Here at liGo, our customer service team deal with dozens of calls a day. But there's one problem which keeps coming up time and again- cordless phone handsets that simply won't hold a charge anymore. Luckily, resolving this is a quick and painless process- and can usually save you from forking out for a brand new handset. Read on, and we'll explain how to tell when it's time to replace your cordless phone batteries- and how to dispose of the old ones, too!
When to Replace Cordless Phone Batteries
To save you from going through countless sets of disposables, cordless phones generally come with lithium ion batteries. These will automatically recharge whenever you put them back in the charging cradle, and many can last for up to a week on standby.
However, rechargeable batteries don't last forever. Generally speaking, they can be recharged around 1,000 times before they will stop holding a charge. With cordless phones, the batteries are constantly powering the handsets at a low level. That means they won't last as long as, say, rechargeable batteries used in a camera. We'd recommend that you replace the batteries in your handsets every two or three years. That way, the handsets won't keep dying on you in the middle of a call. To help your batteries last a little longer, you should let them run down completely about once a month, and then recharge them to maximum capacity.
Plenty of people mistake the batteries wearing down for the handset itself coming to the end of its lifespan. That may partly be down to precisely when the batteries wear out. Many phones (especially Gigaset) come with a two-year warranty. That just so happens to be around the time where rechargeable batteries will start to die if they are used heavily. People therefore assume that the phones themselves are broken, not realising that the batteries can easily be replaced. Often, this can add years onto the lifespan of your cordless phones!
How to Replace Cordless Phone Batteries
First things first, you'll need to check what type of batteries your cordless phone takes. In almost all cases, they will be AAA. However, there are a handful of handsets out there which take AA batteries. For that reason, it's worth double-checking just to be sure. Just how easy this is to do will depend on your phone model. Most battery panels are simple enough to open up. Others- especially recent BT models- require you to pull of the entire back of the handset. If you're not sure how to get this panel off, check your phone's manual.
As for what kind of batteries you should replace them with, there aren't any particular brands that we would recommend over others. Generally speaking, the well-known brands work well and last a little bit longer. However, we've oftentimes been surprised by cheaper, generic batteries. In fact, these are usually what you get in cordless phones in the first place. As long as they are lithium ion, any batteries should be fine to use.
How to Dispose of Cordless Phone Batteries
Now you've replaced your phone batteries, what should you do with the old ones? It's important not to throw them in the bin. Lithium ion batteries- all batteries, for that matter- contain chemicals which are harmful to the environment. When these go to landfill, those chemicals will eventually leak out into the surrounding soil. Many local councils won't take rubbish bags if they have batteries in them.
Luckily, there are lots of places where you can safely dispose of batteries. There are special bins for them in most supermarkets, electrical shops, and garden centres. Here's a handy site that lets you put in your postcode to find your nearest recycling point!