Could Overcharging Be Causing Your Battery to Swell?

Tech Tips

The pictures may be a little shocking, but battery swelling is a more common problem than people think. There are a lot of misconceptions about battery problems so we asked a few of our expert techs at the home office to explain more about the issue and why it happens.


Q: What are the causes of battery swelling?

A: There are 2 main kinds of swelling: solid and gas. When the battery cells are manufactured they are wrapped with a descriptive label to identify them. Sometimes the wrap is air tight and does not let gas out. The batteries over time release gas, but the wrap prevents it from diffusing out. The battery will then swell up. On the other hand, the battery can chemically react in a way that causes solid material to build up inside. In both instances the battery will swell beyond its normal shape.


Q: Will overcharging my phone cause the battery to swell?

A: Not typically, but using the wrong charger for your device can cause your battery to malfunction. Phone chargers usually provide a 5V supply and tablet and laptop chargers can be 20V or 25V. Charging your phone with something as high as 20V can overload the circuits.  


Q: Can the issue be fixed?

A: With gas swelling, sometimes the wrap can be repositioned so all the gas can escape normally. However with solid swelling, the battery is  compromised and only replacing can fix it.


Q: Is it dangerous?

A: Solid swelling is the most dangerous as the battery is not operating like it should. The battery is more likely to have other issues when it is exposed to high pressures or high heat. Air swelling is not dangerous to a person, but in either case swelling will damage the phone if it gets out of hand.


Q: What can be done to prevent it?

A: Most of these cases are due to the manufacturing process of the batteries. Properly charging and discharging the battery at normal temperatures will definitely help the battery. Only time can tell if the battery in a phone has a defect or not.

If your device begins to look a little bloated or the screen has cracked from the inside, the cause could be a swollen battery. uBreakiFix always has free diagnostics and your local store will know exactly what to do.

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