covered by Apple’s ironclad warranties that include both AppleCare+ and AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss.

These warranties include round-the-clock tech support, same-day service, and damage protection, but if you forget to remove your Apple watch before jumping into the pool, or you accidentally knock your iPhone into the bathtub, you might wish you had read the fine print before your purchase.

The Apple Warranties

One important consideration to make before purchasing an Apple product is that the company’s warranties do not cover liquid-related mishaps. Spilling coffee on a keyboard or dropping an iPhone into the mop bucket can be expensive endeavors.

Apple does, however, install LCIs (liquid contact indicators) on some of its products, such as certain keyboards and their Mac notebook computers, to help determine whether or not the product has water damage that can cause internal corrosion.

The company’s tech department can also advise customers about steps one can take should water damage occur. However, they do not offer replacements or monetary compensation for anything liquid-related.

Are Apple products waterproof?

While Apple products are not completely waterproof, Apple does create products that are well-sealed and that resist penetration by water. For example, Series 1 Apple watches may be safely worn to the gym because they withstand heavy perspiration. However, they should be removed before jumping into a swimming pool.

The Series 2 Apple Watches can be worn while swimming in shallow water, but should not be used to tell time while doing high-velocity submersion, such as scuba diving. While the Series 2 watches can be worn successfully in the shower, precautions should be taken not to expose them to bath products, such as shampoo, or soaps.

These types of bath products can damage the acoustic membranes inside watches. If the watch does come into contact with bath products, it is recommended it be cleaned with clean water and thoroughly dried afterward with a lint-free cloth.

The newer Apple Watches have a protective feature that automatically locks the devices’ screen with a function called, Water Lock. It can be reinstated by turning the digital crown at the top of the watch and should be followed by clearing any water from the watch.

Apple warns that water resistance may diminish as the watch ages, and the company is unable to restore it. They also recommend changing the band periodically, as some are more appropriate for water activities than others.

There are ways to prolong the devices’ water resistance by avoiding the following activities:

  • Dropping the device or causing other impactful damage
  • Exposing the watch to bath products during bathing or showering
  • Exposing the watch to caustic products, such as solvents, perfumes or acidic foods
  • Exposing the watch to steam rooms or saunas
  • Using the watch during high-velocity sporting events, such as scuba diving or skiing.

When Apple products get wet

The procedure to follow when Apple products get wet varies from one device to the next. For instance, if water or coffee spills on a Mac laptop, the first thing to remember is to avoid turning the device on to determine whether or not it still works.

The laptop should be immediately disconnected from its power source and relocated to a dry space. At this point, it should be powered off. Any accessories that are connected to the device should be disconnected, and the battery should be disconnected.

The user of the laptop should attempt to dry any liquid from the device manually with a lint-free cloth, if possible. The laptop should be left open in a clean, dry space to dry naturally for at least 48 hours. Following these steps is crucial to saving the laptop because unlike the Apple Watch and certain other products manufactured by Apple, their laptops are not water-resistant. It is advised that a professional Apple technician looks at the laptop before an attempt is made to power it up again.

Should a Mac wireless keyboard get wet, the user should wrap it in paper towels and submerge it, key side down, in rice for 48 hours or longer. The paper towels help prevent dust from the rice from interfering with the keyboard functionality. The rice has the ability to absorb moisture, oftentimes, restoring it to a useable state. Another alternative is to leave the device in the open air on a thick towel. A direct heat source should never be used to dry an electronic device.

If liquid spills on an iPad, it should immediately be disconnected safely from its power source and, like other Apple products, should be dried with a lint-free cloth. It should be left screen side down on an absorbent surface for at least 48 hours. It is important not to attempt to charge the device during this time. If the iPad is connected to a smart keyboard, it should be powered off naturally and left to dry. This product should also be seen by an Apple technician to assure it is safe to power up after a liquid mishap.

As previously mentioned, the newer Apple watches are water-resistant, but not waterproof. If one should experience submersion for more than 10 minutes, the device should be physically dried with a cloth and left on an absorbent surface or wrapped in a paper towel and submerged in dry rice for up to 48 hours. To assure that the watch has, indeed, dried thoroughly, it is a good idea to have it examined by a technician prior to attempts to power it up again.

Alternatively, drying kits are available online through Amazon and elsewhere that contain instructions and products to help dry an Apple device safely. Before attempting to use one, however, one should consult an Apple representative to determine whether the particular kit is actually safe to use. Apple builds solid products that, compared to other products, reduce the chances of permanent damage occurring once proper drying procedures are followed.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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