Why should I have a Stairlift Service?
People often ask us about whether they need to have a stairlift service and if it needs to be done every year. Our Owner and Director Colin Major explains, from his experience as a qualified stairlift engineer for 30+ years, the top 6 reasons why a stairlift service is recommended.
Top 6 Reasons to have a Stairlift Service
1. Because it’s recommended in the Safety Standards
You may be more familiar with car servicing. Everyone has their car serviced annually to check it over to make sure it is working correctly, safely and is in good working order. Afterall it’s your safety as a road user and the safety of others that you are concerned about. With stairlifts it’s the same.
The recommendation for an annual service is specifically written into the Safety Standards for stairlifts*. It’s not something that the manufacturers or we have made up, it is specifically written into the safety standards, so it is advisable to have it done.
There is a 24 point checklist which all stairlift engineers should adhere to as detailed in the standards which we use on every service. Additionally we also check batteries too – so make that in our case a 25-point checklist!
If your stairlift has heavy usage or is under contract with a housing association, it may need to be serviced twice a year.
2. To make sure it’s “stairworthy”
You service a car to make sure it’s roadworthy for your own safety and a stairlift is no different. Through normal wear and tear and usage, working parts can wear and bolts may not be as tight as they were on the day of your installation. During a service the seat bolts are checked as are the fixings to your stairs and re-tightened where necessary.
3. To make sure the Safety Features work correctly
All stairlifts are fitted with safety circuitry and we check that they are working correctly. Safety edges are fitted to the carriage (the part that attaches to your rail and the seat is fixed on to) and footrest. By testing these safety edges work correctly, we make sure that the lift is free from any crushing or trapping hazards.
Your seatbelt will also be checked to make sure it is working correctly.
4. Preventative maintenance and inconvenience
Sometimes it’s possible on a service that a fault can be identified that you didn’t even know about! Left unchecked this could have caused the inconvenience of having a breakdown and you being without your lift for a short period of time.
For example, whilst there are still some old mains only operated lifts out there, most stairlifts these days are battery operated. When you have your stairlift service, we do an additional check of the carriage battery voltages. If we identify that the batteries are running low we would recommend they were replaced then. This would avoid the batteries going totally flat at a future date and having to wait for an engineer to come out to replace them and the cost of an additional callout if you’re not under a contract.
5. It may prolong the lifespan of your lift
From my experience, how you treat your stairlift will reflect on how long it will last. If your stairlift is regularly cleaned, serviced and maintained it may last longer. It’s important to keep your lift clean because if dust and dirt builds up it can leave black marks on your rail (particularly noticeable if you have a light cream rail). The black marks are compacted dust which the carriage rollers gather up as they go up and down your stairs. Because of this the rollers can deteriorate quicker over time.
As well as dust, if you have pets, their hairs can also go on the rail and transfer onto the rollers and clog up your machine.
A weekly light dusting of your lift (whilst it’s not in operation of course!) is recommended and we also undertake an annual clean as part of your service. Our engineers have a stock of the cleaner we use, on their vans which is available to purchase if you wanted to use the same cleaner as we do.
6. Have it done professionally!
We’ve heard reports of some engineers servicing a stairlift with a clipboard – i.e. just a checklist and no tools. When having your stairlift serviced it should really be opened up to have a through check over.
We’ve also seen customers try and maintain their own stairlifts applying substances such as WD-40, oil and grease to their stairlift. This is not needed and can make your lift worse so why not leave it to us to look after for you.
So have your stairlift serviced annually
If you’ve had your stairlift installed for over a year and haven’t had a service, then give our Aftercare Team a call on 01249 814528. We service and maintain most makes and models including our own installations and stairlifts that we didn’t install.
A couple of years ago we invested in a new bespoke computer system, that now tells us when your service is due automatically through our Service Schedules. This is for customers who have a Service and Maintenance Agreement in place with us and regular chargeable Service customers. This means we’ll contact you to remind you when your service is due and book it in with you, to take away the worry of you trying to remember when it’s due.
If you haven’t had your lift serviced with us for a while or you’re a new service customer, when you have your next service, a servicing schedule will be set up for you automatically unless you ask us not to.
Service and Maintenance Agreements
If you prefer to have peace of mind, we also offer Service and Maintenance Agreements that include a service as well as parts and labour should your lift ever breakdown. These can be offered subject to the model and age of your stairlift. Ask our Aftercare Team for more details or take a look here.
*The British Safety Standards for stairlifts were BS5776:Powered Stairlifts, which have now been replaced by the European Standard EN81-40
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