The Parts for the Stairlift

Every stairlift has several parts of which you will want to be aware.  They are the track itself, the controls, the power supply, the chair, and the drive.

The stairlifts are powered in a variety of ways.  The tracks that are powered by batteries are the most common because new outlets don’t have to be installed before the track can be installed.  Stairlifts powered by electrical power are also available as are a hybrid of these two methods.  Rechargeable batteries can be used with electrical power so that the lift is always available, even when the power is off.

The controls will allow you to move the stairlift from the top to the bottom of the stairs or vice versa.  These can be attached to the chair or can be remote devises that are at the stationed at the top and bottom of the stairs.  You will need to purchase the chair and the stairlift system based on the amount of weight you expect it to carry on a consistent basis.

The chair should also swivel easily.  This allows the user to sit on the chair or stand up from the chair without a lot of twisting and turning.

The drive is what allows movement of the chair on the stairlift.  The rack and pinion drive is the most common among the stairlifts.  A cable system is also available although this system is generally found on older versions of the lift.  The track itself will depend on whether your stairs are straight, curved, or angled.  When purchasing your lift system, you will need to know what parts make it up and take into account the maintenance needed on all parts of the system before deciding which one is right for you.

Repairs on the Stairlift

Because stairlifts are among one of your most expensive purchases, you need to do your research and make sure that the system you purchase has a warranty.  Manufacturers will only repair their own products so you will need to keep this in mind when purchasing new or used products.

If you are purchasing a used stairlift, be sure to find out if it has an existing warranty.  You also need to consider buying an annual maintenance plan.  While there are many moving parts that may call for maintenance, the most common calls for maintenance involve batteries that are not charged so check the batteries before you call for service.

Another common maintenance issue relates to the micro switches that form a safety chain.  These are located under the footplate, on the arm rests, and other places around the chair and the running track.  Without a maintenance plan, these repairs will be charged at the maximum rate.

While it may seem that installing the track and the stairlift yourself will save some money, you should know that incorrect installation of the system will invalidate the warranty and maintenance issues will not be addressed.