home-brd arrow-brd aging arrow-brd Stairlift not working? Here’s a few common issues that could be the cause

Stairlift not working? Here’s a few common issues that could be the cause

PMC  August 27, 2019    pmc  Jeff Conner

There are a few common issues that could be the cause behind a stairlift failing to work properly. If you experience issues with your stairlift not working, consider these culprits and consult with your mobility aid retailer to schedule service for your equipment.

If you experience issues with your stairlift, know that it could be a simple fix. Before you allow anyone to augment, modify, or make repairs to your lift, consult with the seller, vendor, or manufacturer guidelines for servicing the lift to ensure you do not nullify any warranty or insurance.

Stairlift not working? Here are a few common issues that could be the cause:

The Key

Is the key to the lift in the correct position to turn on? That is the first item to check when your stairlift won’t work. Usually, your key switch is on the top stair landing but it can vary from model to model. Next, check the on/off switch, located on the arm of the chair. These sound like simple solutions – and they are- but they are also very common culprits behind a non-working stairlift.

Power Supply

A red indicator light should tell you if power is reaching your lift; is the red light off? If so, check your circuit breakers to make sure you didn’t trip the system.  Also, make sure that the outlet you are using is functioning. Consider dedicating an outlet that is always on and that you know how to reset if necessary. Also, it is not a bad idea to invest in a surge protector for your stairlift.


Another switch that you will need to look for is the battery disconnect switch, which also serves as the primary shut-off switch for your lift. These switches can be tricky to find as the manufacturers usually put them in spots that won’t get jarred, banged, or battered easily.


Could you have a blown fuse? Check your fuse box and replace the blown fuse, or if you are not comfortable, call your electrician to take care of this for you. Many modern models of lifts come with an automatic device that will help to reset your lift’s power. Keep some fuses and other basic tools for your lift on hand to use in the event of an outage or issue; it sounds so elementary but makes such a significant difference in convenience later.

Safety Switches

There are many switches involved when checking out your lift and safety edge switches are the next ones to evaluate. These are often on the footplate and the carriage; check them to make sure they are in the proper position for your lift to operate.

Swivel Seat

Your lift should instinctively transition to an upright position when the user gets up from the lift; if this isn’t happening, there could be an issue with the swivel seat that is affecting overall operation. It could be related to the springs inside the seat, but the best way to proceed is to have it looked at by a qualified mobility aid service technician; call your retailer to schedule service provision.

Rack Hinge Rail

There may be something wrong with the rack hinge rail of your lift; these can be sensitive so even new carpet or an obstacle can cause the lift to stop working. Have you had new flooring put in recently? This may also impact the overall functionality. Check carefully and thoroughly for obstructions; things all clear? It could be time to call in a professional to diagnose the issue.


Is your lift making a lot of uncommon noise? Some sounds, noises, or beeping could be indicative of a problem with the electrical system, including things like a loose connection somewhere. If the noise that you hear is more of a grinding sound, it could be a problem with damaged or deteriorated rollers.

The Joystick

Could there be something askew with your stairlift joystick? The joystick is used for operating the lift and controlling the call switch—both of which merit the attention of a service professional if you suspect they are not working as they should. You may still be able to use your lift, however, with the remote control that came with the lift, if applicable.

Prevent common problems with simple maintenance on your lift. Get your lift serviced and inspected regularly to ensure safe operation and longevity, when it comes to your mobility equipment.

If you are experiencing difficulty with your stairlift or if you are interested in learning more about installing a lift in your home or business, consult with the industry professionals at Pacific Mobility. A free, no-obligation assessment can indicate if a stairlift is a good fit for you; call to learn more today.