A Mini Explosion in My Kitchen! | This West Coast Mommy
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A Mini Explosion in My Kitchen!

This past long weekend, I was sitting in the living room with the baby when I heard an incredibly loud BANG from the kitchen. It was so loud my ears were ringing. For one split second I wondered if someone had shot at my house! I looked over in the kitchen but couldn’t see anything. There was no smoke, no fire, and nothing seemed out of place, but I didn’t really want to investigate with the baby in my arms. Kay was crying so I took her upstairs and sent in the hubs to investigate. Chris gingerly moved everything off the kitchen counter and found this:

exploding battery

Upon closer inspection, I saw this warning in fine print on the side of the battery.

Caution: May explode or leak if recharged, inserted improperly, mixed with different battery types or disposed of in fire. Do not open battery.

Fair enough, but I hadn’t done any of those things! So naturally I started googling “exploding battery” and discovered that it’s not that unusual for batteries to explode. The most common scenario is when someone uses the wrong type of charger or tries to recharge a battery that isn’t rechargeable. Inserting a battery the wrong way can do it too, so pay attention to the little + and – diagram in your battery compartment. Removing the insulation (the plastic covering), submerging it in water, or exposing it to extreme heat can cause a battery to rupture as well.

I also learned this is why the instructions always tell you to replace all of the batteries in your device at once instead of one at a time. I had always figured it was a conspiracy between electronics manufacturers and the battery companies, but apparently if one of your batteries is low on juice but the others are full, they will attempt to “recharge” the dead one which will reduce the lifespan of the new batteries and could even cause the dead battery to overheat and explode.

And if you’re in the habit of carrying loose batteries and small metal objects in your pocket, STOP! They can rupture or leak if the metal on metal creates a short. 

Of course, all this useful info doesn’t apply in my case. My battery wasn’t discoing with the dimes in my pocket. It wasn’t inserted backwards. It wasn’t even in any device. It was just lying there, peaceful and quiet on my kitchen counter, until it spontaneously exploded and scared the hell out of me!

So has this ever happened to you? Did you know your batteries could explode?

8 Comments

  • Scary! That’s never happened to me, but I know to be more careful – guilty of many of the things you said to avoid!

    • It sure scared both of us! I always thought those warnings were for people who do stupid things like throw batteries into a fire or who try to blow them up.

  • I had no idea batteries can explode. Like you, I thought that manufacturers just wanted you to buy more batteries so had all these recommendations. Apparently, there’s some reason for those things. I guess I’ll be reading the fine print from now on.

  • Holy Cannoli, that is scary!! Once I left a battery in the change cup in my car….noticed that it was really hot when I reached in to get some quarters. Learned a good lesson about that. I’m so thankful it didn’t explode!

  • Holy crow, that’s crazy! I knew that batteries could explode, and I’d always replaced all the batteries at the same time in a device because I figured, well, they all went in together… so they all probably died together. I’d never considered batteries exploding even when you do everything “right”!