Electric wheelchairs are becoming more popular with the disabled and the aged, especially amongst those who are unable to use manual wheelchairs. Electric or Powered Wheelchairs give the users an added amount of freedom or mobility without tiring them out due to having to propel a manual wheelchair.
Electric wheelchairs these days are modular in construction and most parts can be individually swapped out for replacement or repair as needed. Electric wheelchairs can be broken down into a four main sub assemblies or parts.
Power Wheelchair Drive Train
The first or most important Part of an Electric Wheelchair is the drive system and the chassis. The motor itself is a battery powered motor that drives the wheelchair and the power and torque of the motor will depend on the size and weight of the wheelchair it is fitted to. Electric wheelchairs for indoor use are normally smaller, lighter and have less powerful motors as they do not need to deal with any obstacles. Outdoor electric wheelchairs are usually larger and heavier and they have bigger wheels and tires and as a result are fitted with heavy duty motors with more power to drive them. Motors can either be rebuilt a professional for about a hundred dollars or so and you can but new motors for most popular electric wheelchairs for around three hundred dollars or so depending on the make and the power output. Good sites to look for replacement motors are EBay.com and Alabama.com for the best pricing on new as well as rebuilt motors.
Power Wheelchair Battery
The battery is the second most important part of the electric wheelchair as it keeps everything going. Electric wheelchair batteries come in two types, wet and dry though dry batteries are the preferred type these days as wet batteries cannot be carried onboard airliners unless they are disconnected which renders the electric wheelchair useless. If you are looking for new batteries Amazon.com and BatteryWholeSale.com are good places to look. You can expect to pay about fifty dollars for a new replacement battery.
Controller For Power Wheelchairs
The controller is the part of the wheelchair that users interact with the most and hence they undergo the most wear and tear. Controllers vary from simple joysticks to more advanced versions with controls for height and tilt as well. There are also controllers which work by blowing air or sucking air for people who cannot use their hands. Replacement controllers vary in price from fifty dollars for simple joystick type devices to upwards of two hundred dollars for advanced versions like the ones fitted to Pride wheelchairs. You can buy rebuilt versions of these for about a hundred dollars on sites like Ebay.com and you can find the best deals on new controllers at sites like Alabama.com and buydiscountwheelchairs.com.
Power Wheelchair Seat Assembly
The seat is the last part of the electric wheelchair though it is certainly not the least important. Seats very from simple bucket seats to version with powered tilt and recline systems as well as seats that can be raised to standing height like on some high end Invacare models. Seats cannot be generally purchased separately as it is non trivial to separate them from the chassis of which they form an integral part. If you are enterprising enough though you can still find seats on Ebay.com or Craigslist.com if you look really hard for about fifty dollars. These have normally been salvaged from wheelchairs that have been disposed or have broken down.
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