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April 2014
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Stairlift Repair Simple Fault Finding

This is not a tutorial on how to repair stairlifts! It’s a simple fault finding guide for you to follow! 45% of stairlift faults are easily rectified by carrying out a few simple checks! See our stairlift fault finding guide below

Stairlift Key Switches (See Fig 1a)
Ensure all Key Switches are turned on! If the key is in the correct position (on) you should not be able to remove the key from the barrel. Key switches can be located on the stairlift chair arms or on the stairlift carriage and in some cases key switches can be found on the wall call / send units

Stairlift Key Switches

Grandchildren love to have a little play on grandmas stairlift hence the stairlift being accidentally switched off. Home help and other health visitors can also be the cause of a key switch not being set in the correct on position

Stairlift ON/Off Buttons (See Fig 2a)
Buttons can be located on the chair arms or the main carriage. These buttons vary in design with each stairlift manufacturer. They could be a simple rocker type switch’s or a push / click button. Its important you understand which way the switch is positioned to be in the (on) position

Depending on your stairlift model / manufacturer you may also find buttons located on the wall controls Call / Send Units check top and bottom that the switches are placed in the (on) position

Stairlift On/Off Buttons Switches
 

 

 

 

Switched Fused Spur (See Fig 3a)
If your stairlift supply is fed from a fused spur normally located at the top of the stairs but could be top middle or bottom depending on how the installers picked up a supply feed. Check that it has not accidentally been switched off. Most fused spurs have a red neon light if the light is not illuminated check your main consumer unit! Good chance the CB (Circuit Breaker) has tripped If the CB will not reset then you have a major wiring fault call for an engineer

If the CB on the main consumer unit has not tripped and the neon on the fused spur is not illuminated then the fuse inside the fused spur could have blown o/c (open circuit) If you are electrically competent you could remove and check the fuse. If you renew the fuse always ensure you replace it with the correct size and amperage (We highly recommend you get a qualified electrician or stairlift engineer to check and replace any fuses

Stairlift Fused Spur Unit

 

 

 

 

 

RCD (Residual Current Device) (See Fig 4a)
Many modern stairlift installations now have some type of RCD fitted. Quick test is to press the (Test Button) You should hear a small click as the device switches off and removes the power. If you can not reset the RCD then it could be that there is no power feeding the device. Check that the main CB on the consumer unit is not tripped and that you have power at the fused spur! Neon light illuminated. If all the conditions are satisfactory and the RCD will not reset then there is a good chance you have a major fault with your stairlift or the RCD is faulty You will need to call for an engineer

Stairlift RCD Unit

RCD’s can be very sensitive devices and there can be a number of reasons why they trip! If you have a power cut failure (Outage) When the supply is reinstated the RCD could detect a power surge causing it to trip. Other causes of tripped RCD’s Power tools such as electric drills workmen plugging in power tools or low voltage transformers etc. If you have had any type of tradesmen working in your home then there is a good chance you will find the RCD tripped. Something as simple as a light bulb blowing in another room could trip your stairlift RCD

All Seems to be in order what now!

Panic (No don’t panic that’s my job)
If all is in order as above we need to check the stairlift and stairlift safety edges! All stairlifts have safety edge switches incorporated into the carriage and footplate. A simple test is to press in each safety edge, it should spring back out once you release it. You need to carry out this test for each individual edge! Upside Carriage edge, Downside carriage edge, Footplate up edge, Footplate down edge, Footplate front cover edge. If the stairlift will move in one direction but not the other then there is a good chance the fault will be a safety edge related to that traveling direction.

Stairlift Safety Edges
 

 

 

 

Seat Swivel (See Fig 6a)
If your stairlift has a seat swivel mechanism then you need to check that the seat is locked into its traveling position. The seat paddle arms must be raised! The paddle arms operates via a spring mechanism. If you find when you push the seat paddle down to release the chair seat the paddle does not spring back up then good chance the springs have snapped. Do not attempt to use the stairlift and call for an engineer

Stairlift Seat Swivel
 

 

 

 

Broken Joysticks (Direction stick) (See Fig 7a)
Very common fault! If the stairlift will operate via the wall Call / Send units or hand held remote infra red sender units then good chance the joystick or related harness wiring is faulty. You will need to call for an engineer. If its late at night you could use the remote hand units! Sitting on the stairlift with the remote in hand press the direction buttons the stairlift should pick up the signal and travel in the chosen direction. If the Call / Send units are hard wired fixed to the wall, you could ask a family member or friend to press the direction buttons for you to allow you to get upstairs. Call for a stairlift engineer the following morning (Saves an expensive night time call out charge)

Stairlift Remotes Call Send Units
 

 

 

 

Track Hinge Manual or Powered (See Fig 8a)
If your stairlift has a track hinge rail then a common fault is that your stairlift fails to operate after fitting a new carpet or laminate flooring. If this is the case you will need to call for an engineer. Something as simple as buying a new front door mat could stop the hinge from seating correctly. Remove any obstructions that could stop the hinge from locking into position

Stairlift Powered Hinge

All the above faults could apply to battery driven stairlifts. One of the most common faults of battery stairlifts! Stairlift traveling slowly or stop starting. These two symptoms are a sure sign of flat batteries. The stairlift will run for a number of days without it being on charge. Obviously the more you run the stairlift without recharging the batteries the slower it will travel and eventually stop operating altogether

DC Battery Stairlifts
Check that the RCD has not tripped. Most dc battery chargers have a small “LED” light which should be illuminated green if your stairlift is on charge and the batteries are fully charged. The LED may illuminate an Amber colour this state means your stairlift batteries are charging up, once fully charged the LED light will switch to green

Stairlift Charger Unit

Most DC battery stairlifts emit a siren or beeping noise to inform you your stairlift is not on charge. If you have parked your stairlift on charge and the stairlift still emits a bleeping sound you need to call for a engineer. If all the above conditions are ok but your stairlift is still running slowly then good chance your stairlift batteries are exhausted and need replacing (Phone for an engineer)

Hopefully we got you back on track

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