Swelling Battery on iPhone X

Warning: It’s important to know that your battery is at risk of catching fire if it’s already reached a swollen state. Do not try to replace the battery if your device is unusually hot, smells really bad, or is already on fire. It can wait! If this all sounds a little too scary, and you’re not feeling totally comfy with the repair, that’s okay too—replacing a swollen battery can be intimidating. Take a deep breath, power down your phone, and then put it in a fireproof container and take it to a repair professional.

The above advice came from iFixit.

I first noticed it a few weeks back. One side of my iPhone had lifted up.

I pushed it back in.

And it lifted up again.

The device was also getting hot when in use. Like really hot.

This particular model of iPhone was released in November of 2017. Not quite three years old. With so many businesses shutdown due to COVID-19, I could not find a repair professional in our area to resolve the swollen battery. I also would like to avoid the potential for a fireball and an explosion.

The last thing that I want to do right now is spend money on a new iPhone.

But so much of my life is in that thing.

I went online to the Apple store and I can get a new one delivered sometime next week. However, the cost for a new device is so high that I really don’t feel comfortable with having a courier put it into the parcel drop-off container by the entrance to the park. Packages are being left outside of the park office due to COVID-19. We are not allowed any visitors to the site and that includes couriers with parcel deliveries.

All of the Apple stores in the Greater Toronto Area are closed. No way to pick up the device if ordered from Apple online.

The Jump Plus stores, Apple premium resellers, are open for curbside pickup.

And this is where things get a little surprising.

I went online to the Jump Plus website at around 8pm last night. It wasn’t clear to me how to check for stock and how to place an order for pickup. There was a chat window and I used it to ask my question. Within seconds, I had an answer. Email the store.

Okay.

So I did.

And within a few minutes, the manager of the local Jump Plus store responded.

We traded a few messages and he left me with this comment:

I understand your frustration, and we will get you fixed up ASAP. I am going to book you a tentative appointment at our store for 2:00pm and will confirm with you as soon as we are in!

I expected the email to languish in some inbox for days, if not weeks, before getting an answer.

I learned a few things about batteries in smartphones. Like this tip on how to care for the battery:

Let your phone run out of battery slowly, and charge it slowly. This limits stress, lets the chemical reactions complete more fully, and keeps the device heat down. That means you shouldn’t have your phone hooked up to its charger when it doesn’t need to be, and try not to stop and start charging at short intervals. But most importantly, don’t drop the phone! Screen cracks are obvious, but drops can jostle or even puncture the battery completely invisibly, and that can be much more dangerous.

I have a charger on my nightstand and I used to leave the iPhone connected to the charger every night. That may have been a contributing factor. Although there is another.

iPhone batteries degrade. They are rated to hold 80 percent of their capacity for roughly 500 charge cycles. That means 18-24 months before the battery begins to decline. That decline will cause the iPhone to become slow. And a push by Apple to force you into a new iPhone.

Apple recently settled a lawsuit for deliberately slowing down iPhones because of battery degradation.

Apple Inc has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones as it launched new models, to induce owners to buy replacement phones or batteries.

I will try to make a repair to my iPhone X once things open up a bit more in our province. Lorraine is using one of my older iPhones, an iPhone 7. Assuming that I can get the X back up and running, the 7 will find a new home elsewhere and Lorraine will have an iPhone X.

How does all of this relate to our coach?

A reminder for me to check and test our coach batteries. They also degrade over time. And they can also catch fire.

Although produced about nine years ago, this is still one of the best videos on how to maintain the batteries in an RV from our friends over at the RV Geeks.

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