Thursday, September 12, 2013

Taking Care of Stairlifts In your Home

Buying a stairlift can solve many accessibility problems for older adults and those who have difficulty climbing stairs. Many people forget that stairlifts may need maintenance to keep working properly. Luckily, keeping your chairlift in good working order is quite simple.
Preventive Maintenance Is the Key
Much of the maintenance required by stairlifts is preventive maintenance – simple daily care that will keep your stairlift in top working order. These simple tasks include:
  • Always leave the chair at the right position on the track when it is not in use. The chair will generally stop naturally at the right point. When the chair is positioned properly, the unit will recharge its internal batteries so that it will always be charged for use.
  • Only unplug the unit if it will not be used for a considerable length of time, and then follow the procedure outlined in your user manual to prevent the battery from being damaged. Generally, you must switch off the mains before unplugging the unit from the wall outlet. Once the unit is unplugged, you can switch off the battery isolation switch to disconnect the battery.
  • Keep clothing and other items off the stairway to prevent them from obstructing the lift or falling into the track.
  • Do not allow children to play on or around the lift, both for their own safety and to prevent damage to the stair lift.
  • Only use the lift with one person at a time. Stairlifts are not designed to carry more than one person. Exceeding the weight limit can damage the tracks and the lift mechanism.
  • Contract with the supplier for your stairlift to provide annual checks and emergency maintenance services if needed.
If your lift isn’t working properly, there are a few things you can check before calling a repair service.
  • Check the power source to be sure that the lift unit is properly connected. If the unit is properly connected but there is still no power, check to be sure the outlet is active by plugging another electrical item into it.
  • Check the battery charge level. If the unit has been drained, it can take up to 14 hours to recharge, and the lift may not operate properly until it reaches full charge again.
  • Make sure that the chair is in the correct position for traveling. Most stairlifts will not operate unless the chair is in the correct position as a safety measure.
  • Make sure that all of the switches are in the ON position. Depending on the model stair lift you’ve chosen, there may be three different switches to turn on.
  • Make sure that the safety sensors are not stuck. Occasionally, a safety sensor will get stuck when there is not a safety issue. Carefully use your fingers to manipulate the sensors and make sure they move freely.
Stairlifts require very little ongoing maintenance, but it’s important to keep them clear of obstructions, and to operate them safely. It’s also a good idea to have an installer check the lift annually for any wear or developing problems.

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