It’s not difficult. Junaid Syed assured me that it was not difficult. “I have always said that if you are able to assemble Ikea furniture you can also replace your smartphone’s screen or battery.”

Junaid, who is also the founder of SarasFix in London, is a mobile repair shop that repairs phones. His reassuring words were ringing in mine as I tried to replace the worn out battery on an iPhone 7. Other than the fact that it ran out of battery after a short time, everything was fine.

My thinking was: why spend £389 on the cheapest new iPhone, when I could rescue an old one with a new battery? Help the environment and save a few pennies.

It’s as simple as loosening some screws and popping the back off to insert a new battery. Isn’t it?

According to Recycle Your Electricals, the UK houses 527 million small-sized electricals. This is an average of almost 20 household members. Nearly every one of these electrical items could be used if the screens, cables, or other internal components were repaired.

So with his reassuring words ringing in my ears I attempted to replace a worn-out battery inside an old iPhone 7, writes Harry Wallop

His reassuring words were ringing in mine as I tried to change a worn out battery within an iPhone 7. Harry Wallop

However, Britain is notorious for sending unwanted electricals to the dump. According to UN data, we are second in terms of producing electronic waste per capita. Each year, each household throws away nearly 24kg worth of gadgets and appliances. Norway’s situation is the worst.

However, the backlash is already underway. The consumer wants their electronics to be durable. It was shocking to see that Chris West (South-East London) still uses his grandmother’s Morphy Ricks iron from the 1940s. People were more excited than scared when it was announced last week. Britain has now got 156 “repair cafes”, where people fix damaged household goods. This is up from the 92 that existed just two years back.

BBC1’s series The Repair Shop sees expert technicians give life and purpose to people’s beloved items. In its most recent season, it has been viewed by more than 7,000,000 viewers, making it one the BBC’s most watched shows.

Apple made a significant U-turn last month. Apple has announced that, starting in next year, it will provide ‘access only to Apple Genuine Parts and Tools’. This is a major change after decades of not being able to supply spare parts to customers. Campaigners have been fighting for repair for years.

After years of refusing to supply ordinary customers with spare parts, Apple announced that from next year it would offer 'access to Apple genuine parts and tools'

Apple has announced, after years of refusing spare parts to customers who are not Apple’s regular customers, that it will now offer “access to Apple Genuine Parts and Tools” starting next year

After the British government passed limited right to repair legislation in the UK earlier this year, the Californian giant made the announcement. For the first time, electronic manufacturers must make spare parts for washer-dryers and dishwashers as well as refrigerators and TVs available to customers.

After the product is discontinued, spare parts and instructions manuals must still be readily available. This was a significant step but it was a minor one.

The legislation did not include smartphones, laptops and computers. Consumers aren’t allowed to access these parts in the majority of cases. It is designed to support professional electricians or plumbers.

You can search the internet for replacement iPhone screens, Samsung batteries or Nokia cameras. However, there are many companies that supply not only the parts but also the tools. That’s because many people do want to mend their tech rather than throw it away — whatever the legislation may say.

Ugo Vallauri is co-founder and CEO of The Restart Project. He says, “Manufacturers believe that a laptop lasts five years while a smartphone can last three years.”

‘But our data — from people who come into repair cafes and restart parties — shows that 40 per cent of all the laptops that people bring to get mended are older than five years. Laptops that are more than 11 years old have been seen. They are still usable, despite the fact that many people try to fix them.

If you search online for iPhone replacement screens, Samsung cameras or Nokia batteries, however, you can find a raft of companies supplying not just the components, but the tools, too

You can search the internet for replacement iPhone screens, Samsung batteries or Nokia cameras. However, there are many companies that supply the parts as well as the tools.

He laughed when I explained that I would be replacing the iPhone’s battery after five years. He then laughed. “You will find that it’s difficult.”

It was actually quite simple. Amazon was my first stop when I searched for the right replacement battery for my iPhone 7. There were ten suppliers, all offering identical-looking equipment for less than £20.

Mine, from a company called LL Trader, cost £16.99 and contained, along with the battery itself, three screwdrivers, two mini plastic ‘crowbars’, a piece of plastic that looked like a guitar plectrum, a plastic suction cup and some intriguing-looking strips. The instructions were not included.

Junaid Syed who repairs phones as a profession and is bullish about his chances said, “There are lots of YouTube guides telling you how it’s done.”

He’s right. Several individuals recommended iFixit as an American company. Their guide on replacing an iPhone 7 Battery informed me it is a’moderately’ difficult process and takes between 30 to two hours. It also involves 29 stages.

It does not warn about the sweat, the alarming smoke, and the cursing.

After removing some screws — at the bottom of the phone, next to the charging socket — you have to take the screen off.

What it does not warn you about is the cursing, the yanking, the sweat and the alarming smoke

It does not warn about the cursing and yanking as well as the excessive sweating.

Because it’s glued extremely tight to the phone’s main body, it’s necessary to take it off using the plastic’spludger, which is basically a miniature crowbar. To rip the screen free, you can use a suction tool.

Even though I was trying so hard, I couldn’t make it happen.

Vallauri shared a tip with me: “Use your hair dryer.” Yes, really. He said that it is similar to a professional electrician’s heatgun. This heatgun melts glue, which stops water from getting into the phone.

However, even after blasting my wife’s hairdryer at their phone for over ten minutes and making it hotter than I could touch the device, the glue wouldn’t soften.

Vallauri says that if they did not use adhesives to design the phone you would no longer need a hairdryer or heat gun. It makes it more challenging for those who don’t repair phones as a profession.

“Too many people abandon repairing a products due to its barriers. 30 percent of them attempt to repair it but fail because it is too costly or difficult.

The second step of 29 was the most important. I determined to succeed. Finally, I reached for my cutlery drawer. It was not strong enough for the job, so I had to get a thick blade steel knife. Bingo! It worked. It was instantaneous.

The plastic tools that came in the kit didn't seem robust enough, a steel knife with a thin blade was needed

It was not strong enough for the plastic tools in this kit. A steel knife with thin blade and a sturdy handle was required.

But my exhilaration was fleeting. The next step was to take out the hardwired battery. It was not an easy task.

The smallest screw I’ve ever seen was 1.2mm long. They were so tiny that they might be mistakenly thought to contain a little bit of grit.

They were also slightly different in size, which meant that different types of screwdrivers would be required. To prevent them from rolling away, I was recommended to purchase a magnetic rug by the guide. My mats were kept in an egg cup.

Then I removed various parts so I could have a good look at the battery. A warning was given by the guide that if the connector is not aligned correctly, it can cause permanent damage.

It was like Gulliver’s Lilliput. My hands were large sausages in a world of tiny wires and sockets. My expensive smartphone was at risk of being broken with every movement.

Finally, I felt ready to grab a pair of tweezers and pull two adhesive strips from the battery. Then disaster struck! It was then that the adhesive strips gave up.

My guide advised me to not do this. To get the battery to come free, you can either apply 90% isopropyl Alcohol or string a guitar string to it. I didn’t have either.

First, I had to unscrew the smallest screws I have ever encountered: 1.2mm in length, so small they could be mistaken for a bit of grit

To begin, I needed to remove the smallest screw I ever saw: they were only 1.2mm in size, and so tiny that it could have been mistaken for a little bit of grit.

But, I was armed with my favorite cutlery. I pulled the knife underneath the battery and got to work. No joy. The power bank was still stuck. I tried a little harder to free it, but the battery began to bend, releasing a strong odor of nail varnish remover.

As I was thinking about how strange it was for a battery to smell like pear dropss, smoke began to blow out. Woah!

I dropped my phone, and then took a step back. Only then, I saw in the guide that the charged lithium-ion batteries can explode or catch fire if they are accidentally punctured. Luckily, the smoke did not turn into flames and I was able to get the battery out of the phone without further calamities — but with some scorch marks left around the front panel sensor.

The worst that could possibly happen when I tried to repair my phone was for it to break, and I’m not sure I could have lit the house on fire.

As experts caution, repairing any type of device is not without risk. Craig Anderson is the chief executive at charity ReuseNet, which repairs and tests millions consumer products and donates them to families who are in need.

Although it was founded as a charity over 30 years ago, the organization is also an environmental group that has saved more than 3,500 tonnes from going to waste.

Just as I was contemplating how odd it was that a battery should smell of pear drops, smoke started to billow out. Woah!

While I was thinking how bizarre it was that a battery smelled like pear drop smoke, the smoke suddenly started to rise. Woah!

Craig is concerned about normal consumers trying to repair serious pieces of electric kit. “Look at Grenfell. The cladding was it. Where did this all begin? A faulty refrigerator.

The Right To Repair: What are the dangers for people? It’s possible to have water and electricity running through a washer machine. This can create a dangerous mix of hazards.

Vallauri thinks that even small devices like iPhones are not without their problems. Super-strength glue was the reason why I almost set fire to my kitchen. His belief is that phones and all other devices need to be easy to repair.

It seems unreasonable to think that Apple or Samsung would design phones that could take incredible pictures and play music while also being easy to disassemble like Lego. Vallauri states it is. He points out Fairphone from the Netherlands, who claims that their phone can be repaired in a matter of minutes. Fairphone is a good example of how it’s possible to make a phone that’s easy to fix, Vallauri says.

The reason I nearly set my kitchen alight was because the phone had been made with super-strength glue

My kitchen almost caught fire because my phone was made from super-strength adhesive

The process of installing the battery was much easier and less hazardous than that of taking it out. Sadly though, the 29 step iFixit tutorial failed to tell me how I could put a brand new battery in. I had to go on YouTube to find tutorials.

While they were very useful, I was not warned by them that reinserting smaller screws than grains rice is more complicated than negotiating EU. After much swearing I finally got them in.

Considering the scratches and the rough treatment, I was a little skeptical that the phone would still work.

It took me two hours seven minutes to put the phone together again.

I pressed the power button and — astonishingly — it turned on. Although it felt warm inside, the phone was still working. It will still work in one week. This is not something I know.

Anyone who is confident enough to use a pentalobe screw and a soldering iron to repair their own phones would be my recommendation. It shouldn’t take this much effort.

To reduce the amount of electronic waste we produce each year (24kg), we must make items easy to repair. It is possible that our phones or laptops could be passed on, just like Morphy Richards’ iron from Mr West.

I wouldn't recommend anyone other than the most confident with a soldering gun and pentalobe screws to attempt to mend their own phone. But it shouldn't be this hard

Only the most competent with pentalobe screws and a soldering torch would I recommend to anyone to fix their phone. It shouldn’t take this long.