Swollen battery in your laptop – what can you do?
Modern laptops can run on the battery for quite a long time. The batteries are lightweight, compact-sized and reliable. But every battery will sooner or later be depleted and over time it can even be damaged. What should give rise to concerns is any sign that points to a swollen battery. If this is the case, you need to replace the battery ASAP!
In this article you will find out:
- why a laptop battery swells
- how you can tell that your laptop battery is swelling
- whether or not a swollen battery is dangerous.
When does a battery swell?
Li-Ion batteries often used in laptops are efficient and don’t have the memory effect, which boosts their life, provided the device is used properly. Unfortunately, when the battery is damaged, was faulty from the beginning or tends to overheat, Li-Ion cells may release flammable gas. As a result, batteries swell – this mechanism has been designed to prevent the laptop from catching fire.
A swollen battery doesn’t happen too often. It usually happens when the battery is worn, prone to overheating, old or low-quality. It’s good to note that some models seem to be more prone to this fault – notably, laptops by Asus (e.g. R556L) and Dell.
How do you know that the battery is swollen?
A swollen laptop battery usually causes the case to change its shape. With time, the deformation might become more and more pronounced. This is the basic symptom that should give rise to concerns. Sometimes it may be accompanied by:
- fast-draining battery,
- problems with the touchpad (in some models the pressure caused by a swollen battery means the touchpad stops responding),
- problems when you disconnect the laptop from the power source – e.g. the display screen goes dead
- damaged keyboard.
Is swollen battery dangerous?
The answer is: yes. Once the battery starts swelling, it may only get worse. If you’re lucky, the battery will simply stop working at some point. Otherwise, a swelling battery may cause serious damage, which may require extra servicing (e.g. it could “push out” the touchpad). Unfortunately, in extreme situations the risk is really grave: the laptop could even catch fire. This usually means the device is irreparably destroyed. Plus, the fire might spread and this is definitely something you would like to avoid.
What to do if the battery swells?
If your laptop battery swells, you should replace it. Once you’ve noticed the characteristic signs, you have no time to lose – a swollen battery is a threat to the device and to yourself.
When you suspect the battery might be swelling, immediately disconnect the laptop from the power source. Place the device on a flat surface, previously removing all the flammable objects from the vicinity. The laptop should first cool down. Later you could try removing the battery – remember to be careful. Don’t try wedging it up or prodding it with sharp devices Once you have removed the battery, keep it in a safe place and then dispose of it according to the mandatory provisions. DO NOT throw the battery away to the litter bin! (All batteries should be disposed of in a specific manner, according to the rules – but when the battery is swollen, the risk of fire increases!)
If you’re not 100% sure whether the battery is at fault, you find it hard to remove the battery or are afraid to do it on your own – take your laptop to a service store.
Of course, before the warranty expires, you should report any defect and discuss the options of a warranty repair.
Warning! If you remove a battery, you can still work on your laptop while it’s connected to the power supply, until you get a new battery. But you should never ever use a device with a swollen battery inside.
Can you avoid a swollen battery?
You can never be sure that your laptop battery will never swell – it can happen to any device. Using original batteries and chargers won’t do the trick, either – original batteries in some models also swell. You can make sure you’re using your device in a proper way to minimise the risk of damage. Here’s what you can do:
- avoid overheating
- charge the battery properly (do not wait until it’s completely discharged, do not leave it connected to the power source at all times)
- use a high-quality charger with parameters compatible with the laptop
- when you opt for a replacement, choose high-quality batteries
- always note the battery condition – if you see it’s overheating or drains too fast, consider getting a replacement
- before you choose a specific laptop – check the opinions related to its battery.
If your laptop battery is swelling, don’t wait – order a replacement and install it. You will find high-quality laptop batteries with a one-year warranty in our online store.
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