Droid 4 Battery Swelling

Discussion in 'Droid 4 Tech Support' started by tailwinddon, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. tailwinddon
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    tailwinddon New Member

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    Hi,
    I am on my fourth Droid 4 in three years. The last two have had a problem with the battery swelling (enough to push the back cover out.) It does get warm. The last one wasn't a year old yet. I read somewhere that playing games can cause the battery to swell. I do play poker or crossword puzzles for a couple of hours a day. Can that possibly cause the battery to swell?
    Thanks,
    Don
  2. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    If the battery is swelling I would stop using it immediately and call Verizon to ask for another replacement. You wouldn't want to be playing poker and have that thing explode in your hands.
  3. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Nothing less than a short should be causing the battery to swell. Any swelling at all is bad and should be replaced asap.

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  4. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Don, no apps can be held responsible for a battery swelling...as mountainbikermark said, in respect to consumption of power only a short or near short can create the massive power consumption necessary to swell a battery. There are other potential causes of batteries swelling;

    1) If the battery is charged at too high a current rate (not likely since the chargers aren't putting out anywhere near enough to be the cause),
    2) If the battery is over-charged (also not likely since the charging circuit in the phone limits the battery voltage),
    3) and deep-discharging (which IS a possibility if the meter has fallen out of sync with the battery and telling the phone it has power left in the battery when it's actually fully discharged).

    In any case I agree 100% with dezymond...a battery that's swelling is a battery that's potentially a very serious hazard and should be discontinued from use immediately and disposed of properly. Do NOT keep the battery in the house, car, boat, plane...anywhere that is enclosed. Take the battery outside, leave it on Cement until which time you can drop it off at a hazardous waste facility.
  5. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    You forgot #4. Made In China. Quality control within the cells themselves are a crap shoot with Chinese batteries.

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  6. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    You're right... Poor quality in craftsmanship and inferior materials can contribute to a higher than normal percentage of defective cells which can subsequently lead to early failure and dangerous consequences

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
  7. tailwinddon
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    tailwinddon New Member

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    Hi again,
    Thanks to all for the prompt replies. The battery in the Droid 4 is not removable so when it gets fat I call Verizon and they send me another. Even with the Cloud and other backups I'm getting tired of reloading info into the phone. It's always on the Verizon charger if I'm not using it so I can only "assume" it's not over charging. The romance is fading with Droid. I used to be able to set the phone to "never sleep." now the longest setting is 10 minutes.
    Thanks again,
    Don
  8. zomnomnombie
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    zomnomnombie Active Member

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    The reason why your batteries are failing is because you have it on the charger all the time.
  9. bweN diorD
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    bweN diorD Well-Known Member

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    if its "always on the charger when im not using it", that constant cycling is whats likely causing the battery to swell.
    im sure FoxKat will insert a technical explanation for this later :)
  10. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Actually yes, that is over charging it.
    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_lithium_ion_batteries

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  11. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yes, they're both correct - topping off of the battery does accelerate the aging process, and will dramatically shorten the battery's life. Since swelling is a common part of the aging process, swelling would occur sooner as well.

    The less time the battery sits between 90% & 100%, as well as between 10% & 0% the longer it will last. If you push those ranges even farther, (80% to 100% & 20% to 0%), you'll increase the battery's lifespan up to 4-fold or better.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  12. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    So charging between say 20%-80% is the ideal range to get the longest overall battery life? It's early for me right now, my brain is still waking up:p
  13. leeshor
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    leeshor DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There is another possibility I did see mentioned, (I could have missed it). I don't know how much amperage/voltage your original charger was supposed to provide to the phone but the wall chargers are supposed to adjust for both the voltage and amperage depending on what is plugged in to them.

    I have one charger that outputs 15v @ 2 Amps. The standard voltage is 5v DC. But I can plug a 5v device into it and the circuit in the charger understands. If the charger was bad or wasn't correctly sensing the circuit in the phone it could be destroying the batteries.

    In short, if my 15v charger malfunctioned I could see it being a serious problem with my 5v devices.

    Or it could be, as stated so well previously, a crappy battery. ;)
  14. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yes, the expected lifespan of a battery under typical usage/charging patterns (when it will no longer hold a charge that's at least 80% of rated capacity), is 500 complete charge/discharge cycles, where a complete cycle is the charging and discharging of 100% of the battery's capacity. So if you charge to 100%, use to 50%, charge to 100% and use to 50%, you have completed 1 (not 2), complete 100% charge/discharge cycle.

    So for the typical user, that battery should last about 1.5 to 2 years before it will only hold about 80% of its rated capacity. If you charge as you indicated, staying between 20% and 80%, you could extend that to 2,500 cycles! Now there are other limits - namely the "shelf-life" of the batteries, which is between 3 and 4 years typically, so even if you charged and discharged in that 60% range, you may never actually get 2,500 cycles since time continues ticking away no matter what your charging and discharging practices are.

    Then there's the "effective" lifespan - where the battery has served its intended purpose and the PHONE is no longer a viable device when compared to newer devices of that time. What does this mean? It means you probably will replace the phone LONG before the battery reaches the 80% capacity limit if charging in the 60% range. Truth is, you may even replace the phone before 1.5 years, so the expected lifespan of 500 cycles works relatively well for most people.

    What it will do for you though, is provide longer run-times during that 1.5 years or so, but it also means you'll be plugging into the wall more often. For me, that's not a problem since I have a car Navigation Dock and a Desktop Dock, so when I'm not carrying the phone, it sits in one or the other, giving it frequent "boost" charges. This is the preferred method of charging for this battery's chemistry, and will result in the longest lasting battery.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  15. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    Wow I didn't realize charging between certain percentages would have such a significant increase on the amount of cycles a battery can go through. I usually charge from 60-70% to full in the middle of the day, so I guess I've been doing it right all along.
  16. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    leeshor, what charger is that which has the auto-sensing voltage regulator? I'm curious and would like to do some research.
  17. leeshor
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    leeshor DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's an ASUS Transformer charger. The Transformers charge very quickly at 15v 2.0 A and last forever.
  18. bweN diorD
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    bweN diorD Well-Known Member

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    i was thinking exactly the same thing.
  19. mountainbikermark
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    mountainbikermark DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Actually no. To increase the longevity if battery health, charging above 80% is not optimal or is letting it get below 20%. If you're only using about 40% of your battery each day (if I'm reading what you wrote correctly) for optimal battery health and longevity, let it drop to 30-40% and only let it get to about 80%, then remove from the charger. Never charge a battery that has more than 85% left. You may remember the "bump charge" method described for getting the most from HTC phones. It was where you charged until green, shut off the phone, charged again until green, powered phone back up, remove from charger. HTC phones read 100% when they're actually between 95-98% , thus the sudden drop after unplug, and bump charging, while giving the extra charge to 100% causes harm to the battery that dramatically reduce its overall health and longevity.

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  20. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yeah I haven't done the bump charge method since I got rid of my Dinc.

    What I normally do is I leave the house with 100% battery and when I come back a few hours later I'm down to roughly 60-70% battery life, usually. I then charge it to full again and don't charge it the rest of the day as it lasts me the rest of the day and don't charge until the next morning when I'm hovering around 40-50%.

    So I use about 40% of my batter for half a day, and then 40% or so for the other half of the day + overnight. Overnight I only lose maybe 5% at most so I don't charge it before I go to bed. Wake up then charge it to full and then start my little charging routine over again.
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