Questions relating to stairlift options and operations


How Is A Stairlift Operated?

Stairlift controls are commonly found on either arm-rest in the form of two buttons; up and down. But usually, a toggle switch is supplied to help users who may have arthritic issues. Either type of control requires ‘constant-pressure,’ this method gives the user complete control of the stairlift. At the end of the journey, the stairlift will stop automatically, most provide an audible noise also as a safety feature.

What Happens If There Is A Power Cut?

Most modern stairlifts run on DC power. This means that if the mains power supply fails then batteries will power the machine for up to eight trips and normally this is sufficient to last users until the power is restored.

Do I have To Maintain The Batteries?

Most stairlifts now employ D.C. power, or battery packs. These packs are sometimes housed within the stairlift, or wall-mounted nearby. The modern design of stairlifts makes using the lift very simple. When the machine is not in use, it will be either at the top, or the bottom. At this point, the battery pack will recharge, very similar to the principle of cordless telephones.

What Are The Weight Restrictions?

Normally a stairlift is restricted to 18 – 21 stones, but there are various Heavy-Duty stairlift options available that will take a maximum weight of 28 stones. However, should the installation require a hinged track, the SWL is variable depending on the stairlift supplier who is supplying the stairlift.

We Both Want To Use The Stairlift. How Do We Do That?

With most installations it is standard practice to be provided with two call-send devices. These are either wall mounted or are in the form of wireless hand held remote controls. Usually one is located at the top and the other at the bottom of the stairs.

What If I Cannot Manage The Swivel Seat?

Stairlifts are designed for ease of use for a wide variety of users, if you find it difficult to operate a manual swivel seat; you should consider the option of a powered motorised swivel.

Can Other People Use The Stairs When A Stairlift Is Fitted?

Yes, all stairlifts fold flat against the wall when not in use. Also, remember, when the stairlift is not in use, it will be either at the top or bottom of the stairs in the ‘parked’ position, (unless you have requested your curved rail stairlift to park on the bend.) Only the track, at low level would be present on the stairs, leaving the stairs virtually free from obstructions.


Questions concerning how a stairlift is fitted


If I Buy A Stairlift How Soon Will It Be Fitted?

Normally, if you purchase a straight stairlift, it can be fitted within 7-10 days. Some companies offer a faster stairlift installation should your case be urgent. However, should your stairlift need to be a curved stairlift model, the installation lead time can be slightly longer. You would expect to wait approximately 4 – 6 weeks. This is due to the curved stairlift rail being custom made for your property.

How Is The Stairlift Fitted?

Stairlift tracks are no longer fitted to the wall, but directly onto the stairs through the floor covering of the stairs via shoes, or cleats. You will have approximately 4 – 5 cleats per a straight staircase.

Is There A Lot Of Unsightly Wiring?

Normally, the engineer will try to conceal the wiring wherever possible and run to the nearest available plug point similar to a typical telephone or cable TV installation.

What Power Supply Does A Stairlift Require?

Connection is normally to the nearest 13amp socket. If there is not one in the vicinity of the staircase, installers may request that you arrange for the installation of one.

I Have A Radiator / Chair / Table / etc. At The Bottom Of The Stairs. Will There Be Room?

Any form of obstruction at the foot of the stairs will almost certainly need to be removed. Most stairlifts require a space of approximately 24 inches unless you require a bottom over-run or parking bend. This should be determined at your free stairlift survey.

Will The Door At The Bottom Of The Stairs Be An Issue?

This is quite a common scenario which is simply to overcome with the use of a hinged track. A hinged track comes in two forms, manual or powered. Depending on the user’s ability and the number of users dictates which would be the best option for you. This would normally be discussed at the free stairlift survey stage. But if you only have one entrance to your property, the stairlift surveyor may refuse to fit a stairlift because of the limited emergency access should any problems arise in the future.


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