Many people ask about the reliability of stair lifts and what are the most frequent causes of failure. My answer is simple. Approximately 50% of our service calls are a direct result of operator error. Here are some results from service calls with in the past week.
-Two New Stair Lifts will not work at all one day after installation.
Cause-Family member turned stair lifts off and the user did not know.
Fix-Turned on unit.
-Unit will not operate.
-Cause-Unit was unplugged from the electrical outlet for 5 weeks while on vacation. Batteries died as a result. Fix-Replaced batteries.
-New unit will not work most of the time when starting from top floor.
Cause-Operator was attempting to operate stair lift while seat was swiveled facing the top floor.
Fix-Re Train customer on proper operation.
I am not saying all repair calls are due to User Error. Batteries do need to be replaced when a stair lift gets to be 3-6 years old. The wires that connect the battery charger to the stair lift will occasionally come loose, usually due to house cleaning. Occasionally, a switch will go bad. Rarely, a fuse will blow inside the stair lift due to a surge of electricity from the outlet but, that is a good thing since the blown fuse saved the logic board from extensive damage. Overall, we see few component failures.
When considering the purchase of a Stair Lift, here are few tips for avoiding stair lift failures.
1. Avoid Used Stair Lifts unless you are buying from a reputable local dealer that is providing a warranty and service. Expected useful service life of a stair lift is approximately 9-10 years. Anything older is more likely to require parts and service. And, as stair lifts age, parts can become hard and expensive to buy. And, finding a qualified service technician can be difficult as well. Stick to Reconditioned stairlifts that are still being sold new by the stair lift manufacturer. This is a good indication you will be able to get good service and reasonably priced parts if needed, for many years to come.
2. Always leave your stair lift plugged in and turned on which enables the battery charger to properly maintain the batteries. Most stair lifts motors are run by batteries
3. Have the stair lift installed by a Factory Trained Technician. Proper installation is one of the most important contributing factors for a reliable stair lift.
4. Be careful when cleaning around the stair lift so you do not accidentally disconnect the wires connected to your stair lift.
5. If the stair lift starts beeping (other than the normal beeps when using it) when not in use and you have checked to be sure the power is connected and seat is properly positioned, call your Stair Lift Dealer. If you wait, there is a good chance the stair lift will not operate at all due to low voltage of the batteries or some other failure.
Bottom line, always leave your stair lift plugged into the outlet and leave the on/off switch turned on. Listen to your stair lift. If it is beeping without explanation or starts running slowly upstairs, it needs service. Call your local stair lift dealer to service your stair lift and ensure the reliable operation of your stair lift.
Best Regards, Ed Customer Service Director www.stairliftasap.com
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Main Office & Warehouse
8039-A Penn Randall Place
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
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