If you have a family or a friend with a mobility impairment, you must familiarize yourself with learning how to reset a power chair. Sometimes, checking the battery usually does the job. However, what else can you do if it doesn’t work?
Having a powered wheelchair will significantly help a person with mobility issues. It provides a tool that they can utilize to get through a day independently without needing other people’s help. Although, just like with any other electronic, they are bound to have some minor problems.
This article will discuss all power chairs, some tips on how to troubleshoot them, and how to use them safely!
What Is A Power Chair?
According to the CDC, one in every seven American adults has mobility issues. A powerchair, also known as a powered wheelchair, is a wheelchair that uses electricity to get around.
Unlike regular wheelchairs, a powerchair will give the user the freedom to go wherever they like with little to no support from other people.
There are three main types of electric wheelchairs in the market. The first one is called front-wheel drive, where the user can use it for obstacle climbing. The other ones are mid-wheel drive that’s great for stability, and rear-wheel drive for softer terrains like gravel or sand.
Tips On How To Troubleshoot A Powered Wheelchair
1. Check if it was charged properly
Power chairs rely on electrical power to function. Depending on which brand the power chair is, you should always check with the instruction manual on how long you should charge your equipment.
Most power chairs require at least 8 to 12 hours of charging. Make sure that you charge your powered wheelchair to avoid any battery or performance malfunctions.
2. Disengage the motors
One way to troubleshoot power chairs is to disengage the motors. Doing this will disconnect the braking system, which allows the user to operate the equipment manually. If you run out of batteries or want a quicker way to get somewhere, it can be helpful.
Disengage the motors by pulling down the lever, and engage them again by pulling it up. Then, disengage it again since the braking system needs to be locked to use the motor to operate the power chair.
3. Check the battery
If that still didn’t work, go back to your battery, usually located below the seat. Use a screwdriver and loosen up the screws to open the frame. Once you do that, check whether the wirings are connected to the battery.
These connectors might get loose over time or when the user bumped into something hard. It should be wired as red to positive and black to negative. Since you’re at it, you should also look at whether the joystick connector is attached to the motors.
4. Try to switch the key off then on
Sometimes, the answer is as simple as switching the key off then back on. Usually, when people charge the power chair, they forget to pull the charger off before turning on the equipment.
Doing this is a big no because your power chair will not move even though it’s freshly charged and the power is lit. Simply switch it off, then turn it back on while making sure that it’s not plugged in anymore, then you’re good to go.
Some power chairs feature a power button which you can manually press to turn on the equipment. Reset your electric wheelchair by pressing the power button for four seconds.
Please wait for it to turn off and press the power button back on again to restore power to your equipment. This button is usually located at the circuit breaker near the battery pack of your power chair.
6. Ask and call a professional for help
When you’ve done all the methods above and your power chair still isn’t resetting, this is the time to call for a professional technician for help. Most of the time, they will coach you over the phone while they give instructions, and you’re the one doing the fixing.
However, be careful to only go to your trusted technician since there are many tech support scams nowadays. Read here to know how to differentiate a real professional from a fake one.
How To Use A Power Chair Safely
All individuals with mobility challenges know the consequences that these chairs offer. It’s essential to understand how to deal with them safely to prevent future injuries.
The first thing to keep in mind while using power chairs is always read the instruction manuals beforehand. They can provide you with everything you need to know about and how to be safe while using it.
The next thing you’ll want to do is to always keep your seatbelt on. Just like the ones in the car, putting on your seatbelt will prevent you from falling or slipping out of your wheelchair. You should also consider doing a regular maintenance check on your power chair to make sure everything is safe and sound.
Learning how to reset a power chair can be very useful and could even save a life. It’s noteworthy to mention that every electronic device has its issues, but learning how to deal with yours can save you a lot of money from buying a new one.
Although for your safety, you should know when the fault is out of your hands. Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk. Call your trusted technician right away once you’re confident that the issue is more serious and you’ll need help in dealing with it.