Aging comes with more than just great wisdom. Many people experience an array of physical difficulties, including mobility issues. Impaired movement plays a significant role in determining whether a person can gracefully age in place.
A stair lift in your home can make all the difference!
If you’re considering installing one in your home, this article is a must-read. Take a minute and learn how stair lift maintenance can help maximize this essential mobility tool’s life.
Preventing Stair Lift Malfunctions
Health conditions that lead to mobility issues, such as arthritis and osteoporosis, are often a result of continuous wear and tear on joints and bones. Stair lifts are susceptible to wear and tear too!
Over time, the lift’s components wear out, which prevents the lift from working correctly.
The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” doesn’t only pertain to the human body. Prevention also helps a stair lift running smoothly and may allow you to extend its useful service life.
When you purchase your stair lift from a reputable dealer, you’ll also receive professional support and maintenance services performed by factory-trained specialists. Beyond feeling confident you’ve selected the ideal stair lift, you can also gain confidence with your ability to take care of many of the necessary maintenance tasks on your own.
In the next few sections, we’ll share DIY stair lift maintenance tips most people can take care of with minimum effort. Start by reading the instruction manual for your model lift. You’ll find specifics on using the stair lift and basic maintenance tasks.
Inspect All Moving Parts
Most instruction manuals include a graphic showing the different parts of the lift. Stair lifts have several moving parts, including:
- Swivel Seat
- Toggle Switches and Levers
As part of your maintenance program, you’ll want to inspect each moving part of your device.
For example, the seat should swivel, not wobble. Inspect the seat for broken parts.
Another moving part of a stair lift is the seat locking mechanism locks completely. A locking mechanism malfunction could cause injury.
Finally, inspect the wheels to make sure they move smoothly on the track.
Make Cleaning Part of Your Stair Lift Maintenance Program
Another relatively easy maintenance task is the weekly cleaning of the lift track. Stair lift tracks attract dust, grime, hair, and if you have a pet, animal dander.
Before you clean, remove the key, which disables the lift.
Use a damp cloth to clean the track. You can also use warm water and mild soap or a household cleaner recommended by your stair lift dealer. Rather than spraying the solution directly on the stair lift track, apply it to the cleaning cloth.
Do the same with the seat and armrest. After cleaning the lift, it’s an excellent time to take care of lubricating the track.
About Those Batteries
Most stair lifts run on batteries located underneath the seat. A charging strip located on either end of the stair lift track takes care of recharging the batteries.
Like other rechargeable batteries, the ones on a stair lift will eventually need to be replaced. Depending on how many round trips your lift makes every day, you can expect battery life to run 1-4 years. If you only make one round trip each day, you may get more than four years from your batteries.
Battery care includes:
- Charging batteries completely
- Keeping the charger clean and dry to avoid condensation inside the charger
- Turning off and unplugging the lift if you leave your house for more than a few days
These three preventative measures can extend the life of your battery. If you notice signs of a dead or worn-out battery, contact your stair lift dealer and schedule battery replacement.
Signs Your Stair Lift Needs Attention
Movement impaired people usually don’t wake up one morning and discover they have a problem. Wear and tear on the body takes time, but typically you notice small signs that something isn’t quite right. It’s much the same for your stair lift.
It is important to monitor your stair lift performance and keep an eye out for signs of problems such as:
- Unfamiliar noises
- Bumpy Rides
- Slow Start
- Beeping Sound
A beeping sound could indicate a low battery, so it’s wise to have batteries recharged or replaced (if necessary) as soon as possible.
Whether you’re a stair lift owner or a family member learning how to care for the mobility challenged, paying attention to these signs can help prevent the inconvenience of stair lift downtime and costly repairs.
Need to Schedule Routine Stair Lift Service
We hope reading our guide to stair lift maintenance helps you feel more confident about taking care of at least a few tasks on your own. With the knowledge you have now about how to keep your stair lift running smoothly, you should enjoy the many years of service from your lift.
To maximize its service life, you’ll want to arrange regular stair lift service every 1-2 years.
If you’re ready to schedule routine service or you have questions about buying a new stair lift, contact our team today. We can direct you to a dealer in your area.