The mystery of the exploding telephone

While having breakfast this morning I happened to glance across the room at our new telephone.  We recently bought a set of cordless phones with some wedding money, and have set one up downstairs in the lounge and the other in the office upstairs.  They look pretty neat.  Except that the one downstairs appeared to be switched off.  Odd, I thought, I don’t remember switching it off.  Upon closer inspection I discovered that not only was it very definitely off but it wouldn’t switch on again either.  A distinctly iffy smell was detectable too, and when I took the cover off the back to get to the batteries I discovered that one of the rechargeable AAA batteries had exploded.  Not good.Actually it wasn’t all that dramatic, it was just a leak, but it was still rather annoying given that the battery had only been in use for about a week.  I did wonder whether leaving the phone on the charger all the time was a good idea, but the manual said nothing about it so I assumed it would be fine, but now I’m beginning to think maybe the batteries don’t like to be constantly charging after all.  I know that’s the case normally with rechargeable batteries, in that they have a much longer lifespan if you let them run down completely before charging them back up again, but since the phone manual said nothing about this I guessed there must be a clever system built in that only charges the battery when it gets low.  But no, it charges the phone whenever it’s on the base, which is pretty rubbish.The upshot of this is that I need to buy some new rechargeable AAA batteries, and will be leaving the handsets off the bases from now on unless they actually need charging.  Thankfully the batteries aren’t built in like on some phones, so it’s not a hassle to replace them.  So a word of warning to anyone using anything with a rechargeable battery in – regardless of what the instructions say, only recharge if it actually needs recharging.  That goes for cordless phones, mobile phones, iPods, cameras, cordless shavers, electric toothbrushes, personal weapons of mass destruction, electric toenail clippers, wireless plant pots…

One thought on “The mystery of the exploding telephone

  1. Hmmm, we have a cordless phone, and we leave it on the charging station unless we’re actually using it – we’ve never had such a problem!

    But yes, I would generally agree… don’t charge things when you don’t need to 🙂

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