Does Load Shedding Damage Your Phone?

Does Load Shedding Damage Your Phone?

Load shedding! Eish! Not cool. And no end in sight.

If you are contemplating buying a not-new preowned or refurbished iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, you may be keen to understand if load shedding will have any impact on the functioning and longevity of your device.

In short, will it affect the functioning of your device – YES

Will it affect the longevity – UNLIKELY

The major effect in respect of your second hand device’s functionality is that when there is load shedding, you may struggle to get connectivity – both data and voice. All cell phone towers have a backup source of power supply; in most cases a battery but sometimes a generator. When load shedding is frequent, as it is during stages 4 and upwards, the batteries do not have long enough to fully recharge before load shedding kicks in again. If the batteries are low before the power goes out, they will go flat before the power comes back on. As soon as the batteries are flat, they don’t supply power to the cell phone tower, and you don’t get any signal. Bummer :(

On the plus side, load shedding is not likely to cause any damage to your preowned phone. Mobile phones use very little energy when charging. This means that they come with an adaptor that will help to convert the high current power supply from the wall into a lower direct current voltage for charging the phone. These adaptors usually ensure that any surges that occur as a result of the power coming back on after load shedding don’t reach the device. If there is any damage done, it is most likely to be done to the adaptor. If the surge does get through the adaptor, you have a second-line of defense, which is the battery. The battery may get damaged, but at least the main circuit board in your refurbished iPhone or Galaxy will not.

While it is possible that surges cause damage to either your adaptor or your battery, it is unlikely. And so our suggestion is that if you don’t have to plug your phone in to charge during load shedding, then don’t. If you do have to, then do it. There’s a small risk of surge damage, but it beats not being able to use your phone.