Danger with TP-Link devices! Batteries that swell and can explode

The manufacturer TP-Link is one of the world leaders in networks in general and WiFi in particular. One of the manufacturer’s best-selling devices are the MiFi, or also known as portable 3G/4G routers with integrated battery. These devices allow us to connect to the Internet with several WiFi clients easily and quickly, in this way, we will not have to do tethering with our smartphone. At RedesZone we have been using the popular MiFi TP-Link M7350 for quite some time, and in recent months we have noticed that the back cover began to curve, and it is because the battery has begun to swell.

Swollen batteries in TP-Link MiFi

The MiFi that we have been using for several years is the MiFi TP-Link M7350, sometimes we have not used it for several months and other times we have used it more intensively due to summer vacations and trips, during all this time it has been behaved quite well, in fact, it is one of the MiFi that we recommend the most in RedesZone for its good value for money and for its technical specifications. This model incorporates 4G LTE connectivity with speeds of up to 150Mbps download and 50Mbps upload, it also supports up to 10 devices connected simultaneously, we have a screen to display important information, and an internal battery of 2,550mAh capacity.

The battery incorporated in this model is lithium ion, the specific model is the TP-Link TBL-55A2550. Over time we have noticed that the back of the MiFi casing began to curve, at first we did not give it too much importance, however, when we changed the operator’s SIM card, we realized that the battery was swollen, in fact , it is so swollen on both sides that it protrudes quite a bit from where it should be placed.

In the following photograph you can see how the battery is when it is fully inserted, absolutely nothing should stand out.

We have rescued a photograph from when we did the complete review of this device, as you can see, the battery does not protrude from the casing as it does now.

When removing the battery and putting it vertically, we can see that it is swollen on both sides, so now it occupies much more than before. At all times we have powered this MiFi 4G through the manufacturer’s official current transformer, although we could have used any normal mobile charger.

If we search the Internet, we see that we are not the only ones where the battery of this MiFi TP-Link M7350 has swollen, it seems that it is something that happens to this model of MiFi, although we cannot guarantee that it will happen to all users of this device. If you have a TP-Link MiFi, we recommend you check the status of the battery, to check if it has swollen or not.

Can the battery explode?

Lithium-ion batteries generate energy through a chemical reaction that may not be carried out correctly over time, this causes the battery to swell as gas is generated in addition to energy, this gas accumulates little by little with each charge, and logically this gas cannot escape because the battery is hermetically sealed. The reasons that a battery swells can be due to overload, poor quality of the components and high temperatures, among other reasons.

When a battery swells, it is not possible to “deflate” it, that is, the process is irreversible and it will be more and more swollen and more unsafe. An inflated battery has the risk of exploding or emitting chemicals or causing a fire, so if we continue to use the battery as if nothing happened, we are putting ourselves in danger. It is best to remove that battery and dispose of it safely to avoid further problems.

We recommend you read the iFixit website where you will be able to see what happens when a battery swells, we quote literally «A SWOLLEN LITHIUM-ION BATTERY COULD CATCH FIRE OR EXPLODE.«

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