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Stairlift Troubleshooting: A Comprehensive Guide

A close-up of a ladies hand on the arm of a Platinum stairlift

Stairlifts have become an indispensable tool for many homeowners, providing a safe and convenient means of navigating stairs and maintaining independence.

However, even the most reliable stairlifts can experience occasional glitches or malfunctions - This comprehensive guide provides you with a step-by-step approach to troubleshooting common stairlift problems and offers preventative maintenance tips to keep your stairlift running smoothly.

Common Stairlift Issues and Their Solutions

Stairlift Not Moving

If your stairlift is unresponsive when you press the controls, the first step is to check the power supply. Ensure the power switch is turned on - you can usually find the rocker-style switch on the arm. Also ensure that the main isolator switch is turned on - this could be a key, or a rocker switch, and is usually found on the carriage of the stairlift (underneath the seat itself).

Another potential culprit is safety sensors. Stairlifts are equipped with multiple safety sensors that prevent movement if obstructions are detected. Check for any obstructions along the track or carriage, and ensure that the sensors are aligned properly.

A friendly stairlift engineer talking to a lady sat on a stairlift

Stairlift Making Beeping Noise

A persistent beeping sound from your stairlift typically indicates a charging issue. It may be that the stairlift isn’t correctly positioned over the charge point, or the batteries need replacing.

If the stairlift starts to make an unfamiliar noise during travel, it should be looked at by one of our qualified stairlift engineers. The sooner any potential issue is diagnosed and rectified, the sooner your stairlift will operate smoothly and quietly again.

Stairlift Seat Not Swiveling or Locking

There are several seat styles available depending on the make and model of your stairlift, including manual and powered swivel seats.

A manual swivel seat will have a lever on the side which will either pull up or push down to allow the seat to be swivelled; a powered swivel seat will automatically turn the seat once it reaches the end of its journey by simply keeping the control pressed.

A stairlift seat that does not swivel or lock properly can make transferring to and from the chair difficult. If the swivel mechanism is not functioning, check for obstructions or damage that could be preventing smooth rotation.

If the locking mechanism is not engaging, inspect it for any damage or debris that could be affecting its functionality. If the issue persists, it may require professional attention.

Stairlift Remote Control Isn't Working

If the remote control stops working, the batteries are likely to need replacing. Remove the remote from the holder and slide the cover off the back, just like a TV remote.

Replace the spent batteries with new, good quality batteries, replace the cover and place back in the holder.

Our Top Maintenance Tips for Stairlifts

Regular maintenance is important to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your stairlift. To keep you safe and enjoying your stairlift, we've put together some quick tips:

  • Read the manual: Take time to familiarise yourself with your stairlift's features and how it operates. Reset features are particularly important, as this is often the first option to resolve any issue you may be experiencing

  • Line of communication: If you're home alone, it's a good idea to carry a portable or mobile phone with you when using your lift, so you can request help should you need it.

  • Regular cleaning: Every week or so, wipe down the track, carriage, footrest and seat with a dry cloth or feather duster to remove dust and debris. No lubrication is required, as your stairlift engineer will do this for you as part of it's annual service. Avoid trips and falls by only cleaning your stairlift when it is at the bottom of the stairs, and ask a loved one for help if needed.

  • Battery maintenance: Charge the batteries regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions - usually, by leaving it in it's dedicated spot at the top or bottom of the stairs. Batteries are consumable items, and will need to be replaced by an engineer when their performance starts to decline.

  • Visual inspection: Regularly inspect the stairlift for signs of wear, damage, or obstructions. Address any issues with a stairlift engineer promptly to prevent further problems.

When to Contact a Professional

While some stairlift issues can be resolved by following the troubleshooting tips provided, or even over the phone, there are instances when professional assistance is necessary. Seek professional help if you encounter the following situations:

  • Complex issues: If you are unable to resolve the problem using the troubleshooting tips, contact a professional stairlift technician.

  • Electrical concerns: For any electrical issues, keep safe and avoid attempting repairs yourself - instead, consult your stairlift technician who will have the required training.

  • Safety concerns: If you notice any safety hazards, such as loose components or malfunctioning sensors, immediately contact a professional.

If you have any concerns about your stairlift, or have a persistant problem that troubleshooting won't fix, please get in touch. We'd be happy to help.


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