Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Common Stair Lift Parts and Components That You Should Know

Almost identical to a home wheelchair lift, a chair stair lift is similar in the function and the job it performs. Unlike an elevator it is not a very complex machine. Stair lifts are installed in your stairway and typically consists of five main components. These include the track, drive, chair, controls, and power systems. Each has an important role in delivering you or your loved one from floor to floor.


The track is what the lift moves up and down on. The simplest and least expensive designs are straight. Tracks are available for a curved stairs and tend to be more expensive.


The drive is what transfers the movement of the motor to move the chair lifting or lowering you to your destination. The most popular today is rack and pinion drives. Cable or screw drives are older technology and may be available as well.


In order to make the trip you've got to have a place to sit. Chairs on a stair lift may swivel so you can safely get on at either landing. The two types that swivel will turn 90 or 180 degrees. On some models the track may be long enough that a swiveling chair may not be needed. All chairs will include a footrest but a powered folding footrest may also be an option.


You need some type of control to make your lift move. Many use a hand held wired remote. Wireless remotes are becoming more popular and depending on your situation may be more appropriate for your use.


Your stair lift will require electricity to make the trip up or down the track. There are three types of power sources. The most popular and least complicated is a battery pack located in the chair/motor assembly. The batteries are charged from a charging station located at either end of the track which are plugged into the nearest AC outlet.

The other two types consist of a tethered cord that moves along with the chair/motor assembly. One type has batteries but is constantly charged. The other type relies solely on the AC power. The downfall to either of these is the tethered cable. It is constantly winding and unwinding and can eventually fail causing problems and requiring repair service.

Although each manufacturers stair-lift vary slightly you will find that they have these common features. Each will have their own design requirements for each style of staircase. Each will have literature or phone numbers available discussing what options are available to you and what dimensions are required in your stairway.

Stone Dupree has been active in repairing and maintaining medical devices in the hospital and clinical environment for nearly twenty years. He loves to share tips from his experiences with others through his websites. Visit to learn more about straight stair lifts and other lifts for the home. You'll find many tips and advice on finding and purchasing a stair lift for your home.

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