As an electric wheelchair user, bad weather often signals a time to stay indoors, and it limits you regarding what you can do. Electric wheelchairs are expensive, and therefore the risk of ruining them by going outdoors is a limiting factor for many.
While it’s largely best to avoid going out in the rain if possible, there are things you can do to help your wheelchair last you a long time – even if it’s been rained on occasionally.
Can you use an electric wheelchair in the rain?
Yes, but with caution. Avoid heavy patches of water and dry your chair properly on your return home, as well as leaving it in warm place to allow any water to evaporate.
All LITH-TECH chairs are fine in light rain, you’ll just need to cover the joystick to protect the electronics. With some of the best ground clearance on the market, our wheelchairs will last a long time with good care and drying in between any use in bad weather.
What happens if my electric wheelchair gets wet?
It’s an inevitable part of using an electric wheelchair; it will one day get wet. Where possible, shelter your chair somewhere safe until the worst of the rain has passed, to avoid extensive damage to the batteries and electronics.
Once you get home, dry every part of the chair properly with a towel, and clean off any mud or residue to prevent rust. The cleaner you keep your wheelchair, the longer it will last you.
If it rains heavily while you’re outside in a wheelchair, then:
We would recommend firstly covering up your joystick straight away. Secondly, carefully manoeuvre yourself to shelter until the heavy rain stops and turns to drizzle, so you can safely continue.
How to keep yourself dry in a wheelchair
When moving around it’s important to not only keep your chair dry, but also yourself. To do this you can install a waterproof cover on your wheelchair, which is an easy way to protect yourself and the exposed electronics.
You can also make small changes, such as installing an umbrella holder on the top of your chair, which you can grab if the heavens open. This is another easy-to-install method to protect yourself.
Another option is a leg cover that can clip to the arms, which can be easily used in a hurry to keep your legs dry.
Is it safe to use LITH-TECH chairs in the rain?
Toby St-George, owner of LITH-TECH says “Yes, it is safe as long as you respect and understand that the weather can affect the way your wheelchair will perform. For example, wet tyres will increase stopping time.
If it is raining outside whilst using your wheelchair you must cover up the joystick (we provide a clear bubble wrap joystick protector with your wheelchair.) This works perfectly for covering the joystick when it’s raining, to stop water damage.
Another thing to bear in mind is your speed. It is always advisable to drive slower in the wet or damp, just for your own safety.”
How to care for your wheelchair if it gets wet:
You should regularly clean your chair with a hairdresser’s water spray bottle, and dry it using a microfibre towel or cotton muslin cloth. This will prevent scratching and dry it very quickly.
Note: never use a hose pipe or jet wash to clean your wheelchair, doing so will void any LITH-TECH warranty and potentially corrupt your wheelchair.
Should I get my electric wheelchair regularly serviced?
The beauty of LITH-TECH’s Folding Electric Wheelchairs is that they do not need servicing, just general monthly maintenance. This includes things like cleaning and making sure all the bolts stay tight.
Another important task is to check that the leads going into the controller panel under your chair are all pushed in the whole way and fastened up tightly. This is because over time these will slowly become loose due to vibrations through the chair.
While it’s not good to permanently expose your wheelchair to heavy rain, looking after it and carefully drying it after each use will hep the longevity of your wheelchair and keep you safe.
To speak to a member of our team about our electric wheelchairs and their capabilities give us a call on 01252 214052.