How to Charge Your Power Wheelchair Batteries

Whether you are an experienced or first-time power wheelchair user, it’s important to understand how to achieve peak battery performance with your electric wheelchair. Your Quantum® power wheelchair uses two long-lasting, 12-volt, deep-cycle batteries. These wheelchair batteries are sealed and maintenance free. Because they are sealed, there is no need to check the electrolyte (fluid) level. Deep-cycle power wheelchair batteries are designed to handle a longer and deeper discharge. Though they are similar in appearance to automotive batteries, they are not interchangeable. Automotive batteries are not designed to handle a long, deep discharge, and are also unsafe for use in power wheelchairs.

Always use two batteries of the exact same type, chemistry and amp-hour (AH) capacity.

The battery charger received with your electric wheelchair is essential in providing long life for your motorized wheelchair batteries. It is designed to optimize your electric wheelchair’s performance by charging the batteries safely, quickly and easily.

To charge the batteries of your power wheelchair using the off-board charger:

  1. Position your power wheelchair next to a standard electrical outlet
  2. Be certain the controller power is turned off and the motorized wheelchair is in drive mode
  3. Plug the off-board charger into the off-board charger/programming socket on the controller
  4. Plug the off-board charger into the electrical outlet
  5. When the batteries are fully charged, unplug the off-board charger from the electrical outlet and then from the controller

The LED lights on the motorized wheelchair charger indicate different charger conditions at various times, including:

  • Charger power on
  • Charging in progress
  • Charging complete

If the LED light does not indicate that the charging is complete within 24 hours, unplug the charger from the outlet and contact your provider. Refer to your owner’s manual for a complete explanation of these indicators.

How to Charge Your Narrow Wheelchair Batteries

It will take a few “charging cycles” to establish the critical chemical balance that is essential to a battery’s peak performance and long life. Take the time to properly break in your new electric wheelchair batteries.

  1. Fully recharge any new battery prior to its initial use. This brings the battery up to about 90 percent of its peak performance level
  2. Operate your power wheelchair throughout the house and yard. Move slowly at first, and do not travel too far until you become accustomed to the controls and break in the batteries
  3. Give the batteries another full charge of at least eight to 14 hours and operate your power wheelchair again. The batteries will now perform at over 90 percent of their potential
  4. After four or five charging cycles, the batteries for your motorized wheelchair will top off at 100 percent charge and last for an extended period

How Often Should I Charge My Electric Wheelchair Batteries?

How often you use your electric wheelchair determines how often you should charge your batteries.

If you use your narrow motorized wheelchair daily, charge the batteries as soon as you finish using your power wheelchair for the day. We recommend charging your power wheelchair’s batteries for at least 8 to 14 hours after daily use. If you use your electric wheelchair less frequently, we recommend charging the batteries eight to 14 hours twice a week for a maintenance charge. We do not recommend charging the batteries on your narrow motorized wheelchair for longer than 14 hours. Refer to the manual supplied with your battery charger for additional information.

Click to learn where you should buy narrow wheelchair batteries.

Click to learn more about wheelchair battery care and disposal.