Many of us see their old devices (smartphone, PC, tablet, etc.) get damaged over the years due to a swollen battery. Here are some tips to follow if, by any chance, this happens to you.
We can go out of our way to preserve our batteries, unfortunately they have a tendency to swell in old devices after a few years in the bottom of a drawer. This seems especially true in the summer when heat waves affect them. at[person]’s house frandroidwe were able to experience it with a Samsung Galaxy S7 whose case had been broken by the battery.
The phenomenon may be quite common, but it is impressive nonetheless. Some might be wondering what to do with an old smartphone, PC or tablet whose battery has swollen. Here are some answers.
Why do batteries swell?
Remember that the vast majority of our electronic devices use lithium ion batteries. These have various qualities, some flaws, but above all, as the name suggests, it works through chemical reactions. Yes, you have to provide power. It is precisely for the proper functioning of these chemical reactions that it is recommended to keep the energy level of your smartphone as high as possible between 20 and 80%. Staying above or below this range for too long can accelerate battery aging.
@ArnaudGelineau had a little surprise when he found his old Galaxy S7
Reminder ⚠️: If this happens to you, do not try to remove the battery, use or charge the phone as it can be dangerous. pic.twitter.com/7YgYD9rf4Z
— Frandroid (@Frandroid) July 26, 2022
However, even if you have taken meticulous care of your device, its battery will inexorably age over the years. After a while, you will inevitably end up experiencing some malfunctions. So since these are chemical reactions, these concerns lead to the creation of gas in some cases. This gas will push against the walls of the battery causing it to gradually swell.
When inflated, the accumulator will in turn push against the hull of the smartphone (or PC or tablet) until it gives way. If, in addition to this, the battery or its integration in the device suffers from any defect – as was the case with the infamous Galaxy Note 7 – the product can catch fire.
Swollen battery: take all precautions
If you find a ruptured product due to a swollen battery, proceed with the utmost caution. Do not try to charge the device. Do not try to light it and avoid handling it as much as possible. There is always a significant risk of it blowing up in your face.
Also, keep in mind that just because you don’t see damage to a device (a phone, for example) doesn’t mean the internal battery isn’t swollen. Even on products that still appear intact, be on the lookout for potential chemical or metallic odors that may escape. This is one of the signs of a swollen battery.
You should also know that keeping damaged phone, PC or tablet at home is strongly discouraged. But beware, this does not mean that you can dispose of the device with the rest of the household waste. Electronic waste must be subject to special treatment.
What to do with a swollen battery
In France, the Ministry of Ecological Transition explains that “ Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) often contains environmentally hazardous substances or components. […]but they also have a high potential for recycling the materials that compose them […] “. Therefore, the ideal is obviously to go to the nearest recycling center to calmly deposit the damaged device.
The ministry also highlights the role of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) sector in France. It is in this context that the sites of organizations such as Ecosystem or Ecologic will direct you to the right place to drop off your device for recycling. Do not hesitate to consult with these platforms.
Finally, in the details of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, one passage is particularly important.
[…]Producers of household electrical and electronic equipment are responsible for the collection and treatment of household WEEE selectively collected in the national territory, including the overseas departments and overseas communities to which national regulations apply.
In other words, it is in your interest to consult the customer service of the brand that has placed your product on the market (for example: Apple, Asus, Xiaomi, etc.). In fact, the latter must offer a program to recover old devices, either by organizing it himself or by relying on a specialized partner. Also in this same spirit of promoting eco-responsible behavior around electronic products, France has established the repairability index.
Finally, some might be tempted to replace their old device’s swollen battery themselves. We absolutely do not recommend this solution, especially for people who are not used to playing this way. However, iFixit gives you some advice about it. The more adventurous can take a look.
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