Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Disposing of a swelling battery

Disposing of a swelling battery
Thread Tools
davidflas
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 12:12 AM
 
My mother has a 2.0Ghz Core2Duo Macbook and the battery has swelled to the point that the computer is tilted. I've removed the battery and want to get rid of it. What's the best way to do this? Can I just take it to Best Buy since they will take computer batteries, or is this battery a safety hazard?
2.7Ghz 15" Mid 2012 MBP 16GB RAM 7.2k 750GB HD anti-glare display|64GB iPad4 ATT LTE|
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 02:10 AM
 
I would contact Apple about it.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 08:34 AM
 
Try 1-800-SOS-APPL.
     
Waragainstsleep
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 08:53 AM
 
You can usually give them to Apple and let them deal with it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 08:55 AM
 
Most electronics dealers, and certainly any that have a repair center, are equipped to dispose of such batteries.
     
DCJ001
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Oct 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 10:43 AM
 
I had the same thing happen to my (exactly the same model) MacBook. It was a few years out of warranty. The swollen battery was affecting the trackpad because it was swollen and hitting the trackpad.

I went to an Apple store after having made a Genius bar appointment. I handed the MacBook to the rep, with a detailed truthful story to tell about my MacBook's history. Before I could start talking, the rep said, "You've got a swollen battery. Let me get you a new one (from the store's retail shel).

He swapped out the battery, checked to ensure that the MacBook was working as it should, and he sent me on my way, a happy customer.

You should do this too.
     
Geoduck
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Nanaimo, BC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 11:19 AM
 
Our recycling center takes rechargeable batteries. I've sent them several old laptop batteries over the years.
Though I did not know the place, I set out for the land of my dreams
When I arrived at the land of my dreams, I found I did not know the place
     
davidflas  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2012, 11:51 PM
 
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. My mother is planning on replacing her Macbook anyway as it has other issues. I just wanted to be sure that a swelling battery isn't dangerous in any way. It sounds like it can just recycle it as I would with any battery.
2.7Ghz 15" Mid 2012 MBP 16GB RAM 7.2k 750GB HD anti-glare display|64GB iPad4 ATT LTE|
     
Waragainstsleep
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 4, 2012, 01:00 AM
 
It can be dangerous if you continue to use it. They have been known to catch fire or explode, as you might expect if it continues to swell.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Former Genius
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Aug 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 5, 2012, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
It can be dangerous if you continue to use it. They have been known to catch fire or explode, as you might expect if it continues to swell.
What lies!

No, it is not dangerous. It is normal for batteries to swell, typically after they have failed.
They are not a safety risk. They do not catch fire or explode.

There was one recall back around 2005 involving Sony-manufactured batteries that included certain PowerBooks and iBooks where there were reports for less than 1/100th of 1 percent of batteries where they caught fire. Apple had a recall for those, presumably Sony helping to re-imburse them for it.

If you're looking to get a new battery, just have the Genius Bar replace it, at a $30 discount. Then they'll take the old one. Keep in mind swollen batteries (unless it's not consumed and you're in warranrty) still have a price; the fact that it is swollen does not mean it's unsafe.

Originally Posted by davidflas View Post
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. My mother is planning on replacing her Macbook anyway as it has other issues. I just wanted to be sure that a swelling battery isn't dangerous in any way. It sounds like it can just recycle it as I would with any battery.
At the Apple Store they have a procedure for batteries that could be on the verge of explosion. (It would typically take a direct force onto the actual battery to cause something like that. Kids, don't take a hammer to your computer batteries.) I had inquired if swelling batteries had to be processed through the same channel; the answer is no. They are recycled just like any other. So, yes, you're correct, you can recycle it the same way any other battery can be recycled.

Or just have Apple recycle your computer and maybe get some money back. http://www.apple.com/recycling
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2012, 12:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Former Genius View Post
It is normal for batteries to swell, typically after they have failed. They are not a safety risk.
With all due respect I do not believe you.

I am not a battery expert but I am a photog who has used hundreds of rechargeable batteries many thousands of times. And I have had a (replaceable) Apple laptop battery swell 0.25"-0.35" and split the battery seams over a few hour time period.

A swollen laptop battery can happen very fast and literally split the seams. Given that batteries are electro-chemical devices with by-definition-active chemical reactions happening, and that battery-related fires have been reported, I do not accept that as "not a safety risk."

Swelling batteries should be safely stored in a fire-safe location until properly disposed of.

-Allen
     
subego
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2012, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Former Genius View Post
What lies!
No, it is not dangerous. It is normal for batteries to swell, typically after they have failed.
They are not a safety risk. They do not catch fire or explode.
This is incorrect, and dangerous.

Running current though a failed battery will continue to make it swell. As battery casings cannot expand indefinitely, if you continue to run a charge through it, sooner or later the casing will burst.
     
King Bob On The Cob
Mac Elite
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Illinois
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 6, 2012, 08:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is incorrect, and dangerous.
Running current though a failed battery will continue to make it swell. As battery casings cannot expand indefinitely, if you continue to run a charge through it, sooner or later the casing will burst.
Yes and no. A swollen battery will have a higher resistance, which means at some point you cannot continue using that cell. At this point, the microchip in Apple's batteries will refuse to continue trying to force a charge through it (And physics says it can't continue accepting a charge unless you shove more volts into the cell, which can't be done without ruining the rest of the computer.)

Then again, you don't want to risk an error and having a fire on your hands.
     
Doc HM
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: UKland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 23, 2012, 12:10 PM
 
Of course swelling batteries are dangerous. There are dangerous and toxic chemicals inside all batteries.

I have had several customers batteries swell up, and more than one upon removal from the Mac (which was constraining the swelling) has continued to swell and burst its seams over the course of only a few minutes.

I don't expect an actual fire is on the cards, but definately a chemical hazard. Dispose of any battery carefully and correctly.
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
Waragainstsleep
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 24, 2012, 02:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Former Genius View Post
What lies!
No, it is not dangerous. It is normal for batteries to swell, typically after they have failed.
They are not a safety risk. They do not catch fire or explode.
There was one recall back around 2005 involving Sony-manufactured batteries that included certain PowerBooks and iBooks where there were reports for less than 1/100th of 1 percent of batteries where they caught fire. Apple had a recall for those, presumably Sony helping to re-imburse them for it.

So I'm lying when I say they have been known to catch fire or explode, but you are also aware that they have in fact caught fire and exploded?

Well if you were a genius, you certainly don't appear to be one any more.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:47 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,