Power Wheelchairs: A Guide to Battery Care and Maintenance

Caring for your power wheelchair begins with proper battery maintenance. Keeping your battery in top shape allows longer, better use. Typically, new batteries can last between six to 24 months. And with proper care, they can serve you even longer: 

Use a high-quality charger 

 As much as possible, use the original charger that came with the chair. Cheap knock-offs can potentially damage your battery and powerchair. They can also lead to overcharging unless the battery is disconnected at the right moment.  

 Good chargers switch itself off once the battery is fully charged. They move through three stages, applying a small trickle charge as soon as the battery falls below 100%. 

 Nowadays, higher-end chargers display the State of Charge to notify users when the battery is fully charged. Using quality chargers can help reduce the risk of battery damage and lead to higher cost savings. 

Fully recharge your battery 

Batteries should be fully recharged daily. Leaving them in a drained or discharged state for an extended period will cause premature deterioration.

The shallower the recharge cycle, the longer the battery will last. For instance, discharging the battery by 30%, but fully recharging it on the same day is better than discharging the battery by 50% and waiting three more days before recharging it.  

Most batteries require at least eight hours to achieve a full charge, so it’s best to leave them plugged in overnight.   However, leaving your battery charging for more than 24 consecutive hours isn’t advisable, either.

Even unused batteries need to be charged every two weeks. Unless the batteries are disconnected, your chair's computer continues to drain them every day. If you’re not planning to use the battery for weeks at a time, disconnecting can help preserve its efficiency. 

Keep the battery at room temperature  

Ideally, an electric wheelchair battery should be kept at room temperature 77° F (25° C). Anything lower or higher than that can reduce the battery’s total lifespan and the time it takes to recharge.  

Batteries in general do not like extreme heat. Always keep the battery at room temperature in a dry environment, even when not in use. 

Check for signs of corrosion 

If you want your battery to live the longest life possible, keep your terminals well-greased and free from any dirt or corrosion.  

Once you see signs of corrosion, clean the terminals completely using a wire brush and re-grease them carefully with petroleum jelly. Ensure that the wire, wire clip, and terminal nuts and screws are entirely covered in petroleum jelly.  

Choose the right power chair for you 

Following the above recommendations will help you get the most out of your power wheelchair. When in doubt, contact the team at 1800Wheelchair for expert product advice. We offer a range of customizable powerchairs from leading manufacturers all over the world. Our products come with various leg, arm and seating options to accommodate a wide range of needs and preferences. 

Call our representatives at 1-800-320-7140 or order online. We offer fast delivery as well as free shipping for orders above $59.