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Thread: Permobil C500 Won't Move! Got stuck in rain!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Permobil C500 Won't Move! Got stuck in rain!

    Permobil C500 was working great until hubby got stuck in the rain cooking dinner and now it will turn on, blink like crazy and won't move. The seat controls work but the chair will not move. Thank God it worked one last time to get him up and in the back door so we are inside, but now he is virtually stuck unless I put it in neutral and push him. Is it possible something got wet and will dry out and be okay eventually? The power bar just flashes, no error, nothing, but nothing moves.

    This is a wonderful "spare" we bought a few years ago and it has been a Godsend to us. Maybe the batteries are going?

    Any thoughts are much appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Permobils are not water proof. My rep told me to be sure to bag the RNET control unit even in a minimal rain. Having some insight into the way the chair is put together there are many places where water could have gotten in and shorted something. It may dry out and work again but I would not count on it. You might speed up the drying out by carefully using a hair dryer on electrical components. that sometimes works on cell phones.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  3. #3
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    We're using a hair dryer now . . . going to pack the joystick and control box in rice overnight, say a prayer and hope for the best!

  4. #4
    Many, many, many years ago, I had a electric "wheelchair" called a "Sparky." It was supposed to give me more freedom on rough terrain. Well is was never very good on rough terrain, whatever that was supposed to have meant. However, NL and I were living in Los Angeles, and Marineland of the Pacific in Ranchos Palos Verdes was still open. We were strolling through the park and stopped at the Walrus enclosure. These creatures were very close and could come up to the level we were on and you could reach out and rub their scruffy, brillo pad noses. They were soooo cute, but they had a secret weapon. These creatures could squirt water from their mouths that was about as powerful as water coming from a fire hose. I was sitting close to the fence rubbing one of those scruffy little beards, when SPLASH, POW, WHAM, SPLASH...one of those dear creatures hosed me and my "Sparky" with sea water. I was soaked and so was the chair. NL and I didn't think much about it at the time. I dried off without any problem and when we got home, we parked the chair with its charger in our garage. It was probably a month later, when we were going to use the "Sparky" again. But, all of the electronics and controllers were corroded with that salt water esposure and NOTHING worked.

    Ended up having to take it to the shop for repairs that were much too expensive than the silly chair was actually worth. But we did get a few more years and "expeditions" out of it.

    Bottom line, wheelchair electronics and water do not mix!

    Hope all goes well for you.

    All the best,
    GJ

  5. #5
    I would think bagging the control unit would cause heat problems and also make it even worse for condensation. I would just cover my joystick up with a plastic bag or anything if It was raining out. That was my Invacare pwc though. Working on the c300 front wheel drive chair....which is now called the f3 or f5....I seen a lot of places water can get in. I really don't know why the cant use waterproof connection as they do in car systems. I have had rear wheel and mid wheel and now the front wheel pwc and the front wheel drive seems to me to be better outside in the grass and such. This winter will be the real test in the snow for the c300 front wheel drive. Front wheel drive to me has been more of a challenge to me but the more I use it the better I get used to it....just have to do things different is all. Backing up to make a turn more is the most problem for me over the other two types.
    Art

  6. #6
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    Update - - - - after lots of prayer - and praise to God, and a bag of rice, the chair works perfectly this morning! God is GOOD . . . all the time!!!

  7. #7
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    New update . . . didn't need to use this chair since I posted yesterday. Turned it on today and all the lights flash and after turning it off and then back on lights are stable. Nothing works on the chair except the horn! Lights, seat controls, joystick, nothing! The only thing I can do is beep the horn and change the mode from fast to slow (the lights across bottom). Nothing works. Any thoughts on this situation?

  8. #8
    Try disconnecting and reconnecting the cable that goes from the joystick to the control module to reboot the system.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the suggestion Rustyjames . . . tried it, unfortunately didn't work . . . I guess we will call the repairman.

  10. #10
    I'm told the batteries are hard to get to on those chairs, but that would be the next thing to try unhooking and reconnecting.

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