Sadly, yesterday I've spilled some water on my MacBook Pro (El Capitan). Before you yell at me - it was closed, turned off and it wasn't a lot of water, the laptop was wet only on the top and under - not inside.

Today I've turned him on. At first battery wasn't recharging for some reason, but SMC reset fixed the problem.

At the first booting speaker was like talking to me, hard to explain but it was weird. Also only right speaker was "talking", despite the fact that only left side of the laptop was watered. Then there was no sound at all, not from the speakers, nor from the headphones. Also microphone's not working. USB ports are okay. The water was spilled from the left side of the laptop. I know this is hardware issue, and something's broken, but I want to be 100% sure. No it's not muted. I've also tried NVRAM reset a few times, but it doesn't fix the problem :(

There might be one factor, before spilling, my laptop "died" for the first time (battery energy ran off), but I doubt it's the case. (but hey, every info matters, right?)

It wouldn't be weird for me, if only left speaker wouldn't work, but built-in microphone not working is kinda weird in this case, isn't it?

I just want to ask you guys, what else can I check, before I'll be 100% sure it's dead inside?

I've plugged in external microphone - it's not working too.

2 Answers 2


I repair Macs for a living, and have seen just about every possible WRONG way of handling a liquid spill.

the answer is water.

If you inject water into your mac, you've f'd it up.

Consider 1 drop of water in a Mac to be the equivalent of ingesting 2 pints of JackDaniels in your body.

Drink 2 pints of Jack, and let us know how predictable you are... yeah.. it isn't going to end well..IF you end up with a hangover instead of an ER trip, you're lucky..

Water in your Mac is the same way. It is lethal. as in, deadly. as in, if you do it, STOP everything and fix it. or your Mac could very well die.

General stupid ways of handling spilled water could include:

  • crossing your fingers and hoping that nothing got hurt
  • inserting your Mac into a gallon of rice and hoping that it dried out with no damage
  • inserting your Mac into a microwave to dry it out
  • restarting your mac (or plugging it in) without having disassembled it and cleaning out the water.
  • logging onto the internet with the mac and querying others to see what they'd do.

General intelligent ways of dealing with spilled water would include:

  • IMMEDIATELY shutting it off
  • NOT restarting it
  • NOT plugging it in
  • removing the battery (if removable)
  • fully disassembling the laptop (or taking it to a shop which does the above)

Water leads to all of the following actions:

  • shortouts (chips burning up)
  • corrosion
  • blown circuits
  • battery failure
  • fire
  • permanent damage
  • mold

IF you spill water in your Mac, shut it down. do not reboot it. remove the battery. disconnect power. Take it to a professional shop who repairs issues like this.

letting it simply sit for a few days will only prolong the damage, because water causes corrosion.

The ONLY correct action after a liquid spill is to fully clean the boards, dehydrate them, then reassemble. and if you don't know what you're doing, you're likely going to cause MORE damage.

Based on your explanation, your Mac got water in it. and your running of it has likely blown the ADC circuit on the logic board, or possibly part of the USB sub-circuit.

  • 5
    The last part of your answer was enough.
    – user161075
    Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 13:08
  • 3
    Worse - capillary action pretty much guarantees that a thimble full of water in the right place can travel along cracks and joints in the parts and move just about anywhere. Just because the water went in by the P key - it might not stay there and could really go anywhere. I’ve seen cases where this happens and also cases where a lot of water (cups) were spilled on the keyboard, yet once you open - none went anywhere that was hard to clean and no damage was done.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 20:06

Well. Everything's working fine now. I just had to hit it hard (no jokes) And it's working like charm, even after all the time. I found out that this Mac is pretty old, maybe water wasn't even the case.

  • 1
    You got lucky. The answer above is a better lesson to be learned.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 11:12

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