Common Faults On A Stairlift
See below common faults on a stairlift and how the fix them.
A stair lift is a machine that helps people who can’t move well to go up and down stairs. Like any other equipment, it can stop working right after some time. If your stair lift at home isn’t working properly, making weird noises, or showing error codes, you should try to fix some common problems before asking for repairs. By being proactive and checking for these 10 common stair lift problems, you can avoid having to call for repairs, which will save you time and money.
Check the Key Switch
The first thing you should do if your stair lift isn’t working is check whether the key is in the right position. Your model of stair lift will determine where exactly the key switch is located, but it’s either on the top landing chassis side or on the lower front cover of the chair’s armrest. Once you’ve found it:
- Turn the on/off buttons on the chair arm and separate control units to ensure that they are in the on position.
- Alternatively, make sure the red light is on and wasn’t accidentally shut off if the power supply is carried through a spur.
- Remove the key and make sure it is in the locked position before reinserting it.
Adjust the Swivel Seat
Every stair lift chair comes equipped with a standard swivel feature. If by chance the seat is swiveled towards the landing, then the Chair won’t work and will keep sending you alerts about the problem. Ensure that you always swivel the chair back into its riding position after use so that it can lock back into place. Also, if something isn’t right, an error code will be displayed onscreen.
Lower the Armrests
Armrests are available on most stair lifts for added comfort and safety. For your lift to function properly, these armrests must be lowered. This safety switch is activated when they’re kept up. When you try to activate your lift using the up or down buttons while this switch is active, it disables your lift.
Check for Obstructions on the Stairs
Be sure to check if there are any toys or other objects blocking the stair lift before attempting to use it. You can tap on both sides of the footrest to test if it’s working properly. The lift will stop automatically if its underpan sensors detect something in its path. The display panel will tell you which sensor was triggered so that you know what caused the obstruction. If it appears safe, try moving the stairlift in reverse away from the object blocking its path, and then remove whatever is causing the problem.
Confirm You Have Power
Stair lifts usually come with indicator lights that signal whether they are receiving power. If there are no light or if only a red light is on, your lift isn’t receiving any electricity. A surge protector should be used to protect the circuits controlling and operating a stair lift. If your stair lift is not working, you can:
- Check to see whether the stair lift’s power supply is connected to a live socket.
- If the outlet is switched, check to see whether the switch is in the on position.
- Check to see whether the GFCI needs to be reset if there is a ground-fault circuit interrupter in the outlet.
- To see if the power has gone out, check your circuit breaker.
- Test the outlet by plugging in a small appliance, such as a lamp.
If an outlet is getting power but nothing works when plugged in, the problem lies with the outlet. On the other hand, if something powering another appliance works, then your stair lift is faulty.
Check the Battery Disconnect Switch
The battery disconnect switch is the primary shutoff for the stair lift system. Because its position may differ by manufacturer, locating this button can be tough. In most cases, the battery switch is placed on the lift carriage in a location that will not be reached or knocked inadvertently. Make sure the switch is turned on because it shuts off all functions of the lift when switched off.
Investigate Obstructions on the Track
Obstructions in the rack hinge rail track are another frequent problem. The tracks are easily clogged by new flooring or carpeting, little things, and trailing cables. An obstruction might cause your stair lift to malfunction or cease entirely.
- Check these tracks for any sort of blockage to prevent bumpy trips or coming to a halt in the middle of going up or down the stairs.
- Lubricate the entire track on a regular basis to assist guarantee efficient operation. If you have limited mobility, you may require assistance with this operation.
In the event that your stair lift ever stoppage in the middle of climbing or descending the stairs, it is much safer to stay seated in the chair and restart it or call for assistance. Remember to keep a cell phone or some form of emergency alert device on you at all times for this very purpose. If, however, you must get out of the chair before reaching either end of the staircase, do so cautiously and with somebody there to help support you.
Inoperable Remote Control
Some stair lifts come with a remote control, allowing you to send the chair to the top or bottom of the stairs without anybody on board. It’s usually due to old batteries if your handheld remote isn’t working. If you’ve just replaced your batteries and the remote control is yet not functioning, it’s possible they were installed incorrectly. To fix this:
- Flip open the back of the remote control.
- Confirm that the batteries were correctly inserted.
- If the batteries are dead, replace them.
If you’re sure you’ve installed new batteries and the remote still doesn’t work, it’s possible that it’s broken.
Beeping and Other Sounds
If your stair lift begins making strange noises, beeping sounds, or extra noise in general, this is often an indication that something is wrong with the device and it needs servicing. Additionally, if the stair lift seems to be running much slower than normal, this could be a sign that the motor is wearing out and needs to be replaced.
Your model will most likely make short or long beeps, or a combination of one and more beeps and chirps. The number of beeps and/or chirps is useful in identifying problems. If you’re stumped as to what the noises signify, keep track of the sequence of beeps. Turn off your stairlift to prevent it from making noise, then call your service professional and describe the sounds it made.
Many stair lift models show error codes on a diagnostics display located on the device, similar to how beeping noises work. To become familiar with these codes, read your owner’s manual. The code(s) displayed often helps you diagnose common stair lift problems without outside assistance.
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