Why do phone batteries swell?
Like a set of things in biography, the reason why telephone batteries swell comes down to chemistry. Tech repair locate iFixit provides a chic overview, but it basically boils down to stoichiometry. Lithium-ion batteries rely on a chemical chemical reaction to charge. As you may remember from senior high school school chemistry, if a chemical chemical reaction does not fully consume all available reagents, it will create byproducts alternatively — and sometimes those byproducts are undesirable. ( persona credit : Shutterstock ) As such, if you charge a faulty lithium-ion battery, the process generates gasoline quite than merely charging. This gasoline builds up over time, and since batteries are hermetically sealed, they expand preferably than vent. Perform this action over and over on a defective battery, and you ’ ll get more and more gasoline. That ’ south why my earphone went from a hairline crack to pushing the screen right out of the housing. And if you keep charging and charging, the battery will finally burst — and potentially explode. That ’ s what happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, if you remember that unharmed debacle, in 2016. ( trope credit : Shutterstock ) I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate want to give the impression that a call with a conceited battery is a tick time bomb. In fact, the odds are against it on a charge-by-charge basis. But if you continue using that damaged device indefinitely, you ’ re looking at a burst barrage venting some identical unpleasant gases, at best — and, at worst, if you keep your phone in your pocket, a small open fire right following to body parts that do n’t react well to flames .
How to handle a swollen battery
The first thing you should do with a swell battery is to run your phone ’ south charge down ( keeping an eye on the device the whole time ), then put it in a cool, dry invest while you evaluate your future options.
( trope recognition : Shutterstock ) By way of disavowal, I can only speak from my own experience as the owner of a Motorola telephone with a Verizon Wireless plan. But any manufacturer and wireless carrier should provide similar services to what ‘s described below, so you should have most of the same options at your disposal. The first matter I did was to see whether my call ’ mho manufacturer could solve the trouble. I tweeted at the Motorola support account, where a customer-service rep gave me some adept advice. My merchandise was out of guarantee, but Motorola could still potentially fix it for a price. I filled out a few forms on the web site, and learned that Motorola could indeed fix or replace the call for a $ 120 fee. It seemed a small steep, since you can get a perfectly good newly call for about $ 200. But the company could have just washed its hands of an out-of-warranty device entirely — your earphone manufacturer ’ s access may vary. individually, I contacted Motorola ’ s corporate agency to see whether this issue happens frequently, and what course of action the caller recommends when it does occur. We will update this piece once we hear back from them .
Call a repair shop
From the Motorola web site, I besides learned that the company has dozens of empower repair shops all across the state. While precisely about any telephone repair patronize can swap out a battery, I felt a short better about entrusting my device to a repairman who had Motorola ’ s blessing. MORE: Smartphones with the Longest Battery Life unfortunately, New York City is a bite of a dead-zone for Motorola repair shops, so I had to call a technician in Springfield, NJ. He said that he could perform the rectify within about an hour, and it ’ d cost $ 100. not a bad price — although it ’ d cost some fourth dimension and money to get out there. This won ’ thymine be a trouble if your phone manufacturer offers something like conclude to where you live, though. ultimately, a coworker recommended a general rectify shop near where I live ; I figured it was worth calling for an estimate. While this facility didn ’ metric ton have Motorola ’ s official seal of approval, the technician promised that he would get an official original-equipment manufacturer battery and repair the device in three to five business days for $ 80. thus far, it ’ s the best offer I ’ ve had — but ultimately, not the cheapest .
Do it yourself
An official battery for the Z2 play costs about $ 30 ; a newfangled set of adhesive costs about $ 5. With ship, I could conceivably consequence repairs on my telephone for about $ 40. however, as with a batch of DIY repairs, there are hide costs, excessively. In accession to my fourth dimension ( the procedure takes between one and two hours ), I ’ vitamin d besides need a handful of tools that I don ’ t have handy, like a heat grease-gun, a potent plastic menu ( previous recognition cards bend excessively easily to pry anything ), and a spudger. I ’ m of two minds about DIY battery repairs. On the one hand, everyone should have a crude estimate of how his or her telephone works, and replacing a battery is a reasonably simple pay back, even for a layman. On the early hand, once you take tools and department of labor costs into consideration, you ’ rhenium not very saving that much money, and it ’ s not a “ fun ” work, by any means. MORE: Best Phones of 2019
To split the difference, I ’ ll say this : If you want to replace a battery yourself, there ’ s no cause why you can ’ metric ton do so — specially on older devices, where voiding the guarantee is not an issue. And if you don ’ thymine want to make your own repairs, there ’ s no compelling cause why you should. If you decide to go the DIY route, though, be very careful when you remove the battery. just clear the area right away if you smell anything pollute, or if the battery starts to get hot. Having a metallic bucket handy in case the device emits smoke is n’t the worst mind, either .
To summarize : If your barrage is swollen, stop using your call ASAP. Let the charge run down, then investigate your compensate options. You can contact your manufacturer, use a local haunt shop, or replace the battery yourself. Expect to spend somewhere between $ 50 and $ 150, depending on how much shop around you plan to do. A conceited battery is a major inconvenience, and a likely health gamble. But you just can ’ t competitiveness chemistry. Metal oxidizes, and when it does, it creates a gaseous by-product. You can take the proper precautions — or you can get burned .