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WHEELCHAIR BATTERIES

 

What consumers should know:

Think of your battery as a fuel tank. This is the battery's function in the running of a wheelchair.

Always use at least the size of battery specified by the wheelchair manufacturer. Never use undersized products.

In some instances wheelchair modification may be necessary to use larger size batteries than are normally required; example, power reclining or other power options.

Very active users may also benefit from larger batteries.

 

BATTERY MYTHS

 

 Myth: Wheelchair batteries should be run all the way down.

 
 Truth: A wheelchair battery should never be run all way down, the fact is, even thought a good battery may recover from full discharge, newer wheelchair chargers would not charge a battery that is below 10.5 volts. A wheelchair battery that reads 12.0 volts or less is technically dead!
 
 Myth: If I set a battery on concrete, it will quickly loose its charge.

 
 Truth: Although it is true that after a period of time batteries do self-discharge, placing them on concrete won't speed the process. What you place your battery on is not as important as the type of environment you expose it to. A battery that is stored at cooler temperatures (not below freezing), and protected from severe extremes, will last much longer than a battery stored at extreme temperatures. This myth was true in the past when battery cases leaked due to material used to manufacture this battery cases, now days with better quality materials, this myth is only that, a myth.
 
 Myth: The battery with the highest CCA rating will last the longest.

 
 Truth: What's inside the battery makes a difference, not just what the rating says on the label. Some types of batteries may be designed to provide maximum power, but neglect to take long-term wear into consideration. There can a trade-off between battery life and capacity. It is important to pick the right battery for the right application and climate. Batteries that are built with reinforced plates and a high lead content will usually last longer than batteries designed for maximum cranking performance. Wheelchair batteries are rated in Ah and not in CCA.
 
 Myth: Lead-acid batteries have memories.

 
 Truth: Lead-acid batteries do not have a memory; however, continuous undercharging will lower the capacity of the battery over time.
 
 Myth: Cranking Amps and Cold Cranking amps are basically the same thing.

 
 Truth: Always compare CCA to CCA or CA to CA...never mix the two. CCAs or Cold Cranking Amps measures amperes at 0F. CAs or Cranking Amps measures at 32F. The CA rating will be about 30% higher than a CCA rating, depending on the design of the battery. This is because electrons flow faster in warmer temperatures and slower in colder temperatures. This type of batteries are NOT designed for wheelchairs.


 
 Myth: A longer warranty means a better battery.

 
 Truth: Warranty alone has NO bearing on how the battery performs.

Performance is rated in cold cranking amperage (CCA) and reserve capacity, not months of warranty. Factors that most affect a battery's performance are materials, workmanship, special design features, manufacturing processes and proper application.
 
 Myth: Sealed Gel and AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries are dangerous.

 
 Truth: Gel and AGM batteries are much safer than non-sealed wet cell storage batteries. When installed and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, they significantly minimize the chance of acid spray, fumes and explosion hazards. Their completely sealed design also eliminates acid spills, corrosion, and gas emissions, making them safer for your vehicle and use around sensitive electronic equipment. Wheelchairs should never use Wet Lead Acid battereies.
 
 Myth: Sealed batteries do not need to be vented.

 
 Truth: Never install any type of battery in a completely sealed container. Although most of the normal gasses (oxygen and hydrogen) produced in an SVR battery will be recombined and not escape, oxygen and hydrogen will escape from the battery in an overcharged condition (which is typical with any battery type).

For safety's sake, these potentially explosive gasses must be allowed to vent to the atmosphere and must never be trapped in a sealed battery box or tightly enclosed space!
 
 Myth: Maintenance-free batteries need no maintenance at all.

 
 Truth: Maintenance-free generally means that you don't have to add water to the battery. However, a battery exposed to severe overcharged conditions will gas and use water, resulting in premature battery failure. In addition, it is always a good idea to visually inspect your battery for corrosion. Using battery anti-corrosion treatment is always a good idea for best performance. It is also important to remember that your battery is part of the electrical system. When inspecting your battery you should check related components. Replace if necessary.

Wheelchairs battery problems  are difficult to diagnose, do no let your auto mechanic work on your wheelchair.

 

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