I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

Contributor

I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

Hi everybody. I dropped my new iPhone 4 in a toilet and am in the process of *hopefully* drying it out and then moving on with my life. In the meantime, I'd like to reactivate my old iPhone 3G. Is that possible to do this through the website? I'd give customer service a call, but... I don't have a phone.

 

Thanks!

Message 1 of 13 (3,407 Views)
Scholar

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

I dreamed last night (really) that I dropped my iPhone into a swimming pool...but I didn't dream far enough along to know if my attempt to dry it out worked or not.  I also have a fear of dropping my iPhone into a toilet because I once almost did that, too.  These things probably do not help you, but I do think you have to stop in to an AT&T store to reactivate you old phone. 

 

And good luck on the drying out of the new phone, which might actually work if it didn't soak long. 

 

As an aside, I have had to dry out a couple of electronics devices that were soaked, and did so successfully (one was a standard cordless phone that my daughter dropped into a swimming pool, too).  It's crucial that you don't try to turn it on if there's any moisture in there and the only way to make sure it is completely dry is to let it sit for some time in a very warm, dry environment.  I have used the "soak it in sunlight" solution where you let the device sit in direct sun for a few hours (even a full day) to hopefully heat up and dry out any moisture.    The dashboard of a car works nicely for that sort of thing, too.  Either of those methods might be worth a try. 

Message 2 of 13 (3,390 Views)

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

Since the 4 uses the micro-SIM, you can't just put your SIM in the old phone.  As far as I know, when a SIM is deactivated, it's permanent, so you will probably need a new SIM card.  Those are sold over the website, although I don't know the details of buying and activating one.  You can also get one at a store.

 

Alternately, you may be able to get an adapter to use your active micro-SIM in a standard SIM slot.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 3 of 13 (3,385 Views)
Contributor

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

Turns out I needed to go to an AT&T store to get a new SIM card, but now I'm all good. Thanks for the responses.

 

Advice to all: DON'T KEEP YOUR PHONE IN YOUR POCKET. For real. It will fall into a toilet.

Message 4 of 13 (3,356 Views)
Scholar

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

I really felt your pain... I never dropped a phone in a toilet or even loose it, but... to me, my phone is very important, if I dont have a phone, I feel like Im naked or disconected of the world...

by the way... you can try to buy a new regular sim and call customer service to update new information, then update also new iPhone IMEI.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, stategies or opinions.
Message 5 of 13 (3,330 Views)
Guru

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

I know a guy who dropped his phone into a porta-potty.  Needless to say, he did not even attempt to fish it out.  I place my phone on a surface AWAY from toilets, sinks, showers and tubs.  My kids think I am obsessive, but I call it careful common sense!

I hope your iPhone 4 dries out and works well.  My daughter has gotten hers wet twice and it still works great.

Message 6 of 13 (3,314 Views)
Scholar

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

[ Edited ]

Interestingly, I've seen several reference points (videos, etc.) related to disassembly of an iPhone for drying it out when dropped in water -- although I suppose some folks just like taking these things apart... Smiley Tongue  

 

My thought on taking them apart if they've gotten wet is, "Why not?"  If getting one wet via a dunking voids the warranty, and it won't be replaced anyway, I'd think that giving it a thorough drying out via disassembly would be something to strongly consider -- that is, if it's one that hasn't already been fried by attempting to turn it on to see if it will work when it's still wet inside.  

 

But, I'd also imagine that most phones that get dropped in water are NOT turned off, but at best in standby mode, so are probably more or less fried in most cases (depending on how much water actually gets inside). 

 

Still, I have to wonder if an iPhone is dropped in water and removed quickly enough, perhaps only a minute amount of water would get in.   Immediately attempting to power it down then drying it out thoroughly (perhaps disassembling it and drying out) might be the way to go to at least attempt to revive it. 

Message 7 of 13 (3,303 Views)

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

As far as I'm aware, there are three problems associated with water damage.  (1) While the water is present, it could conduct current from areas that are meant to carry a large current to areas that are not, burning out circuits.  (2) After the water evaporates, unless it was pure distilled water it leaves behind mineral deposits that could conceivably bridge circuits or otherwise change conductive properties, causing unpredictable behavior.  (3) Both the water and the deposits it leaves behind can cause or catalyze corrosion, causing unpredictable behavior or total failure even months later.

 

Any manufacturer will be quick to tell you they don't recommend using a water damaged phone, and they can't repair one.  I suppose with electricity potentially flowing in unknown directions or channels, they can't guarantee the phone won't spontaneously ignite or zap your ear.

 

In many cases, though, the phone (but not the warranty) can be saved if you're willing to take the risk.  I haven't had to do it, but I'd try it to avoid the expense of a new phone.  To prevent problem 1, make sure there is no power.  For most phones, that just means popping the battery out.  For the iPhone, I suppose you would want to power it off, then as quickly as possible disassemble it and remove the battery.

 

To minimize problems 2 and 3, don't just let the water evaporate slowly.  Use something to draw it out.  Many people have had good results by placing the phone in a bowl of uncooked rice, since the rice acts as a dessicant.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 8 of 13 (3,294 Views)
Scholar

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

The thread seems like a good justification for some kind of separate insurance coverage (hopefully, deductible-free or with low deductible) for the iPhone -- via a plan that does not exclude water damage.  There seem to be a lot of ways to obtain those kinds of plans, too, for iPhone users from either their own local insurance companies or others (SquareTrade plan or even as an add-on rider to existing homeowner's insurance -- with my guess being that a rider on your own insurance would be less expensive in most cases). 

 

If I'm not mistaken, doesn't the wireless insurance available through AT&T exclude iPhones? And with AppleCare not covering such damage, seems like any of us concerned with such things must look elsewhere.  But, given the combined expense and vulnerability of many smartphones (especially expense of the iPhone) to this kind of damage, it seems a wise idea to consider it.   

 

Sorry, I know this kind of stuff is discussed elsewhere on the forum (probably in the Apple subforum), but it seems applicable in this thread, too. 

Message 9 of 13 (3,287 Views)
Professor

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

Let us know if it works. Also, if my phone dropped into any toilet I'm the kind of person to say "leave it". Its their phone now, whoever owns the toilet. If its my toilet, I'd ebay it haha

Message 10 of 13 (3,271 Views)
Scholar

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?


UNSC_REACH wrote:

Let us know if it works. Also, if my phone dropped into any toilet I'm the kind of person to say "leave it". Its their phone now, whoever owns the toilet. If its my toilet, I'd ebay it haha


Now you're going to have me second-guessing every item I purchase via eBay... Smiley Tongue

Message 11 of 13 (2,899 Views)
Professor

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

"Toilet Phones" are Nighmares! Havent happened to me yet.

I have a buddy who , some how, dropped 3 phones (one after another replacement) into the urinal.  He wears his phone on the belt /clip and I dont know why he would reach #3 times.  It was a very expensive phone the first time. By his third phone I think he regressed back to an old 'block' type phone like the old-faithful nokia (non touchscreen, non-internet, nonsmart).   Funny story but true

Message 12 of 13 (2,887 Views)
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Contributor

Re: I dropped my new phone in a toilet. Can I re-activate my old one?

Well, the rice trick ended up not working for me - not entirely, anyways. I put the phone in a bag of rice for 6 days in the sun and also gave it a 5 minute hair dryer session each day. I wasn't able to start this until 2 days after the "incident," though, since I was out of town when it happened.

 

So now I can power the phone on, but the display is totally dead. I was only able to tell it was on because I held down the main button and the voice controls clicked on. The vibrate function also still works. However, I think the display is a lost cause. But since the phone isn't totally dead - the computer or whatever inside is still alive - maybe I should look into a repair instead of a replacement? Has anybody had any luck with that or have any recommendations?

 

Thanks for all the responses here, by the way!

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