Can Electric Wheelchairs Get Wet?

As a rule of thumb, electric wheelchairs should not get wet. But at Quantum Rehab, we know that life happens. Sometimes it rains unexpectedly. Maybe the only path you can take requires you to drive your motorized wheelchair through a puddle.

Even though Quantum Power Chairs have all passed necessary testing for ingress of liquids, it is advisable to avoid prolonged exposure of your motorized wheelchair to extreme conditions, including moisture. Direct or prolonged exposure to water or dampness could cause the power wheelchair to malfunction electronically and mechanically. Water can cause electrical components to corrode and the power chair’s frame to rust. Power wheelchairs should be examined periodically for signs of corrosion caused by water exposure, bodily fluid exposure, or incontinence. Damaged components should be replaced or treated immediately.

Should your mobility chair come in contact with water, follow these steps:

  1. Dry your electric wheelchair as thoroughly as possible with a towel.
  2. Allow your power chair to sit in a warm, dry place, such as a sunroom, for 12 hours to allow unseen water to evaporate.
  3. Check the joystick operation and the brakes before using you power chair again.
  4. If any inconsistencies are found, take your mobility chair to a Quantum Rehab Provider. Power wheelchairs that are frequently exposed to water, bodily fluids, or incontinence, should be inspected often for corrosion. In addition, electronic components may need to be replaced frequently.

When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your electric wheelchair, use a damp cloth and mild, non-abrasive cleanser to clean the plastic and metal parts of your motorized wheelchair. Your power wheelchair has a painted, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic body shroud that allows it to be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth. If necessary, clean your electric wheelchair with an approved disinfectant. Make sure the disinfectant is safe for use on your mobility chair before application. Never use any chemicals to clean a vinyl seat as they may cause the seat to become slippery or dry out and crack. Use soapy water and dry the seat thoroughly. Never hose off your electric wheelchair or place it in direct contact with water.