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Water And Drop Damage

4: Newbie

I was just wondering if you could provide some more information on the methodology your engineers use to detect drop damage and water damage?
I often see people being told their phone wont be repaired due to water/drop damage, but I've no idea how these are detected.
I understand water damage is detected through a sticker on the phone that changes colour, but how do you tell that the sticker being wet is related to the problem the person is experiencing? also, what is the tolerance of the stickers? could prolonged exposure to humid surroundings be enough to change the colour?
I've no idea about drop damage though.

Many thanks!


17: Community Champion
17: Community Champion
Hi, that seems like the going rate for a screen replacement, Vodafone could also do the repair but I doubt it would be much different in price.

I have heard of some shops on the high street doing it cheaper but that would void any warranty you had left.

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Moderator (Retired)
Moderator (Retired)
Hi Stu,

Whether water damage is related to the issue being reported or not is not taken into consideration. If a phone displays signs of water damage, it basically means that the phone will eventually die as a result of this, regardless of whether we fix the reported issue or not, and regardless of whether or not it is currently working fine. It is therefore considered uneconomical to attempt any sort of repair for a phone that shows signs of liquid ingress.

Prolonged exposure to humid environments will cause the stickers to change colour, but this is perfectly acceptable because such an environment will still damage the phone components in exactly the same way as any other type of water damage.

With drop damage, it's usually visually obvious as to whether the fault was caused by accidental damage or is fair wear-and-tear. For example, a cracked or crushed screen, or other obvious signs of physical damage could not be caused by any means other than accidental or purposeful damage.

I trust this helps, and if you have a spare moment, please take some time to fill in a short survey about your forum experience today.


eForum Team

Hi, i have dropped my vodafone contracted iphone today at work and its screen is totally smashed - does vodafone have a recommended company apart from apple that could be used to fix this, i dont have an insurance with vodafone for the phone, apple have quoted me £100+ for the repair...this is extortionate in my mind!

advice would be great





That doesn't take into consideration a device (such as the Xperia Z3) that is marketted as being IP68 certified. Such a phone being presented for warranty repair with water damage , aside from the usual opt-out with Vodafone of poorly fitted port covers, should be assumed to be faulty and within warranty.


IP68 does not allow air exchange as they are normally hermetically sealed, therefore gaseous water vapour would be precluded from entry. Even if it's NOT hermetically sealed the definition of the certification is such that entry should have no ill effects.


As for the port covers, I'd personally claim that as a design flaw if they're SO easy to fit incorrectly, and be claiming under the sale of goods/services acts.


I realise it's a minefield, but if Sony (and Vodafone by contractual association) are going to put out such devices then I'm sorry but the onus should be on THEM to prove the device failed through misuse, not automatically claim "Water damage" and leave the customer wondering why the bothered buying such a device in the first place! 



17: Community Champion
17: Community Champion

@NathanJT are you aware that you're replying to a post that dates from November 2009?


Apart from that I probably agree with most of what you've said other than the last paragraph. Water ingress that has activated moisture strips is a matter of fact and not conjecture. Given that this isn't affecting all owners of these devices it's difficult to prove a design flaw and I would say the burden of proof is on the customer not the network or manufacturer. That's the reality that we as customers have to face.




You may want to point that out to Walczak, several posts up then!


If there's no desire by the manufacturer/Network to stand by a certification then it should be removed from the product.


As for being conjecture, there are COUNTLESS examples of people using the devices "normally" and them failing due to water ingress. There's no way Sony can have 100% effectiveness on their design, but what they (and Vodafone) are saying is that if you're unlucky enough to be the recipient of an out of spec device, you have no recourse what so ever. It's simply "Water damage, and you caused it". There's no way they pressure test ALL the phones, they'll do a statistical analysis on the potential for failure.


I suppose it depends on the metal of the brand really and if they're willing to stand by their quality claims. I've just had the internals of a Tag Heuer watch completely replaced because of a failed seal after a battery replacement. Yes I realise that's many times the cost of a phone, but the fact is they stood by their certification.

17: Community Champion
17: Community Champion

There's another factor in play here, too.   Vodafone aren't allowed by any of the manufacturers to carry out warranty work if there's any evidence of damage, including water ingress.  Regardless of the efficacy and design of the port covers, this means your best bet is to go to the manufacture themselves, who will usually take a more pragmatic view.   Sony's terms specifically invalidate the warranty if the covers are damaged or not fitted, so you always have to arge a pre-existing fault.  They do feel very fragile but also seem to stand up well as long as they're not subjected to rigorous handling.   Issues with spurious water damage have dropped off considerably since waterproofing became the norm, so my guess is that it mostly works.

17: Community Champion
17: Community Champion
Hi, that seems like the going rate for a screen replacement, Vodafone could also do the repair but I doubt it would be much different in price.

I have heard of some shops on the high street doing it cheaper but that would void any warranty you had left.

IF the handset has been dropped and has a damaged screen the warranty is void from then on anyway?


i can have iphone screen repaired at about half the price Apple has quoted you.



17: Community Champion
17: Community Champion

Someone I work with had a new screen on her 5C this week for £65 same day service. A friend of mine who repairs phones would have done it for £45.


Find a local repair shop and use them but make sure they use genuine parts.