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MacBook Pro Is Prone to Condensation!

All right Fellows, I am just sharing my experience about this problem, although I found a lot of complains about it on the web, there may still be someone trying to figure it out what happened to their mac.

All of the sudden my macbook pro didn’t turn on, being located in Brazil, and having to deal with an Apple authorized repair shop with horrible costumers reviews, I decided to open it up and try to have a clue of what was happening, and there it was, signs of humidity on the logic board.

For the fact that I am sure no spill was in question and there were also greenish like mold areas on the board, I knew I was looking at a chronic problem, to be more specific, a condensation problem that had been occurring for quite sometime. I have been living in the south of Brazil (where it is humid and gets cold in the winter months) for one year or so, but that should not be a reason for this kind of problem.

So, after searching the web for a while, I learned that I should remove and clean the logic board with isopropyl alcohol and a toothbrush, so I did it.

I was able to revive my mac but, just yesterday the same problem occurred again, and I followed the same procedure with the same result, Thanks God!

My humble conclusion is that, the Macbook Pro (mine is a 13” mid 2012) is prone to condensation due to its very high operating temperatures (hot air holds more moisture than cold air) caused by its enclosure and low rpm exhaust, plus, its cold aluminum unibody, making a perfect place for condensation to be created.

It is a shame Apple is sacrificing durability over design and quietness. They refused to address the problem and claimed it was due to liquid damage done by a spillage.

I don't mind paying a higher price for something but, I also expect that something to make it worth it. Unfortunately Apple thinks durability is not part of quality!

P.S.: As of right now, system is using about 60% of the CPU, that should be happening because at this time, I only cleaned the logic board from its underside, without removing it from its place. The same happened before, when I had kernel task taking about 90% of the CPU, before I took the logic board out for a complete clean up. The computer restarting by itself is another symptom of this problem.

If anyone would have any idea of how to avoid this problem from coming back, please let me know. I have been keeping my mac inside a closed case, together with a sock full of uncooked rice and a bag of desiccant, and already have macs fan control app set at 35 to 65 Cº.

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Omg! My computer died a few months ago and I was told it was water damage!!! Which is IMPOSIBLE because it never happened and I'm the only one how get near it. I fought, and cry and yell at apple care and they chance de motherboard with no cost. I have always love the custom service on apple, that's the only reason I keep using it, buy the never told me this problem. I even bring up the theory on condensation, because it was the only possible thing, and they told me.. NO WAY! That never happens. This is crazy. So happy to find this by mistake

We took a family vacation to Costa Rica in late October/early November, just towards the end of the rainy season. Temperatures were high 20's Celcius, and it rained at least 30% of every day, so humidity was very high - likely around the 90% range. The condo we stayed in did not have air conditioning. By day 2 or 3 of our trip, both my Macbook Pro and my daughter's (both 13" mid-2012 models) stopped working. Hers had the screen flashing and turning black and the track pad acting erratic (so we just shut it off to prevent damage), mine wouldn't even turn on. We thought they were both fried for good. However, our last night in CR, we stayed in an air conditioned hotel prior to flying home to Canada. Within about 3 hours of being in the dry environment provided by A/C, both laptops were back up and running fine - no future problems whatsoever.

Exactly what I face with my device in Germany. There is no window in the bath room and my ex-girlfriend took long-lasting showers, so the humidity was quite high at the time she stayed at my appartment.

After I took off the bottom plate, I saw water drops "inside" the laptop. I NEVER spilled ANYTHING on the MBP and it died 20 days after the 1 year warranty.

It's just bullshit what Apple did here. Will try to fix it by myself - Apple rejects warranty (even if the water indicators are colored green).

Does your MBP still work?

I have this same issue. Just moved to a house close to the beach, and the humidity and salt air are definitely the cause. Every time I bring the MacBook into the Apple store it starts working again because of the AC and low humidity.They checked it out and everything hardware is perfectly fine with no water damage whatsoever. It is a shame Apple has no resolution and are not even aware of this issue. My only option is to buy a new laptop and hope the newer MacBooks don’t have this issue.

Same issue here...macbook air early 2015 model. Over a period of 2 to 3 days, it used to get unusually heated up( first warning) then one fine day ..RIP. Went to apple service centre and was told its fungus attack and it had apparantly short circuited few components. Since Apple has a wonderful policy of Only Replace No Repair, cost of MLB replace will be $750. Why so despite being in warranty? Because it is a case under liquid damage. I fought with Apple guys over a month and finally they gave in. They replaced my MLB under a special exception case. Case closed but the ghost has haunted recently until I decided to bury the mac.

Questions: Apple has this issue with early 2015 editions and prior, why doesnt it acknowledges it and declare a recall. In a way it is complete fraud and cheating of customers.

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Cook the rice and eat it, it's doing you no good and add fresh desiccant often. Bake the old stuff to drive moisture out that it has absorbed for re-use.

You can get something like this that turns green when it needs recharging: http://www.pelican-case.com/15peldessilg...

Here's the refills: http://www.amazon.com/Indicating-Desicca...

Here's information on re-activating: http://www.jakesmp.com/CSD_Silica_Gel/CS...

Reactivation Instructions - Tyvek Packets

Low heat and a long processing time is required to properly dry out silica in Tyvek.

Do not try to cheat the process by starting with a hot oven or using excessive heat, doing so will destroy the storage medium and/or Silica material.

Products that include reactivation instruction users should follow the exact manufacture recommended instructions.

Important: Check your ovens temperature for proper heating levels.

Ovens must be a vented model to allow moisture released from the Silica to escape during the heating process. The best oven choice is convection or forced air system as it provides the best air flow to aid in drying the packets.

Tyvek has a melting point of 250 degrees Fahrenheit and will melt if you reach or exceed this temperature!

Place packets on a wire rack shelf to improve air-flow, do not pile up packets. When processing more than one rack of packets leave 1”-2” of space between racks, rack should be at lest 1-1/2 feet from the heat source.

The beads have trapped moisture so you need to start the reactivation process with a cold oven, this help prevent seal failure when the water vapor starts to cause the packets to expand as water molecules are released.

Silica can be reactivated at temperatures between 220 - 240 degrees, the ovens Temperature should not increase faster than 0.25 to 0.50 deg F per minute.

The Desiccant will require 12-24 hours of frying time depending on the volume of product being reactivated.

Packets reactivated should be promptly stored in a heat resistant air tight container to prevent moisture from being re-absorbed during the cooling period.

Once packets have cooled you can replace them in your area of humidity control or store these in an air tight container until ready to use.

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the world could be feed and starvation ended if people would use rice for the right thing and stop wasting it on there electronics

Never switch off the computer just close it , screen against keyboard, the unit will carry on every time you open it. My speakers are gone with humidity. Now I use external speakers.

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If I can add a little here? This old RAAF radio tech can offer a tip, although basically for Australian readers.

While I respect WD-40, it does stay sticky, and dust that passes through a fan-cooled device will tend to stick in on corners, and build up.

There is in Oz a product by the name of ‘RE-ACT’, which advertises itself as a ‘radio/electronic corrosion treatment’, available from ‘selected’ radio-supplies outlets. It can be thought of as a lacquer, but it’s viscosity lies between WD-40 and lacquer. The old lacquer dries hard and with a slight yellow colour, and was the traditional insulation applied to fine bare copper wire. When a wire overheated due some problem, the then well-known ‘brown-smell’ was a warning of impending urgent problems, or that a fuse was about to blow. That smell was the lacquer melting, sometimes even burning. It was/is a nuisance when wanting to re-solder a connection, as it had to be scraped off the joint before the solder would bond.

RE-ACT, on the other hand, is easily applied with a paint brush, artist size & quality being best. With that tool you can avoid runs. Thin and nearly clear, it dries to an almost-hard finish that totally blocks moisture & oxygen from a protected device or board, is flexible without cracks developing in the finish way down the track. One device I applied RE-ACT to was/still is a 1999-2000 PowerBook ‘Pismo’. Two previous Pismos had stopped when the pins of some chips simply corroded away. The treated one is still fully functional, and often reverted to (with it’s wonderful 3:2 screen) when I want to get away from the ads, and just get some work done, esp. in Excel 8.

For non-Aussies (poor people) suggest you ask around professional electronic repair shops, if you have any left.

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Condensation isn’t the issue, at least not in the way you might think it is.

My humble conclusion is that, the Macbook Pro (mine is a 13” mid 2012) is prone to condensation due to its very high operating temperatures (hot air holds more moisture than cold air) caused by its enclosure and low rpm exhaust, plus, its cold aluminum unibody, making a perfect place for condensation to be created.

Condensation occurs when moisture present in warm air meets a cooler surface, but this isn’t what’s happening if a MacBook is left at ambient temperature (everything would be covered in condensation if that was the case) or if it’s powered on - in which case it will obviously be running at temperatures above ambient, inhibiting the formation of condensation. This doesn’t prevent airborne moisture from causing havoc though, especially with regards to formation of corrosion.

There are two potential options to alleviate this issue.

  1. Removal of the logic board and spraying with either Servisol “Super 10 Contact and Switch Cleaner” or WD-40. Both of these work to disperse moisture, leaving a thin oily film which acts as a barrier against moisture. They’re electrically inert and from experience will not damage a logic board or its components.
  2. For a more permanent solution use clear coat lacquer. Again, remove the logic board and warm it up in an electric oven on its minimum setting to drive any residual moisture out. This will not damage the board or components as there’s no current flowing through it. Next, put masking tape over all connector points on the logic board, not forgetting the RAM slots (where present) and the display connector. If the heat-pipe assembly is being left in situ then cover up the radiator fins with a plastic bag as the insulating properties of the lacquer won’t be helpful. This is also the perfect time to remove the factory applied thermal paste and apply some fresh TIM of your own preference. Once all connections are protected and you’re sure you’ve not missed any, move onto the next step. Apply the clear coat lacquer in several thin layers allowing each layer to dry before applying the next. Leave at least 12 hours to harden then reassemble your computer.

Both methods will form a barrier against airborne moisture and will inhibit corrosion. If this seems a little extreme it’s not really when the alternative is paying Apple’s extortionate fees for a logic board replacement, in which case there’s nothing to lose anyway. As it is I’ve tried both methods and they both work, although the lacquer option is a more permanent fix.

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