Electric Power Chairs - Parts and Repair
Power Wheelchair Parts
seat arms: Provided for resting your arms while using the chair, these are height-adjustable for your comfort. They are usually built to swing out to the side of the power chair to allow a user to position the powerchair closer to a work surface such as a table or desk, as well as to facilitate a transfer from the wheelchair onto a bed, chair, toilet, or other seat.
drive wheels: The largest wheels on the power chair, these wheels are connected to the drive motor and gear box and act to propel the wheelchair forward or backward.
anti-tip wheels: Non-swiveling wheels, usually front-mounted, which give the powerchair extra stability over rough terrain. These are usually factory-set for use indoors and on smooth terrain. If the anti-tip wheels rub the ground during use, or if your chair has a tendency to tip forward when you come to a stop, it is probably necessary to adjust the anti-tip wheels. Because improperly setting the anti-tip wheels may lead to accidents and injuries, we highly recommend having a professional technician perform the adjustments.
casters: Swiveling wheels mounted to the front and/or rear of a power wheelchair. These wheels are sized to allow for extra traction when negotiating uneven terrain without interfering with the movement of the drive wheels.
footrest: A non-skid plate which is bolted to the bottom front of the power wheelchair and is height- and angle-adjustable to accommodate varying user sizes and preferences.
controller: A device which manages the distribution of power from the battery to the various electrical components of a powerchair. When replacing a controller on your electric wheelchair, it is very important that you obtain a controller with the proper voltage for your power chair model. Contact the manufacturer or consult your owner's manual to obtain this information.
battery: A device which converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Most batteries made for use with power wheelchairs are either absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries or gel batteries; this is a safety precaution to prevent user injury from acid spills or gradual corrosion, which can occur if a standard acid battery is tipped or turned over. AGM and gel batteries are also more likely to be approved by the FAA for transporting on airline flights, since they don't create a safety hazard if they shift or tip during transit.
charger: A device which plugs into a standard 110-volt wall outlet and recharges a battery that is itself plugged into the charger. These are available in offboard and onboard models.
shroud: A decorative covering which also protects the electrical components of the power wheelchair. Some power wheelchairs are sold with two or more shrouds of varying colors included in the purchase price, and additional shrouds are available for purchase for many powerchair models. These shrouds allow a user to quickly personalize the cosmetic appearance of the power wheelchair to suit their fancy.
joystick: An armrest-mounted control device by which the power wheelchair user directs the movement of the chair. Some power chair models are designed so that the joystick can be moved from one arm to the other to accommodate the user's hand preference.
freewheel levers: These are located on the motor and allow the user to disengage the drive motors from the gear box for manual operation of the wheelchair. However, doing so also disengages the braking system, so never activate freewheel mode while the power chair is on an inclined surface.
main circuit breaker: This component monitors the amount of current being drawn from the batteries when your electric wheelchair is in use. If the motors are heavily strained and drawing too much power, the main circuit breaker triggers and your chair will cease to function. This failsafe is intended to prevent damage to the chair's electrical components from carrying too heavy a load or suffering an internal electrical malfunction which overamps the motor.
General Maintenance Tips
Inspect your tire tread regularly. If the tread has worn down to less than 1/32 inch, the tires need to be replaced.
Your motor brushes, which are internal motor components that help power the rotor, will wear out with normal use and should be replaced once yearly.
If you intend to use or store your power wheelchair outdoors, make sure you have appropriate covers for the entire powerchair, including the joystick. Moisture exposure not only damages electrical components, but also voids your warranty.
Check the battery terminals regularly for corrosion and to ensure that they are secured tightly.
Obtaining Maintenance Service
Any new (but not reconditioned or used) electric wheelchair purchased through US Medical Supplies carries a 1 year in-home warranty which covers service calls to your home if you need maintenance or repair work performed on your power chair. We also offer extended coverage options out to two or three years for a nominal cost; we can increase the duration of our 1-year in-home warranty to a coverage period of 2 years for just $149.00, or to 3 years of coverage for only $289.00. (Pricing subject to change.) To obtain maintenance and repair service via US Medical Supplies, simply dial 1 (800) 794-9813.
If your in-home coverage through US Medical Supplies has already lapsed and you require service or parts, you may still be covered by the warranty provided by the manufacturer of your power wheel chair. The manufacturer warranty which is included in the sale price often covers parts for a period longer than one year; however, you will be responsible for service call charges. It typically costs $75.00 just for a technician to come to your door. Warranties vary depending on the manufacturer and the powerchair model you choose, so consult your owner's manual to determine the specifics of your warranty coverage. US Medical Supplies provides digital copies of the owner's manuals for many power chairs on our website; if you are unsure which model power chair you own, you may contact us at 1 (800) 794-9813 for assistance, or you can also contact the manufacturer of the wheelchair.
Contact phone numbers for our power chair manufacturers:
Pride Mobility: 1 (800) 800-8586
Golden Technologies: 1 (800) 624-6374