In the real world, water is a fact of life. Weather is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. You can be out with your power chair and suddenly, a rain or snow shower hits! Plus, even after a storm is over, there may be large puddles or piles of snow in the roads or on the sidewalks. It’s important to understand how water affects electric wheelchairs. By taking action following contact with water, you can preserve the life and performance of your power wheelchair.
When faced with sudden inclement weather, there are a few things you can do. Depending on the severity and heaviness of the rain or snow, we recommend finding shelter until the storm passes. Try to avoid large puddles. Your power chair is equipped with electronics, and direct or prolonged exposure to water or dampness may cause a motorized wheelchair to malfunction electronically and mechanically. Water can cause the electrical components to corrode and the frame of your electric wheelchair to rust.
If your power wheelchair encounters water:
- Thoroughly dry your power chair with a towel as soon as possible; Wipe down all surfaces of the chair
- Allow your power chair to sit in a warm, dry place for 12 hours to allow unseen water to evaporate
- Check the operation of the joystick and the brakes before using your electric wheelchair again
- If you find any inconsistencies, take your power wheelchair to your provider
You should periodically examine your motorized wheelchair for signs of corrosion caused by water exposure, bodily fluid exposure, or incontinence. Any damaged components should be replaced or treated immediately, so contact your authorized provider for service.
There are some other things you can do to further protect your electric wheelchair. Some consumers carry plastic bags with them. When a sudden shower hits, they cover their controller or joystick with the plastic bag to protect it from the rain or snow. Also, it’s a good idea to check the weather before you leave the house. If the forecast is calling for wet weather, consider changing your plans or staying home.
By understanding the effects of moisture and taking steps to reduce exposure, you ensure that your power chair remains in peak condition for optimal performance.