Swollen iPhone battery explodes on camera

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DIY iPhone repair blows up
Don’t open an iPhone with a swollen battery. It can burst into flames.
Photo: tryagainin47seconds

Experts warn of the dangers of mucking about with visibly damaged lithium-ion batteries, but some people just can’t resist. A guy taking an iPhone apart because the battery was swelling was caught on film as it blows up in his hands.

A Reddit user posted the video, and also explained:

“Battery had been replaced by coworker who originally owned the phone and he thinks it was faulty equipment. Battery was swelling up when I charged it and he was taking it apart to see what was going on.”

Don’t try this at home

A swelling lithium-ion battery is a sign that something has gone seriously wrong. iFixit warns “A swollen lithium-ion battery may catch fire or explode. Proceed with extreme caution.”

Swelling is a problem that has long plagued this type of battery. They expand as gasses are building up inside from oxidation of battery’s electrolyte (the chemical that allows electricity to flow between the cathode and anode). The root cause is the battery being overcharged.

iPhones are designed to not overcharge the battery, and very rarely spontaneously combust. That’s why the person attempting to repair the device in the video thinks the replacement one he installed was faulty.

As a side note, don’t stomp on flaming batteries. They burn at over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit; hot enough to seriously injure your foot.