How to Fix the Brakes on a Walker

Knowing how to use and properly service the brakes on your walker is crucial to decreasing the risk of injuries. The brakes on most walkers are called circle lock brakes, and they work along the same lines as the brake on a bike.

The brakes are applied by delicately pulling up on the brake switches found just beneath the handles of your walker. This uses a straightforward mechanism to apply strain to the brake cushions on the back wheels. You lock the brakes on most walkers by pushing down on the brake switches.

In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at how to use the brakes, as well as how to fix them. This will help you prevent any accidents that may occur due to lack or maintenance or breakage.

Where are the Brakes?

Most rolling walkers include either “circle lock” or bike-style hand brakes, which are found under the handlebars on each side of the walker.

Considerably less common are push-down brakes, which are applied by essentially pushing down on the handlebars of the walker. These kinds of brakes can help individuals with hands that suffer from difficulty in gripping. These are useful for people who may not have the option to easily apply the brakes of a standard rolling walker. However, this type of brake can be hard for some seniors to use.

How to Use the Brakes

Before you fix and adjust your brakes, you need to fully understand how they work. We have divided the different facets of brakes into sections so we can break down those individual actions. This will help you get a full understanding of the whole process.

Using the Brakes

If your walker comes with typical circle lock or bike-style brakes, you will apply the brakes to reduce speed, stop, or keep the walker from shifting position. This is as basic as pulling up on the brake switches. This will pull on the brake link, which will connect with the wheel brake. The contact of the brake on the wheel is what makes the brake work.

The left and right brake switches apply the brakes autonomously to each side of the walker. Pull up on the left-hand switch, and you apply the brake on the left wheel. Pull up on the other switch, and you apply the brake on the right side wheel.

To brake the walker while moving in a straight line, to apply the two brakes at the same time. On the off chance that you use just one of the brakes, or one significantly more than the other, the walker will go toward the side where the greater pressure is applied.

Locking the Brakes

Locking the wheels on a rolling walker is easily done on most models that are designed with standard circle lock brakes. You basically just push down on the brake switches. This will secure the brakes, and the wheels won’t move until you release the brake switches again.

On some rolling walkers, the brakes are activated by pulling the individual park brake switch, which is separate from the customary brake. You will be able to see the wheel lock brake switch found just before the handholds. The normal brakes are situated underneath the handholds.

Turns With Brakes

Since the brakes on a rolling walker work freely of one another, there are some more advanced methods you can use in making difficult maneuvers. Should you want to make a tight left turn, you should apply just the left-hand brake while keeping the other side unbraked.

This will make the walker rotate sharply around the braked wheel, bringing about a very difficult maneuver. If you are looking at doing a tight right turn, you will want to do the opposite of this.

Fixing the Brakes

Now, you have a basic understanding of how to use the brakes on your walker. Next, we can look at a few ways to fix and adjust your brakes for optimal safety.

Adjusting the Brakes

The procedure for changing your walker’s brakes is very straightforward. However, you need to keep in mind that there will be some variations between brands and walker models. The basic procedures all are comparable, though.

If your walker came with a manual, make sure to pay close attention to it. Make sure that you are executing this procedure properly according to your model.

In general:

  1. Look for the brake change screw situated on the hand brake.
  2. Then, remove the brake change lock nut to remove the screw.
  3. Turn the brake screw counterclockwise to tighten up the brakes or clockwise to loosen up the brakes.

Tighten the Brakes

Perhaps, you’ve recently made some adjustments to the brakes using the above instructions. If you still want to tighten the brakes even more, you can use the same methods to the opposite end of the brake link.

  1. Find the brake modification screw situated on the edge close to the back wheel.
  2. Unscrew the brake change lock nut to permit the modification screw to move.
  3. Turn the brake change screw counterclockwise to fix the brakes.

Loosen the Brakes

To adjust the rolling walker brakes to allow the unit to move more easily, make the following adjustments

  1. Find the brake change screw situated on the casing close to the back wheel
  2. Relax the brake lock nut to permit the modification screw to move
  3. Turn the brake change screw clockwise to relax the brakes

Final Thoughts

Because they affect the mobility of a rolling walker, the brakes are one of the most crucial pieces of the walker itself. The proper use, setup, and maintenance of your brakes will decrease the risk of potential accidents.

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