The main causes that shorten the life of a lead-acid battery include; running the battery flat and then failing to recharge it, undercharging, overcharging, charging with the wrong accessories, and storing the battery incorrectly.
We have put together a list of the dos and don’ts for maintaining wheelchair batteries:
1. DO charge the battery every night!
It doesn’t matter how much or little you have used the battery that day, it should be fully recharged every night. The general rule of thumb when it comes to lead-acid batteries is that, if you have used them, you should recharge them. Do not let the battery become completely flat before charging it. If you wait until the battery is almost depleted before charging it, it will drastically reduce the life of the battery.
2. DO NOT interrupt the charging cycle or charge too quickly
Wait until the battery is fully charged before stopping charging. Continuously undercharging the battery can cause permanent damage to the battery thereby reducing the battery life. Make sure to use the original charger provided by the manufacturer as it has been designed specifically for that chair for your own safety.
3. DO charge the battery beforehand if you are not going to use it for a long time
If your battery is fully charged and showing the green light, you should disconnect the charger. Do not leave the battery charging for a long time.
4. DO disconnect the batteries if you are not going to use the wheelchair for more than 2 weeks
Disconnect the cable that connects both the batteries if you don’t plan to use the chair for longer than 2 weeks. Make sure to fully charge the batteries at least once per week instead of leaving it continuously charging as this can cause permanent damage to the battery.
5. DO store the batteries at the correct temperature
You can check your user manual for the ideal long-term and short-term storage temperatures. The ideal temperature to store your battery is around 25 °C. Make sure not to store your batteries under extreme temperatures. If stored at the wrong temperature, when it comes time to use the battery again, it may not fully charge.
6. DO disconnect the charger via the connector, not the cable, and regularly check the charging terminals
Make sure that there is plenty of space around the chair so no one can trip over the charging cable as this could cause damage to the charging terminal and cable. Regularly checking for signs of corrosion of the connector will extend the life of your battery. If there are signs of corrosion, contact your Karma dealer to safely clean the terminal.
7. DO NOT use extension cables
Do not use extension cables to charge the wheelchair. Extension cables can cause fires or electric shocks. Charge your wheelchair by plugging it directly into a wall socket.
Following these dos and don’ts will help to extend the life of your battery alongside regular maintenance and check ups from your local dealer. If you still encounter problems with the battery after following these maintenance suggestions, you can contact Karma customer service!