Taking Care of Your Stairlift – Identifying Issues and Maintenance Tips

If your stairlift isn’t working correctly, making strange noises or displaying error codes, there could be a number of issues. . As an owner of a stairlift, it’s important to understand what these issues are, how to identify them and most importantly, how to deal with them effectively. Regular cleaning, servicing and maintenance can have a lasting impact on the functionality and longevity of your stairlift, and many of these issues can be resolved without the need for an engineer. In this article, we take an in-depth look at how to identify issues with your stairlift, highlighting essential maintenance tips.

Common Stairlift Faults

Before you can consider any maintenance or repairs, you’ll need to be aware of common issues that may arise with your stairlift. Often these problems are relatively simple and easy to fix, such as a disconnected power supply or a battery isolation switch that is turned off. It’s important to check over these smaller issues first before contacting an engineer, as many of these problems could be effectively resolved with little fuss or effort. Below, we look at some of the most common stairlift faults and how to spot them:


Most modern stairlifts are fitted with a diagnostics or error code display to inform owners of potential issues with their stairlift. It’s important to familiarise yourself with these codes by looking through your owner’s manual when you first buy your stairlift, but even more vital that you ensure it’s kept in a safe place. When an error code is displayed you will be able to refer back to your owners manual to align the error code with a particular issue. Some issues can be resolved quite simply on your own, whereas some error codes will suggest serious issues that need professional servicing, maintenance or inspection.


If there’s a problem with the power supply, there’s usually a strong chance the connection is loose and the power supply has simply been unplugged. If this is the case, your staircase will notify you with a distinct beeping sound or notification on your diagnostic display. It’s common for stairlift power supplies to take knocks or come unplugged, so always check the power supply first. If this is not the issue, try switching your power supply to another plug socket to narrow your investigation further. If issues still persist, it’s time to check your key switch.

Key Switch

Ensuring your key switch is in the appropriate position is the next step in identifying the root cause of the issue. It’s not uncommon for owners to confuse between on and off positions for the key switch, as there’s only a subtle difference between the two positions. If your key switch is switched to the off position, even slightly, ensure it is switched back on to reactivate your stairlift. If the key switch is undoubtedly switched on, but issues still remain, you’ll need to assess the battery isolation switch.

Battery Isolation Switch

Much like a key switch, a battery isolation switch that is turned off will prevent your stairlift from operating. This will happen regardless of whether there’s a fault or technical issue with your stairlift, so always check your battery isolation switch is turned on before calling for an engineer. The battery switch is usually located in a position that prevents accidental intervention, typically at the back or underneath the carriage.

Swivel Seat

One of the most common problems with stairlifts is an extremely simple one. Often the swivel seat hasn’t been correctly clicked back into its travel position after use, which will prevent your stairlift from functioning. An error code will notify you of this issue. Fortunately, it can be easily resolved simply by moving your seat back into its 90-degree position, then back to the travel position. A simple on and off should then do the job.

Regular Use

The more use you get out of your stairlift, the less likely it is going to attract dust, grime and debris, reducing the risk of malfunctioning. Much like a car, simply switching on your stairlift and allowing it to operate can have a positive impact and prevent future issues from arising. This is particularly important if you are no longer making use of your stairlift on a regular basis, so don’t be afraid to take the old girl out for a spin once in a while.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Much like any piece of machinery, equipment or vehicular device, a stairlift requires the appropriate cleaning and maintenance to ensure they remain in their best possible condition for the foreseeable future. It’s important to clean and maintain your stairlift regularly, to reduce the risk of issues arising. Below are some of the most important and effective ways to clean and maintain your stairlift:


Cleaning your staircase regularly can have a lasting impact on the overall longevity of your stairlift, serving as a form of maintenance in itself. Keeping your stairlift clean, tidy and dust-free will maintain the stairlift in its optimum condition for much longer. Ensure your stairlift is at the bottom of your staircase when you clean it, and that it’s switched off and powered down, to prevent activation during the cleaning process.

We recommend using a feather duster and a damp cloth to remove dust, grime and debris. It’s important to remember not to use heavy-duty solvents, bleach or cleaning chemicals when cleaning your stairlift, as they can have a negative impact on the electronics and intricate systems that allow for your stairlift to operate. This damage would likely void your warranty, so ensure you stick to a light dusting and wipe down with a slightly damp cloth only.

Lubricate The Track

If your stairlift feels slow or is stuttering, it’s likely your track needs lubricating. This can be a particularly tricky task and may require the help of a family member or, if necessary, an engineer, especially if the issue is quite prevalent, and requires extensive cleaning and lubrication. In order to prevent this, you should lubricate your track every 2-3 months during your cleaning.

Read The Manual

As suggested, it’s essential you take some time when you first purchase your stairlift to thoroughly read through the manual. This will provide you with expert insight and all valid information required to ensure your stairlift is operating correctly from the beginning. Not only this, but when it comes to future issues, error codes, troubleshooting and general cleaning or maintenance, your manual will offer extensive advice on how to respond to these problems.

Annual Service

At DMA Stairlifts, we provide annual servicing and maintenance contracts even for customers who haven’t specifically purchased a stairlift from us. In this service, we check the following components of your lift to ensure it’s functioning correctly and in top condition:

  • Motor and gearbox assembly
  • Safety switch
  • Hinged belts
  • Seat belt security
  • Roller bearings
  • Drive rack
  • Rail and track
  • Charging points
  • Seat swivel action
  • Safety switches
  • Batteries
  • Diagnostics display
  • RCD test

It’s important to stick closely to your servicing schedule to reduce errors or problems occurring with your stairlift. With DMA Stairlifts, we are able to provide maintenance contracts to ensure you are covered all year round and annual servicing is carried out on time and in full.

Maintenance Contracts

Once your stairlift has been serviced by a member of our team, it may be possible for you to take out a maintenance contract with us, which will cover you against the cost of any call out charges for the next 12 months. At DMA Stairlifts, we offer two different types of maintenance contracts:

Silver Contract

Our silver contract will cover the following:

  • Annual service
  • Callout charge
  • 24 hour response time
  • Reduced labour on-site

Gold Contract

Our gold contract offers the same advantages as our silver contract, but with the addition of the following:

  • Labour on-site
  • Parts

DMA Stairlifts – Breakdowns, Repairs and Maintenance Across the West Country

Is your stairlift broken, making a strange noise, or in need of routine maintenance? If you’re looking for quality stairlift service, repairs or aftercare, DMA Stairlifts provides a year-round callout service for stairlift repairs and maintenance throughout the West Country. If you are a contract customer, callout charges are free.

However, if you prefer to use our services only when you need us, we charge a competitive rate callout and labour on-site for breakdowns. Our service department is run from our workshop & showroom in Wellington, where we hold a comprehensive stock of parts for most stairlift makes and models. We can remove, repair, maintain and install a wide range of makes and models. Contact us today.

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