How to Properly Charge Electric Wheelchair Batteries 

Posted July 12, 2022 in Tools No Comments »
electric wheelchair batteries for floor hockey

Did you just buy an electric wheelchair? Do you plan to participate in strength training, exercise, or sports in your electric wheelchair? If so, you will need to be concerned about the battery life of your new machine. You want to know if the electric wheelchair batteries will reach the range highlighted in the technical specifications. It’s okay to have expectations, especially about the driving range of your power wheelchair. You desire independence, mobility, ease, freedom, security, and the assurance of getting back home without getting stranded. All these things are dependent on your wheelchair battery. 

It is evident that you may not have the desired satisfaction without good batteries in your electric wheelchair. Incredibly because your range will be limited, and the frequency of charging may be unbearable. You might have read a couple of Power wheelchair reviews before buying yours. You’ll get to know specifications and accurate results from other users in real-time. Power wheelchair reviews can guide you to purchase wheelchairs with good batteries. 

However, having good batteries isn’t enough; you need to be in the know as to how to charge them. That’s what this article will address. How to charge your electric wheelchair batteries to get the best result. 

So if your new wheelchair isn’t getting up to the specified range, there are things you can do. And it often starts with how to charge them. 

How to Charge Power Wheelchair Batteries

Before using a newly purchased power wheelchair, ensure the batteries are fully charged. How do you know when new batteries are fully charged? 

New batteries are fully charged after going through a process called priming. This process involves charging your new batteries for some time, between 18 and 24 hours. 

There’s also a process called “formatting”. This system of charging involves keeping your batteries flat before recharging them for the first five cycles. For the first five charge/discharge cycles, the batteries are held flat and must be charged to a regular full charge. In fact, new batteries don’t get to their full capacity until after going through 50-100 cycles. This cycle is also known as the “break-in period.” It is one of the significant factors and tricks to ensure that your battery lasts longer and you get more range. 

happy couple in electric wheelchairs

The point is that your new electric wheelchair batteries can’t achieve total capacity right after purchase or after one full charge/discharge cycle.

There are different kinds of batteries, each of which comes with unique charging requirements. 

As technology progresses, lithium has been introduced as a material for making wheelchair batteries. And numerous benefits have accrued from the use of lithium batteries. 

Traditionally, lead batteries were commonly used as the mainstay for most electric wheelchairs. However, they have few negative environmental impacts and shorter lifespans. 

But something still brings all kinds of batteries together: the level of usage and maintenance. If you are serious about increasing your range and battery longevity, you must know how to charge your batteries.

Tips to Charge Your Wheelchair Batteries Properly

Here are a few tips related to charging your wheelchair batteries. 

  • Ensure you use the original charger cable that came with your wheelchair. 
  • Never attempt a short circuit or use inferior chargers. This may damage the batteries in the long run, and that’s a bad investment.
  •  The wheelchair can be charged through the joystick, or the battery can be removed and charged externally. When charging through the joystick, your wheelchair should be folded so that it can take less space.

Whatever method suits you, ensure you leverage the following tips:

  • Charge the batteries to 100% and use the wheelchair until the battery is completely depleted before recharging.
  • To have a long-range and undisrupted day, charge the battery overnight. 
  • Use a surge-protected plug or extension cable to charge your wheelchair batteries. 
  • Not a regular user of the wheelchair? Make sure you charge the batteries at least once a month to elongate their lifespan. 
  • Keep the battery and its surroundings clean. To do this, use a microfiber cloth to dust the battery surfaces. You mustn’t introduce water to the battery components when cleaning them. 

If your wheelchair has an acid battery, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the storage conditions and environmental factors. Never, at any point in time, get the battery electrolytes frozen. If a sulphuric acid battery is discharged, it will freeze at zero degrees Celsius, damaging your battery. 

man in electric wheelchair watching active kids play

Here’s A Pro Tip

Aside from the initial need to charge your battery for up to 18 hours. You also need to ensure you wake up daily with your wheelchair battery fully charged to serve you throughout the day. How do you ensure this? Ensure you recharge the battery after every discharge, whether partial or complete. Then make sure you charge the battery overnight. In most cases, it takes up to 12 hours to fully recharge wheelchair batteries. 

Also, when the battery charge indicator light shows it is fully charged, keep charging the battery for at least 16 hours. Yes, neglect the indicator display. At least once every week, give your battery a 24-hour charge. Keeping your batteries fully charged before every use will further help to elongate their lifespan. 

Final Thoughts

After getting a new wheelchair, you must be international about its usage. The method used in charging the batteries is one of the most significant determinants of how long the electric wheelchair will last. This article has provided enough tips to help you get the best out of your wheelchair. All you need to do is implement.

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