My iPhone 3Gs got slightly damp (not wet) from being in my pocket in a rain storm. Since then, the top button (power on/off) is not working consistently. By that, I mean that sometimes when I hold the button down, the screen goes black as expected. Other times, nothing happens, and I have to press it multiple times to get the iPhone to respond. My iPhone 3G had the same type of issue that began after being exposed to salt-spray air at the beach.

I couldn't find any real information about the problem online using obvious search terms (iPhone 3Gs top button problems, iPhone top button problems, iPhone power button problems, etc).

Any ideas for easy solutions? The phone's a year old (just out of warranty, not that water damage would be covered anyway), and I was hoping it'd last at least another few months. I'm capable of basic repairs, but my skill with a soldering iron is limited, at best.

2 Answers 2


I'm afraid you've busted your iPhone. There's no easy solution.

That power button is known to be a weak spot, and submitting the phone to excess humidity (or direct moisture) is never a good idea, even if you weren't planning to be in that storm.

From your description it sounds like the switch is slowly corroding. It will not get better, only worse over time. I'd suggest to have the phone serviced as long as it's otherwise still in good condition, or give up and replace it sooner than planned.

You could also try to repair it yourself by opening it up and cleaning that switch, but it might not even be possible, and worse: you risk breaking your phone. Have it serviced instead.


If you feel brave, you can replace the part yourself. I recently followed this procedure to replace the headphone jack, which is actually part of the same circuitry as the power switch. It took a couple of hours and was a bit nerve-wracking, but all reasonably straight-forward.

Unfortunately my headphone jack is still broken :-( but the rest of the phone is fine.

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