6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2008 9:51 AM by PowerbookG4er
harvest1588 Level 1 (0 points)
This question probably gets asked 1000 times a day, but here goes.
I searched the forums and didn't find an answer that was exactly specific to my situation.

I just spilled an ounce or two of water on my laptop (in the keyboard area, specifically). The screen immediately went black. However, I can still turn the power on and it works just fine for a minute or so until it turns off again (it goes into more of a standby than actually shutting off).

I tried drying off what I could initially with a napkin, but some of it seeped in. Right now I have my computer turned off, lying gently upside down on a pillow with a fan blowing on it in an attempt to let it dry. It seems to work fine other than that it goes into standby after a minute or so every time I turn it on.

I'm assuming I might just have to let it dry for a little while, but if anyone has any specific advice on what to do, I would really appreciate it.


Macbook, Mac OS X (10.0.x)
  • harvest1588 Level 1 (0 points)
    So my computer is working now, but only when I take out the battery and plug it in. Am I definitely going to need a new battery, or is there a chance I just need to let it dry out a bit longer?
  • Zlig Level 4 (1,340 points)
    Hi this can be one of the worst things that can happen to a laptop

    Hopefully no crucial electronics have been shorted - you did the right thing turning it upside down and removing the battery.

    Like you I would leave it a while longer to dry and then take it in for a checkup. Like all electronic equipment it can be hazardous when wet so best check it over before using it.
  • harvest1588 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the reply.

    I don't think I took out the battery soon enough. The computer is working fine, but only when the battery is out. When it's plugged in and 'on' and I put the battery in the screen instantly goes black and the white 'standby' light goes on. If I press a key it tries to start up and then fails.

    What I'm going to do next is see if a battery from a different computer works. I'm going to let my battery sit out for a couple more days to see if it just needs to dry out more, but I'm worried I'm going to have to buy a new one (which at least would be better than buying an entirely new computer).
  • Zlig Level 4 (1,340 points)
    I don't want to raise false hopes, but I have seen Macs survive similar incidents. A friend/client spilt a 1/2 pint tumbler of water on his brand new MacBook Pro 17 keyboard about 18 months ago and the machine still works fine till this day. Macs are extremely tough machines so don't give up on your just yet!

    I guess the moral of the story is that computing and liquids don't mix

    Hope it turns out Ok for you.
  • harvest1588 Level 1 (0 points)
    OK a few hours later I put the battery back in and it didn't turn off instantly like it did last time!

    I think it's gonna be all right
  • PowerbookG4er Level 1 (30 points)
    In future, if you happen to spill an "ounce or two" of water on your laptop, immediately remove al power sources, meaning yank the battery and the power cord no matter what you have open, and do not try and boot it for at least a day, if not longer, as if there is water in the boards or crucial electronic components, namely everything inside your laptop, if you try to boot it, you will more than likely screw things up worse. Tent it and let it dry out, then maybe take a warm hairdryer to it after it has dried for a day to get the last of the moisture out. Never ever ever ever, under any circumstances start up a computer with water in it, its kind of akin to dropping a hairdryer in the bathtub, then repeatedly trying to get in and out of the tub with the hairdryer plugged in, your probably not gonna do so well against the current through the water, and neither is your laptop. Best of luck tho.