Stairlift Problems & Troubleshooting Tips

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An elderly couple in a modern apartment use their 1100 Handicare stairlift.

When it comes to purchasing a stairlift, there are certain considerations that you should take into account regarding your purchase. One of these includes the potential stairlift problems that you might encounter.

At Senior Stairlifts, not only are we leading providers of stairlifts, including the installation of both new and reconditioned stairlifts, but our engineers are also at hand whenever a stairlift problem arises.

So, what are the common stairlift problems to be wary of?

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An elderly woman talks to her husband and uses her newly installed straight Handicare 1100 which is at the bottom of the stairs.

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In our brochure, you’ll find plenty of detailed information and background on our quality range of stairlifts, including our leading Handicare products.

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Mechanical Issues

According to BS 5395, there are over 500 deaths and an estimated 250,000 accidents from stair-related incidents, showing the possible need for stairlifts in UK homes. Combined with our ageing population, it’s not surprising that stairlifts are becoming popular.

However, as stairlifts are mechanical devices, they’re vulnerable to mechanical failure ranging from malfunctioning motors to broken components and/or worn-out gears. Unusual or strange sounds are often indicative of mechanical problems with a stairlift, so it’s worth keeping this in mind if you start hearing a strange noise being emitted from your stairlift.

How to Prevent Mechanical Issues

One way to prevent the likelihood of mechanical issues disrupting your daily use of your stairlift is to schedule regular maintenance and servicing appointments with a trusted stairlift company like Senior Stairlifts.

Our team of qualified and experienced engineers will carry out a comprehensive service of your stairlifts to ensure that your safety is guaranteed and that the stairlift’s operation is effective according to the manufacturer’s standards.

Interested in our maintenance services? Get in touch with our team today.

Stairlift in modern well light light home

Electrical Issues

In addition to mechanical problems, you may also face electrical issues with stairlifts, causing your stairlift to malfunction or stop working completely. These could be a result of blown fuses, faulty wiring, and/or short circuits.

What to Do When Facing Electrical Issues

Before making the call to repair your stairlift, it might be worth trying to troubleshoot the problem yourself. It’s crucial that you refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to potential electrical problems with your specific type of stairlift.

If you haven’t done so already, check whether the key switch is in the right position. A displaced key switch may be the cause of your stairlift not moving! Remove and re-insert the key, ensuring that it’s in the correct position.

If you’re still unable to get the stairlift to move, then it’s time to call in an expert engineer from Senior Stairlifts. Our engineers are ready around the clock to fix stairlifts in Leeds, Bradford, York, and the surrounding areas. Within 24 hours, you can expect an engineer to be at your doorstep, capable of solving the problem at hand.

Need a stairlift repair? Request a callback to get an engineer out to your home as soon as possible

Leather seat stairlift

Obstruction Detection

No matter if you have a curved or straight stairlift, they are designed to detect stair obstructions, stopping the lift from moving if they sense that something is in the way.

On the one hand, if the sensors aren’t calibrated correctly or if they were unable to detect an obstruction, this can accidentally damage the stairlift or cause it to get stuck.

How to Avoid Getting Your Stairlift Stuck

To avoid damaging your stairlift or getting it stuck, it’s good practice to always check the path of the stairlift before using it, including the rail. The safety sensors are usually located around the footrest, and when triggered, the lift will usually stop and/or re-direct and move in the opposite direction.

Regularly checking your stairlift’s sensors to ensure they are working properly is also something to consider to avoid sensors being jammed, causing your stairlift to abruptly stop.

Choosing the right stairlift with safety sensors for your needs can be challenging, but our team at Senior Stairlifts are more than happy to assist you. Read through our published articles and blogs for more information on buying stairlifts.

An elderly woman uses her newly installed straight Handicare 1100 which is at the bottom of the stairs.

Battery Problems

Depending on your stairlift model, you might have a stairlift that is powered by batteries, making them susceptible to battery-related stairlift problems such as low charge, slow operation and/or slow charging. Depending on the use of the stairlift, most stairlift batteries will last between two to five years, meaning that it’s common (and recommended) to replace them when they begin showing signs of deterioration.

Replacing the Battery

Before you make the decision to replace your stairlift’s battery, you should first check whether the battery is receiving sufficient power. In particular, it is a good idea to check whether:

  • The stair lift’s power supply is connected to a working socket
  • The outlet is switched on
  • There is power throughout your home – if unsure, check your circuit breaker
  • The battery disconnect switch is turned off/on – make sure this is turned on

If you’re still encountering battery issues, we suggest hiring a professional to replace the battery for you instead of trying to do it yourself.

Engineers at Senior Stairlifts are more than capable of doing this, so don’t hesitate to contact us if your batteries need replacing

Elegance Stairlift with cocoa brown upholstery.

User Error

As stairlifts have been made for and used by people, user error is a common stairlift problem that you’ll face. This is typically in the form of improper use of the lift which can cause the stairlift to stop working and/or significantly reduce its lifespan.

Minimising User Error by Following the Guidelines

The manufacturer’s guidelines are a critical document that you should always read and follow to ensure that you’re using the stairlift correctly, minimising the likelihood of user error. Reading the guidelines enables you to be in control of your stairlift, providing you with everything that you need to know about its use and operation.

Make sure that you understand how to use the lift, including what the buttons on the remote control mean and that you’re not accidentally misusing the chair arm or footrest.

Has your stairlift broken down and is in need of immediate repair? A Senior Stairlifts engineer can be out within 24 hours with a simple phone call to 0800 995 6019.

Handicare 2000 - A happy couple in a modern open home utilise a Handicare 2000 stairlift to regain mobility and freedom.

Get a Free Stairlift Consultation

With so much choice, choosing a stairlift can be overwhelming or you may be unsure whether you need a straight stairlift or a curved one. Our free stairlift survey takes the pressure off and makes choosing your ideal stairlift easy.

Regular Service and Maintenance with Senior Stairlifts

The global stairlift market is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2026, showing its increasing prominence and the growing awareness of mobility devices and accessibility. Whilst this is certainly beneficial for our ageing population, placing importance on potential stairlift problems, and knowing the correct steps to take in preventing and addressing these issues, is also key in contributing to the effectiveness of stairlifts within the home.

Don’t forget that most stairlifts have been manufactured with a display that informs the user of any errors, so you’re able to track specific error codes that tell you what the problem is.

However, if you’d like to improve the longevity and quality of your stairlift, regularly servicing and maintaining your stairlift is crucial.

Senior Stairlifts offers a range of bespoke stairlift service and warranty plans to give you peace of mind regarding any possible repairs or maintenance that your lift may need. 

An elderly woman happily chats with an Engineer from the comfort of her stairlift.

Stairlift Repairs by Senior Stairlifts

Senior Stairlifts is a leading stairlift company that delivers professional stairlift services including installation, reconditioning, servicing and repairs. Our engineers are always on hand, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, covering a number of areas within the UK.

If you’re looking for stairlift solutions that are not only affordable, but also of exceptional quality, look no further than Senior Stairlifts. Improve your safety at home with a stairlift from Senior Stairlifts accompanied by a 2-year warranty on reconditioned stairlifts and a 3-year warranty on all of our new stairlifts.

Place your trust in Senior Stairlifts when it comes to fixing stairlift problems. Get in touch with us today for a quote.

An elderly woman happily stands by her Curved Stairlift.

What Our Customers Say


Joe was excellent, prompt and professional service, will make life easier for my husband. Many thanks

A M Fisher
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Excellent and very swift service. I will recommend Senior Stairlifts.

B Tucker
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Great service, excellent communication. Highly recommend! 👍🏻

D Potter
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