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  • Possessed Wheelchair

    Posted by deann-r on November 11, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Yesterday my wheelchair started doing all kinds of crazy things completely unprovoked. If I didn’t know better I would think it was possessed. After deducing one of the switches wasn’t being as responsive as it should be, I unplugged it. Thankfully it seems to have solved my problem. At least my chair hasn’t tried to toss me out again by going into tilt mode. Am I right to assume the switch is bad? Since I know nothing about switches (as we’ve established from previous posts) do I go through the dme company or buy one myself? Do you usually keep a spare or two on hand? What’s the average lifespan of a switch? This particular one I’ve only had a few months. Of course I’d love your links again on your favorite place to purchase.

    deann-r replied 2 years, 6 months ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • dennis-turner

    November 11, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Call your DME Rep. My understanding on these switches is that they are very sensitive to water. Have you possibly gotten it wet?

    Last January my chair stopped working on a Friday evening. It was a wet switch, which finally dried out Monday morning after using a blow-dryer for several hours..  It continued to sporadically  give me grief for several weeks, but even although I had a visiting mechanical engineer, he was not comfortable trying to fix it.

    These stupid chairs are so important to our lives, and repairs take entirely too long.

    I am sorry you are struggling with this issue, but glad turning it off and then on worked this time anyway.


  • yvette-haas

    November 11, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    What kind of switch was it? Yes, you should let them know that you need a new one… But don’t get rid of the old one. Depending on what is wrong with it, it’s probably fixable. Then it can be kept as a backup. You know I’m a bit switch-obsessed… So I have several backups of a few types. And I made a few this week (trying out some new designs).

  • Deleted User

    Deleted User
    November 23, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    About 5 or 6 months ago the switch on my Permobil that controlled the tilt in space capability failed. I called the DME firm that had sold me that chair and my representative, a senior executive in that firm, as well as Zac Arnold, Permobil’s representative for Texas came to my home. They were able to fix the problem by rebooting the entire electrical system. However, they said that the problem might reappear. The representative of my dealer said he would arrange for taking my chair to the service area of his firm to have a new part installed. And, he said, I would have a loaner while that work was being done. I was told this would be done after the part needed could be sent to the distributor from Permobil. Notwithstanding several inquiries, I was never contacted again, and the repair was not made. About 2 weeks ago the part failed again. This time, not only in the tilt in space function does not work, but the elevator (up-down) function also failed with the chair in the lowest position it reaches. I can no longer reach the counter at which I eat, my desk where I work on my computer, tabletops where things I need are kept, and the sink in my bathroom. I have become a customer of a different Permobil dealer, and completed the necessary paperwork for Medicare approval for the needed part on November 12. I have recently been told that it will not be available from Permobil until December 7, at the earliest, and that an appointment for the repair will be scheduled at some time thereafter. There is absolutely no assurance that the part will actually arrive at the dealer on December 7. That is simply the earliest possible date. I have been told that I cannot get a loaner with the elevator function that I so badly need from that dealer, and Zac Arnold, Permobil’s representative, has told me that he cannot make a loaner available to me because “they are all needed as demo chairs.” I feel completely abandoned by Permobil. I cannot understand how it is possible that in the entire Permobil enterprise in the United States, this vital part cannot be obtained until “December 7, at the earliest.” Has anyone else experienced this kind of trouble with having Permobil power wheelchairs repaired?

    • yvette-haas

      November 23, 2021 at 11:03 pm

      That sounds terrible! I’m sorry you are not being helped! I find it odd that they would need the chair for more than a few hours… I’ve never had to leave it overnight. They either send out a tech and fix it at my home, or I bring the chair to them and I spend a few hours waiting. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes. I’m really surprised that they are not saying that for you. Perhaps you can ask how long the work will take, and say that a loaner will not work for you.

    • deann-r

      November 24, 2021 at 5:06 pm

      All I can say is be persistent. Maybe if you insist on a loaner they’d get the job done quicker. I keep my old chair on standby for this type of situation. It stinks when your life has to be put on hold for the hurry up and wait game.

  • dennis-turner

    November 23, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    That has happened to me twice, minus the permobil rep part and my chair was stuck in the extreme high position!

    I understand getting insurance approval, but come on, this is ridiculous. I often feel unheard by the company that provided my chair. Enough that I changed companies for my new one.

    Let’s see if this new provider is any better.

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