1. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    Over the years, it's happened to us a couple of times that we upgraded a phone and dumped the old one, powered off, into a drawer and pretty much forgot about it. The first time was when I got my first Android device, so the old Windows phone went into the drawer, with the battery still in it. That first Android phone was entry level, so I still occasionally used the Windows phone for taking pictures as it had a much better camera. Then came a period of a month or two when I didn't use the Windows device; then one day I wanted to use it but found that the battery had swollen so much I couldn't get the cover back on,

    A couple of years later we upgraded again, and it happened with my wife's old phone. She'd taken the battery out and put it together with the phone, in a plastic bag, all in the back of a drawer. We practically forgot about it until we wanted an extra device to stream into our stereo, but found that the old battery had swollen up all by itself, not being used and not even installed in a phone.

    I've read that abuse, overuse, and overcharging can cause battery swell.. But how is it that a battery can seem to be in perfect working order, and then "blow up" by itself when it's not being used at all?

    And will using the device once in awhile prevent it? I always want to have a couple of old smartphones at home because it's handy to have an extra device for wifi streaming. I'd like to be sure it will work when I want it.
    02-22-2015 04:38 PM
  2. srkmagnus's Avatar
    I couldn't tell you why the battery swells when powered off for a long period of time. It actually seems kind of odd that it would. However, batteries will eventually reach their end of life faster if not in use. So if you don't use the device for a while it will likely be shortened and/or not work at all.

    Either way, you should power it on and give it a full charge periodically. Even if it's not actively being used.
    02-22-2015 05:42 PM
  3. Rukbat's Avatar
    Lithium batteries self-discharge. If you're going to leave them for a while, take them out of the phone (if they're not removable, sell the phone, don't store it) when they're at about 40% charge - that's the point at which they'll store the longest. Check them every 3 months and, if they drop down to 35%, charge them back up to 40%. (Depending on the battery, that should be every 6 months to a year.)

    When the battery is in the phone, the phone is still drawing some little bit of current. (If it wasn't, pressing the power button wouldn't do anything.) Eventually, the battery gets to the unusable part of its life, swells, and becomes hazardous waste. (Lithium is hazardous - PLEASE don't throw it in the trash. Heat at the town dump could cause a fairly decent explosion from the battery, releasing lithium gas. [It will kill the rats that feed at the dump, but it could kill the people working there too.] Many stores have battery recycling bins. Just dump it in one.)

    You can't overcharge a lithium battery unless you open the case and modify the charging circuit in the phone. Charging stops at 100%, even if you leave the charger connected for another month.

    "Overuse"? My V-551 is over 10 years old. It's still using the OEM batteries. (I always have at least 2, so that if I can't charge when the one in the phone drops to 40%, I can swap.) I'm still getting about 95% capacity. I suppose I could use them up - if I weren't 72. It would probably take another 20 years or so. Why have such an old phone? (And I mean old - it was at the time phones first started having cameras.) If I want to have phone service (even just to call 911 if necessary), but I'll be in an area where the phone might get wet, damaged or "found", a V-551 will cost about $20 to replace. A top of the line Android would cost a whole lot more. (The V-551 was once a top of the line phone.)

    Abuse? Absolutely. Getting that last 2 minutes out of the battery, dropping it to 2% charge? The battery will be gone in 6 months. Charge at 40%-50% and you'll be wondering why you're keeping such an old phone, with a working battery, when it belongs in a museum.

    Get a charger that will power the phone. (Old phones used smaller batteries and drew less power, so a 2 Amp charger should power the phone without a battery in it.) Keep the battery - out of the phone - at 40% charge.

    Stream from an old used $100 computer - that's more than enough for an audio streaming server. (The first network server I administered was less powerful than the cheapest tower you can buy today. It had 96MB of RAM, a 128MB hard drive and a 90MHz processor. And one of the things it did - just one of the things - was provide music on hold for the phone system. It also ran the network. You don't need much computer to stream music). Video? Maybe a $150 used computer. Unless you have 5 people watching a video on separate devices at once.
    02-22-2015 05:50 PM
  4. Dark Penguin's Avatar
    Lithium batteries self-discharge. If you're going to leave them for a while, take them out of the phone (if they're not removable, sell the phone, don't store it) when they're at about 40% charge - that's the point at which they'll store the longest. Check them every 3 months and, if they drop down to 35%, charge them back up to 40%. (Depending on the battery, that should be every 6 months to a year.)
    I'll definitely pay attention to this; it's good to have some guidelines.

    "Overuse"? My V-551 is over 10 years old. It's still using the OEM batteries. (I always have at least 2, so that if I can't charge when the one in the phone drops to 40%, I can swap.) I'm still getting about 95% capacity. I suppose I could use them up - if I weren't 72. It would probably take another 20 years or so. Why have such an old phone? (And I mean old - it was at the time phones first started having cameras.) If I want to have phone service (even just to call 911 if necessary), but I'll be in an area where the phone might get wet, damaged or "found", a V-551 will cost about $20 to replace. A top of the line Android would cost a whole lot more. (The V-551 was once a top of the line phone.)O
    By overuse, the site I was reading means hammering the phone's memory, processors, and other resources; i.e. running too many apps concurrently for a protracted period. This makes sense to me; I've certainly known my phone to get a little hot occasionally, and when I get a temperature warning I always dial it back.



    Get a charger that will power the phone. (Old phones used smaller batteries and drew less power, so a 2 Amp charger should power the phone without a battery in it.) Keep the battery - out of the phone - at 40% charge.
    Our two deactivated phones are Galaxy SII E4GTs; would they fall into this category?


    Stream from an old used $100 computer - that's more than enough for an audio streaming server. (The first network server I administered was less powerful than the cheapest tower you can buy today. It had 96MB of RAM, a 128MB hard drive and a 90MHz processor. And one of the things it did - just one of the things - was provide music on hold for the phone system. It also ran the network. You don't need much computer to stream music). Video? Maybe a $150 used computer. Unless you have 5 people watching a video on separate devices at once.
    We do have a couple old computers we can use for this, though it must be said that a phone is considerably handier. This is especially true in a car where an old computer wouldn't be practical. Obviously, live streaming isn't an option but at least I can have some recorded music. I live in the San Diego area, and I'm here to tell you that local music radio is worse than useless. The nice thing about music from the phone rather than a CD player is that most of my CDs have become "worn out", or bent, or something, and will not play in any kind of dedicated CD player. I really thought CDs were supposed to last forever, but that clearly isn't true, even the ones that I never kept in the car. Strangely, however, I can almost always rip those same CDs onto one of those old computers I mentioned, after which I can offload it to one or more phones.
    02-22-2015 10:15 PM

Similar Threads

  1. A simple good Compass App.
    By dc9super80 in forum Android Apps
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-16-2015, 01:48 AM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-22-2015, 08:32 PM
  3. Can't Use USB After Installing Alliance ROM
    By JohnnyGalaga in forum Samsung Galaxy S5 Rooting, ROMs & Hacks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-22-2015, 06:06 PM
  4. Why won't my Bluetooth mouse pair with my Galaxy Note 4?
    By AC Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-22-2015, 05:55 PM
  5. Why don't my letters match the blocks on my S5?
    By AC Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-22-2015, 03:42 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD