What Happens if You Don't Charge a Cordless Phone's Battery?

What Happens if You Don't Charge a Cordless Phone's Battery?

There are many advantages of having a wireless phone, including the ability to make calls from anywhere and walk around the house while conversing. However, some users often forget to put the headset back where it belongs.

A Battery's Life

Cordless phones come with different types of rechargeable batteries depending on the phone manufacturer and model. These batteries are designed to last for between one and three years, depending on how the phone owner uses and handles the battery. Rechargeable batteries typically start to progressively lose their ability to hold charge over time, but changing batteries in your wireless phone can be very expensive. So, it is better to make every effort to make your cordless phone battery last as long as possible, with proper care.

The Memory Effect

Most cordless phones use the nickel cadmium (NiCad) rechargeable battery, though some come with Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Unlike NiMH batteries, NiCad batteries suffer from “memory effect”, which means that when the battery is partially discharged – before recharging – the battery “forgets” that it is capable of fully discharging to totally empty. For instance, a user who routinely uses his cordless phone when fully charged and recharges it every time the charge gets to 50 percent, results in the battery, ultimately, becoming “unaware of the remaining 50 percent that is unused.

While not an issue for the most modern phones, the memory effect is still known and dreaded for claiming the lives of some batteries way too soon.

The Solution

Fortunately, there is a way to eliminate the “memory effect” in cordless phones with NiCad batteries, which is by performing a full cycle, whereby you fully charge the battery, and then fully discharge it, at least once in every 2-3 weeks. There are different ways to discharge your phone, but you must first unplug your device’s AC adaptor. You can then let the device run on battery until it stops to function. You can check the battery indicator to determine the amount of charge remaining during:

  • Standby mode – when it is not in the charger but still using up energy from the battery to remain active
  • Running Applications – different phone applications use different amounts of energy, but every time the phone back-light is turned on and the processor is running the function that you need it to perform, it uses more energy than on standby mode.
  • Talk-time – your user manual should inform you how long your battery is expected to last with normal use, which is basically the amount of time that you can converse with someone.

In Conclusion

While performing a full cycle to prevent the Memory Effect will help you maximise the performance of your battery, there are other ways to give it long life. For instance, you can keep the battery clean by wiping it with a cotton swab and alcohol to maintain a good connection between the battery and cordless phone; and by exercising the battery, so that it does not remain unused for extended periods of time (beyond 2-3 weeks). Additionally, all batteries should be stored in a clean, dry, cool place if it is not to be used for more than one month.

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