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Battery leaking! Anyone have this happen before?

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  • Battery leaking! Anyone have this happen before?

    My Permobil Chairman Entra occasionally stops briefly while it's rolling, then keeps going (the power doesn't shut off completely). It doesn't stop long enough to see any error codes on the joystick. When it continues rolling there are also no error codes.

    I figured the batteries were dying and ordered a new set, even though they were barely a year old. When the tech from NuMotion came to change them we found that one battery was leaking from the negative terminal post! This is odd as they are group 24 sealed gel batteries! NuMotion now uses a brand of batteries called "VISION," instead of the reliable MK brand I'm used to.

    After both batteries were replaced the tech said everything looked good and nothing was corroded. The chair worked fine for 10 days, but has begun to short out again. It will work fine for several hours, then start having problems, and then be fine again for hours.

    Has anyone ever had this problem? Is my chair fried or is it fixable?

  • #2
    Batteries failing????

    How extensive was the chair circuitry checked by the tech?
    First things first, did he check for problems with the charging unit?
    Last edited by slow_runner; 06-15-2017, 07:01 AM.

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    • #3
      It certainly could be the new set of batteries are defective. If you know how to use a volt meter check the voltage when it starts acting up. That can be done from the charging port. If it's the typical XLR Neutrix connector, stick a probe in the top and bottom pin sockets (top is typically + and the one on the side inhibit). You should have more than 24 volts.

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      • #4
        Thanks slowrunner & Rustyjames. Those are great ideas! I can't physically test the new batteries myself, so I'll ask the tech to do it when he comes next week. NuMotion has had major trouble with the cheap Chinese batteries they're putting in chairs these days, so I guess it wouldn't surprise me if the new ones are defective as well.

        We didn't think about checking the battery charger since we immediately saw the old batteries were leaking. How do you check the battery charger anyway?

        The tech was not very helpful. He wanted to put in new batteries without cleaning the spilled battery acid out first. I wasn't gonna go for that and made him wipe it all out of the bottom pan where they sit before he put them back in. He also wired the batteries in backwards, turned the chair on, and when it didn't power up he immediately saw his mistake, turned the chair off and switched the wires. I almost had a heart attack! Thankfully the chair turned on and, like I said, ran for 10 days with no problem. He said the wire connection ends to the batteries didn't look corroded, but that's the extent of his circuitry check. I noticed white powder on the metal buckle of the battery strap (used to pull the batteries in and out on these old Permobils) so I know there was corrosion there. I don't even remember if he cleaned that off or not.

        What I really don't understand is how a sealed gel battery can leak up at the top of the battery terminal!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by beatscookin View Post
          Thanks slowrunner & Rustyjames. Those are great ideas! I can't physically test the new batteries myself, so I'll ask the tech to do it when he comes next week. NuMotion has had major trouble with the cheap Chinese batteries they're putting in chairs these days, so I guess it wouldn't surprise me if the new ones are defective as well.

          We didn't think about checking the battery charger since we immediately saw the old batteries were leaking. How do you check the battery charger anyway?

          The tech was not very helpful. He wanted to put in new batteries without cleaning the spilled battery acid out first. I wasn't gonna go for that and made him wipe it all out of the bottom pan where they sit before he put them back in. He also wired the batteries in backwards, turned the chair on, and when it didn't power up he immediately saw his mistake, turned the chair off and switched the wires. I almost had a heart attack! Thankfully the chair turned on and, like I said, ran for 10 days with no problem. He said the wire connection ends to the batteries didn't look corroded, but that's the extent of his circuitry check. I noticed white powder on the metal buckle of the battery strap (used to pull the batteries in and out on these old Permobils) so I know there was corrosion there. I don't even remember if he cleaned that off or not.
          What I really don't understand is how a sealed gel battery can leak up at the top of the battery terminal!
          The old adage; attend to the simple things first.
          If the tech is not prepared to do even the most basic maintenance and physical checks first, I would say that your tech is wearing the incorrect label.
          Remember that these guys are supposed to serve you but invariable someone else is whipping them along with 'performance' demands. These days, bean counters rule.
          Can you get your hands on the factory schematic? You may have more luck with a suitably qualified electrician.
          I have no experience with gel batteries but with conventional wet cell, when they bubble it usually indicates unregulated over-charging. Wiser minds will know more.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry to say that the individual who's doing the work doesn't seem like he's qualified; this seems to be a reoccurring theme it the industry.

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            • #7
              I think I'd ask for another Tech to check system on your chair.
              Never had a battery leak in a powerchair but last winter the AGM battery in our Sprinter Van/diesel would not crank. Called Roadside Service to our home and Tech checked battery and found it was weak but also was leaking acid around one of terminals. He pulled it out and washed down with rags soaked in water into tray and dried it. He was worried about Glow Plug Relay under the battery tray that acid might damaged it.
              Which it must of done, a short time later relay warning light started staying lit. Get fault code even if only one of the five relay in module goes, it throws warning. But, we still had a few working cause still cranked in about freezing temps. Still when got colder we plug in heater, never used it before.

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              • #8
                I think your tech is a first grade dropout. It sounds like you have a liquid filled battery NOT a Gel Cell. Find someone who knows the difference.

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                • #9
                  The spilled on area needs to be cleaned up with this:
                  https://www.walmart.com/ip/CRC-05023...&wl13=&veh=sem
                  The residue acid that is there now that you cannot see will continue to corrode and eat away at the chair.
                  And yes gel batteries leak. My stair battery did, seems crazy. It left a black fifty cent mark in my hardwood step. I thought I had cleaned it up in time, but no. Battery acid is bad.
                  I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The leaking battery label says:

                    VISION (logo)
                    VISION GROUP
                    WWW.VISION-BATT.COM
                    SCP12750 G24 M6 12V 75AH
                    VALVE REGULATED
                    RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
                    CONSTANT VOLTAGE CHARGE
                    CYCLE USE: 14.4-14.7V
                    STANDBY USE: 13.38-13.8V
                    INITIAL CURRENT LESS THAN 22.6A
                    NON-SPILLABLE
                    MADE IN CHINA

                    Can any one tell if this is a gel battery or not?

                    Unfortunately the NuMotion tech is my only option out here. No one else will repair my chair because I didn't originally buy the chair from them and they don't want to jump through the Medicare hoops. I'm going to have to walk him through a diagnosis myself. I'll start by checking the new batteries and battery charger. Then I'll have him check the battery leads to the power module. If that's all fine, what would I look for next?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by beatscookin View Post
                      The leaking battery label says:

                      VISION (logo)
                      VISION GROUP
                      WWW.VISION-BATT.COM
                      SCP12750 G24 M6 12V 75AH
                      VALVE REGULATED
                      RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
                      CONSTANT VOLTAGE CHARGE
                      CYCLE USE: 14.4-14.7V
                      STANDBY USE: 13.38-13.8V
                      INITIAL CURRENT LESS THAN 22.6A
                      NON-SPILLABLE
                      MADE IN CHINA

                      Can any one tell if this is a gel battery or not?

                      Unfortunately the NuMotion tech is my only option out here. No one else will repair my chair because I didn't originally buy the chair from them and they don't want to jump through the Medicare hoops. I'm going to have to walk him through a diagnosis myself. I'll start by checking the new batteries and battery charger. Then I'll have him check the battery leads to the power module. If that's all fine, what would I look for next?
                      Non-spillable suggests a lead acid battery; and it is.
                      https://3falo31u07dp2mj28v2enouw-wpe...750-G24-M6.pdf

                      AFAIK sealed unit batteries do not vent and will not tolerate unregulated charging. If they are made to boil, the gases and the sulphuric acid will find their way out.

                      If that tech (possible misnomer) is the only one they have I suggest making persuasive efforts with another crowd to accept you as a client. You mention walking this joker through what he should already know well.
                      Kinda like having a dog and doing the barking for him.
                      Last edited by slow_runner; 06-17-2017, 03:40 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Like Slow-Runner's post of PDF shows it's a AGM.
                        Doing Google Search on: SCP12750 G24 M6 12V 75AH


                        Since it's a AMG it's suppose to be non-spillable and alot DME's are using instead of Gel Cell here is link on that size:
                        http://www.vision-batteries.com/store/p64/SCP12750-Z_G24_12V,_75Ah,_Z_Terminal.html
                        And like I'd posted earlier our Van battery is AGM, suppose hold charge longer, since we don't drive much. But yea, they do leak. Our van's charging system checked out OK so guess was just a flaw in that leaking battery.
                        But, if you have a powerchair charger with same pin plug you might check using it on your chair.
                        Also, since sounded like very little inspection done by Tech you might ask a neighbor or friend to pull battery tray and check for damage to wires and that all plug connectors are tight.
                        BTW: If you don't mind me asking, how old is your Permobil Chairman Entra? I could not locate a Service Manual but found a Owner's Manual in case you don't have yours and find someone to look at it:
                        https://permobilus.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/OM-Chairman-Entra.pdf
                        "Good Luck!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          slow_runner & MikeP2013, Thanks for the battery pdf and Permobil owner's manual!:-)
                          My Permobil Chairman Entra is from 2001. Best chair I've ever had - back when they were made in Sweden with high quality in mind!

                          Are gel batteries and lead acid batteries interchangeable?
                          Would the same 24V charger work for each?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by beatscookin View Post
                            slow_runner & MikeP2013, Thanks for the battery pdf and Permobil owner's manual!:-)
                            My Permobil Chairman Entra is from 2001. Best chair I've ever had - back when they were made in Sweden with high quality in mind!

                            Are gel batteries and lead acid batteries interchangeable?
                            Would the same 24V charger work for each?
                            Hi, We never had a problem with battery charger working on chairs with either AMG or Gel Batteries. We use same Lester, Solenoid Rapid, whatever brand of charger that came with Permobil 350 and ones came with AmySystem and Pride/Quantum Chairs. Just as long as plug/pins match up we have used them on AMG and Gel Batteries.

                            Years ago I think they did not have same charge port/plug common across all brands. I think now they are pretty much the same on all models.
                            Only time could not use any charger use on a PaceSaver, in 1990's, pins/plug was smaller diameter and had use it's charger only. But, when charger quit working DME just cut off charger's plug/pins end and put it on another charger.
                            Your chair age, 2001, is pretty long time to be in use. I still have a late 90's Pride Jazzy 1100 that I can't part with it's like an old friend. But it's so old, so much usage and has problems with weak motors to turn without a running go. It just collects dust in garage. Onboard Charger is broken so plug off board charger through the joystick port.

                            "Good Luck!" on getting your chair working!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              AGM and Gel are lead acid batteries. AGM is typically charged at 14.6 volts and gel no more than 14.1 volts. So if you're going to use the charger that came with the chair, you'd probably be better served with the gels.

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