Wheelchairs have created a world of freedom for those with mobility issues. However, not everyone has the strength to roll a wheelchair, so electric wheelchairs have filled a need.
Like many other electronic devices, electric wheelchairs must be charged regularly – primarily if the chair receives routine use.
With the many options available, you may wonder how long it takes to charge an electric wheelchair, in addition to chair maintenance requirements.
How Long Does it Take To Charge the Chair?
It typically takes between 6 and 8 hours to fully charge an electric wheelchair.
However, this time can VARY depending on the type of wheelchair, the battery size, and the charger.
Many electric wheelchairs use deep-cycle batteries that need to be used and recharged several times before they can reach their full potential.
Charging the chair during overnight hours is crucial for a full charge.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on charging your electric wheelchair to ensure you don’t damage the battery or reduce its lifespan.
Charging the battery after each use is also recommended, so it’s ready to go when needed.
Using an Electric Wheelchair for the First Time
Buying your first electric wheelchair comes with several caveats. First, you must locate an area to park the chair and charge it, so prepare your home before the chair arrives.
Users must fully charge the device’s battery when their chair arrives before its first use. Generally, it is wise to charge the chair overnight.
Your chair must also be in the off position during the charging process. Once the battery receives a full charge, turn the wheelchair back on and check to ensure it is working correctly.
Please consult the manufacturer or your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about charging your electric wheelchair.
How Much Electricity Does Charging an Electric Wheelchair Use?
Many electric wheelchairs use 12V batteries that can charge between 2 Amps and 8 Amps during the charging cycle.
As a result of the Amp usage, charging an electric wheelchair can use 240 to 960 watts per charge.
Depending on the electricity rates in your area, you may be spending anywhere from $10 to $30 extra a month on your electricity bill to charge your chair nightly fully.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Leave My Power Wheelchair on Charge All Night?
You can leave your power wheelchair charging overnight. Almost all chargers now have a cut-off that automatically shuts them off when the battery is fully charged.
After fully charging, you can leave it plugged in.
Should My Electric Wheelchair Be on or Off When Charging?
While charging, turn off your device. Keeping it off when charging is the preferred practice.
If you charge your electric wheelchair while it is turned on, you will reduce the speed at which the battery charges and may damage the battery.
How Long Does a Battery Last in a Motorized Wheelchair?
A fully charged power wheelchair battery can last at least 8 hours and can cover a range of about 10 miles. The range may be closer to 20 miles if you’ve got a good-quality battery.
The distance you can travel on one charge will vary depending on factors such as battery health and the user’s weight.
If your battery is over a year and a half old, you can expect it to lose its range. Consider replacing it.
What’s the Most Efficient Way to Charge My Power Wheelchair Battery?
You may have to recharge your battery every day. However, daily charging can extend battery life. The battery will go farther on a full charge, but you should always charge your battery to at least 50%.
Other practices for maintaining your battery include:
- Don’t let your battery reach zero percent charge, but don’t keep recharging it if it still has a decent amount of power.
- Charging for short periods is okay if you do it sparingly.
- The best charging time for power chair batteries is overnight since most batteries take 8 hours to fully charge.
- Charge the batteries every two weeks if you’re not using your power chair. Battery drains if left alone.
- Disconnecting the batteries is best if you are not using your chair for extended periods.
Can a Wheelchair Battery Get Damaged if Not Charged?
Leaving your wheelchair battery discharged for an extended period can cause permanent damage. Some modern smart chargers may not even initiate charging, though there are methods to revive a dead wheelchair battery.
Benefits of an Electric Wheelchair
There are many benefits of using an electric wheelchair over a manual one.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that electric wheelchairs are much easier to operate than manual ones, especially for people with limited mobility.
Electric wheelchairs also allow people to travel at a much faster speed than they would be able to with a manual wheelchair, and many can use them on a variety of different terrain types.
Additionally, electric wheelchairs typically have more features and options than manual wheelchairs, such as the ability to recline or tilt the chair, which can provide more comfort for the user.
Many insurances, such as Medicare Part B, cover these assistive devices.
Yes, electric wheelchairs may be expensive out-of-pocket, but check with your insurance company for more information.
Finally, electric wheelchairs can be an excellent option for people who want to remain independent and mobile, as they provide a way to get around without relying on someone else to push them.
Disadvantages of an Electric Wheelchair
An electric wheelchair may sound like a slam dunk purchase for someone seeking more freedom and more power in mobility. However, there are some disadvantages.
Electric wheelchairs can be expensive, and they require regular maintenance and charging.
Transporting the chairs can also be cumbersome and require purchasing special ramps and racks to move them in a car.
Some models may better suit usage on rough or uneven terrain, so it is vital to understand how you will use the chair before you purchase it.
Additionally, electric wheelchairs can be less comfortable than manual wheelchairs. However, with comfort being a valuable part of the wheelchair experience, do not disavow the importance of comfort in one of these chairs.
The Bottom Line
Buying an electric wheelchair can be a freeing experience, but you may wonder how long it takes to charge an electric wheelchair and have questions about battery life.
Check with your insurance company about coverage and prepare your home ahead of time; then sit back and enjoy the newfound freedom an electric wheelchair can provide.