How to Buy Power Chair Batteries

By G.K. Bayne

  • Overview

    Buying power chair batteries can be a confusing task. Understanding the terminology can go a long way in purchasing long-lasting and dependable power sources for the wheel chair. Your habits of using the power wheel chair must also be taken into consideration for recharging times of the storage battery.
    • Step 1

      Record the pertinent information concerning the batteries for the power chair. Voltage and amperage hours are important. Amperage hours are the amount of time the battery can retain a working or operational charge. The make and model number are just as important as the amount of operation time you spend running the power chair. Write down how often you recharge the chair in between uses. Do you allow the batteries to be fully discharged before using the charger or do you recharge every night.
    • Step 2

      Understand the terminology of the battery. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) is the only permitted battery for indoor use and most especially for power chairs. This means that the battery is permanently sealed against spillage and any escaping fumes that can occur during a recharge. The SLA battery uses vents that recirculate the gases back into the battery cell. These types of batteries also last longer since no materials or chemicals leave the individual cells.

    • Step 3

      Recharge times of the battery are also very important. All batteries are rated by cycles. Most generally an average cycle life for a SLA battery is around 300. A cycle is defined as the number of times the battery can be fully discharged to zero volts and then fully recharged. After that number of cycles the battery is determined to be "dead" and no longer useful for holding a charge.
    • Step 4

      Bolt pattern is also an important consideration for the battery, along with the physical size of the battery. Many power chairs may only have a certain physical size that can fit into the battery holders. The bolt pattern of the terminals themselves must also be looked at for the choice of battery. Is the terminal a side mount or top post mount? This may also limit the clearance for the fit into the holder for the power source.
    • Step 5

      Ask questions from any battery dealer you speak with or write to via email. Some excellent questions to ask are: A) Is the battery UL listed? All power chair batteries should carry the Underwriter Laboratories seal. The UL conducts stringent tests for safety and should never be overlooked. B) What type of warranty does the battery have? All SLA batteries for power chairs should be covered under a warranty. Just as an automobile battery is warranted, so should a power chair battery. C) Is the dealer in your area.? Do they offer free installation? Will they take your old battery for the core charge? A local dealer should offer professional installation for the purchase. This will enhance not only a relationship but the warranty as well. The core charge for a battery is paid for every battery regardless of type. The dealer should take your old ones in trade and if they install at home, give you every courtesy to take the batteries with them at no charge.
    • Step 6

      Have all your details in hand before speaking to any dealer for the buying of power chair batteries. This way you will not be talked into something you do not need.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Pencil
    • Paper
    • Internet access
    • Reputable battery dealer
    • Tip: Adding a non-conductive sealer to the battery posts can go a long way in preserving the battery life. A non-conductive sealer can keep corrosion from occurring around the post terminals.
    • Warning:
    • If the old batteries have developed a leak, the battery area must be thoroughly cleaned. The chemicals inside all batteries are highly corrosive.

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