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Batteries for Electric Wheelchairs Introduction, Medicare Cover and Replacement
There are many objects in our lives that, surprisingly, actually use batteries. One of those unexpected objects are wheelchairs. Yes, there are some wheelchairs that actually use batteries! Those wheelchairs are what we call as electric wheelchairs.
Since wheelchairs are pivotal for their owners, it’s important for us to know all the details of the wheelchairs, including their batteries. This is why this article is here. Here, we will talk about batteries for electric wheelchairs, from its basic introduction, medicare cover, and replacement.
What kind of battery does a wheelchair use?
There are many kinds of batteries, but most wheelchairs use deep cycle AGM or gel sealed lead acid batteries. Each battery has its own perks, making them stand out among the batteries for electric wheelchairs.
Deep cycle AGM
If you have delved into the world of batteries, then you will know how powerful AGM batteries all even if we’ve only seen it physically. Most AGM batteries are packed with lots of energy, and the chemicals are well-protected by its casing. Benefits of using deep cycle AGM are:
Low internal resistance
The main feature of deep cycle AGM is its low internal resistance. This is important because internal resistance is the gatekeeper of the battery, as internal resistance determines the runtime of the battery. The lower the internal resistance is, the lower the “rules” and restrictions we have to go by when using the battery.
Since deep cycle AGM batteries have low resistance, you won’t have to worry about its usage or runtime. You won’t have to worry about current too, since it is capable to deliver high current thanks to the lack of “restrictions.”
More storage and last longer
As we can guess from its appearance, deep cycle AGM is one of the batteries for electric wheelchairs that can last for a while. It can last up to eight hours or more per day.the amount of energy we can get in a day is thanks to the large storage and the amount of chemical in it. So there is no need to worry about losing energy in the middle of the usage, as the wheelchair will work perfectly fine until the end of the day.
Yes, that’s right! Deep cycle AGM batteries are maintenance-free! There is no need for you to go extra miles to change the chemicals or measure the chemicals manually. All is perfectly stored in the strong and sturdy box of the battery. The only maintenance you’ll need is regularly clean the casing, that’s it.
Gel-sealed acid batteries
Although gel-sealed acid batteries are more pricey than deep cycle AGM batteries, they have the same (or maybe more for some) high quality deep cycle AGM batteries. Here are some of their benefits:
One of the main highlights of gel-sealed acid batteries is its leak-free feature. It is thanks to the battery’s casing that seals the inside of the battery properly. So no matter how you place them, the battery will not spill its inside.
More recharge cycle
Another benefit of gel-sealed acid batteries is its recharge cycle. There are some batteries whose recharge cycle actually impacts the battery’s lifespan. However, that is not the case with gel-sealed acid batteries. Gel-sealed acid batteries are not impacted by its recharge cycle. In fact, it can have more recharge cycles compared to other batteries for electric wheelchairs, including deep cycle AGM batteries. If you purchase gel-sealed acid batteries, you might have to stick with it longer than you thought!
Suitable for any environment
Are you living in a harsh environment? If that’s the case, then gel-sealed acid batteries are the perfect batteries for you. Thanks to its sturdy protection, the battery can withstand any harsh condition, from the cold of the snow to the scorching heat of the sun. So if your lifestyle obligates you to go to harsh conditions, then gel-sealed acid batteries are your guy.
Can withstand electricity
They are not sensitive to electricity, so there is no need to worry about having it broken down if it’s placed near electronic equipment.
Get the best for your wheelchair
Both deep cycle AGM batteries and gel-sealed acid batteries have their own perks, so you will get the best of both worlds. All you need to do is get the right batteries for electric wheelchairs that are according to your needs.
Does Medicare cover replacement batteries for power wheelchairs?
If you’re under Medicare, then congratulations! Medicare does cover replacement batteries for power wheelchairs. Power wheelchairs fall under the Medicare’s Wheelchair & Scooter Benefit along with manual wheelchair, cane, and other supporting devices. It should be noted, however, there are some things that you must do to get the power wheelchair. Here is the exact script from Medicare’s guidebook:
“Before you get either a power wheelchair or scooter, it is obligatory to have a face-to-face exam with the doctor. The doctor will review your needs and make the choice to see if you’re capable of operating the device safely. If so, the doctor will submit a written order telling Medicare why the device is necessary and that you’re able to use it properly.”
Once you’ve passed their standard test, then you can get your power wheelchairs and bring them for maintenance under Medicare.
How do you change the battery in an electric wheelchair?
Replacing the battery in an electric wheelchair is easy. Here are the steps to do it:
1. Find the batteries’ location, then pull the first battery until you reach the red connector.
2. Remove the red connectors.
3. Take out both batteries.
4. Disconnect the black connector.
5. Open the battery’s case.
6. Remove the batteries and replace them with the new ones.
7. Close the battery.
8. Place the batteries back.
9. Connect the black connectors first, then the red one. Always in that order.
Batteries for electric wheelchairs are amazing batteries that can fulfill their jobs properly, and they can be easily replaced. Now the question is, what kind of battery do you need?