Stair lifts are normally very reliable but what happens if a fault does occur? How do you troubleshoot a fault on a stair lift? How do you solve a problem with a stair lift that has a fault code?

In this article, we’ll highlight the more familiar issues you may experience with your stair lift, the ways that you can get your stair lift working quickly, and also highlight when to call in an expert stair lift engineer to come and fix it for you.

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What is a Stairlift Fault Code?

The easiest way to check out a problem with a stair lift is by looking at the “diagnostic display board”. Most products have them but not all models. The electronic digital display can normally be found on the carriage where the motor is or on the chair arm. The digital display is lit up and it will show you a code and is always on, unless the lift is switched off.

The stairlift fault codes and their meanings will be referenced in your user manual. Some codes indicate that your stair lift is working normally and some codes will highlight a fault. So just because your stair lift is showing a code it doesn’t indicate your stairlift is broken down unless you can’t get it to work of course.

Your user manual will contain a list of fault codes, causes for the stairlift fault codes and actions to be taken to rectify any issue. This may be a simple fix that you can do yourself or a more complex fault that needs to be looked at by an engineer.

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Why is my Stairlift beeping?

When a stairlift is bleeping it usually means that your battery-operated lift is not charging up. Common causes of this could be:

  • The Stair lift is switched off – check that your mains electricity is on, the power supply socket that feeds the lift is switched on. Check that the stair lift is switched on, the power switch for the stair lift is usually on the carriage or a key switch on the end of the arm too.
  • A lift needs to be parked on the power supply charge point for it to charge up. Is the lift parked correctly on the charging station at the end of the rail? Move it to the charge station.
  • Something else that needs an engineer to look at the problem.

Make sure that it is your lift that is beeping and not a smoke alarm or another alarm in your house!

Why is my Stair lift running slow?

It’s likely that your stairlift batteries are running low and need to be replaced. There are normally two or three stairlift batteries inside your carriage that drive the lift up and down your stairs. The batteries should be replaced on average every 3 years depending on usage. If you’ve had new stairlift batteries installed recently it could indicate a different fault so it’s always good to call an engineer out to investigate the problem fully. Batteries should only be replaced by a qualified stairlift engineer.

Why is my Stairlift making a noise?

If your lift is making a noise, it could be for a number of reasons. To get to the bottom of any noise that a stairlift makes, you will need to call out a qualified stairlift engineer. Please never lubricate or oil the rail as you will likely damage the lift!

Why is my Stairlift not moving/stuck?

If your stairlift is stuck or not moving it could be because of several reasons why. The most common reasons to check are:

  1. that the batteries are dead, or the lift has been switched off.
  2. It could also be a sticky safety edge.  Usually, there are safety edges on the footplate and at the side of the carriage that work on micro switches.  Sometimes a gentle tap on the safety edges can get your lift working again.
  3. The stairlift hasn’t been swivelled back into the “ready to go position”.
  4. You might have a model with an interlocked seatbelt and arms.  This means that the armrests need to be folded down and the seatbelt fastened before the lift will move.

If your stairlift is not moving after running through this checklist, please feel free to give us a call and we can organise for one of our qualified engineers to visit.

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What if my Stairlift gets stuck in the middle of the stairs?

Although this a “comedy sketch favourite” the chance of you getting stuck in the middle of the stairs on a stairlift is very slim. However, it’s always best to take something with you on the stairlift just in case anything does happen as a belt and braces approach. Often a lifeline pendant controller or mobile or cordless telephone can help to alleviate any fears you may have.

If someone ever did get stuck on the stairlift, we are sometimes asked will the hand winder tool (supplied with many models) be able to get someone downstairs. The hand winder is inserted into the motor to manually move the lift, but this tool is really something that is used to move the stairlift a few millimetres should the stairlift have just slightly over travelled its charge point.

Whilst a stairlift engineer can be called out to investigate the problem and remedy it, they are not trained in manual handling to manoeuvre someone off the lift and safely upstairs. The assistance of family, carers, or emergency services may therefore be required.

Why is my Stairlift remote control not working?

The first thing to check is the batteries in the stairlift remote control. Just like your TV remote control, they will need replacing if it doesn’t work. If you have replaced the batteries and it is still not working, then you will need to call a stairlift engineer to reprogram the remote or investigate why it is no longer working.

How can I make sure that my Stairlift is working properly?

Every year you should have a service on your stairlift as recommended by British Safety Standards. During the service, an engineer should complete a thorough examination of the lift, check the battery voltages, tighten up the seat and brackets on the rail, and a visual look at the inner workings of the lift. Having the service done can highlight some preventative maintenance that may need to be done before faults occur. If your lift hasn’t been serviced in the last year, then you should give us a call!

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1st Choice Stairlifts offer comprehensive service and maintenance agreements with servicing, callouts and parts included on lifts that we have installed and ones where we weren’t the original installer. We can also come out to look at repairs and servicing for your model on a pay as you go basis. If you have a problem with your lift or you need it servicing, please call our dedicated Aftercare team on 01249 814528 (press option 3).

Our fully qualified engineers are locally based (see Areas We Cover), have well stocked vans of spare parts and work around the clock, 365 days a year so we are here for routine maintenance and emergencies whenever you need us.