Straight Stairlifts FAQ Facts Answers Questions

We aim to answer as many questions as we can in regard to straight Stairlifts from type’s models manufactures installation prices features and maybe the odd question you hadn’t even thought about?

Hang onto yaw hat this is a long read 

What is the difference between a straight Stairlift and a curved stairlift?

As the name implies a straight stairlift is for installation on a straight staircase IE completely straight no bends half landings fan-shapes top or bottom of the Staircase

How do straight Stairlifts work / Operate

How do straight Stairlifts work / Operate

All modern straight Stairlifts operate on batteries they no longer need to be connected to the mains supply with trailing cables / Flex’s the batteries are stored located in the Stairlift carriage and are charged when the stairlift is parked at the top or bottom of the staircase

The stairlift travels-traverses along an aluminium track with a hardened Rack in the centre this is known as a Rack and pinion drive system

How do straight Stairlifts work / Operate

How fast at what speed does a Stairlift Travel?

The average speed a stairlift moves IE travels is quite slow, travelling up to a maximum rated speed of 0.15 meters per second (0.34 mph) this ensures a safe, comfortable ride. Can you speed the stairlift up to make it go faster the simple answer is NO

What is the maximum weight a straight Stairlift can take?

The SWL “Safe working load” for a straight Stairlift is up to 159kg (25s) (350lb).  Curved Stairlifts is around (21s)

How wide does my staircase need to be to install a straight Stairlift

Most straight stairlift installations require at least (26 inches) (66.04cm) this is the minimum width a staircase can be and at this width it’s a bit tight so even better if you have a bigger sum to play with

Can a Stairlift rail be shortened or made longer

Yes the rail can be shortened or made longer but must be carried out by a qualified engineer who has the knowledge and tools to complete the task. We do not recommend DIY attempts at altering the rail in any way shape or form this could result in serious injury or harm to the stairlift user and none users of the stairlift

How much electricity does a Stairlifts use   

Stairlifts use very little electricity the average cost of running a stairlift equates to around £5.00 per year a 60watt light bulb would cost £14.00 per year in terms of wattage 23Kwh per year.

Should I switch my Stairlift off if we go on holiday?

No always leave your stairlift switched on and parked on a charger point top or bottom of the stairs. Ensure the charger remains plugged in so the stairlift can charge failing to do this could result in your stairlift not working on your return home IE Flat batteries

Does my Stairlift come with a seatbelt?

Yes all modern Stairlifts come with some type of seat belt most manufacturers use the same type one would find in motor vehicle “Clunk Click” every trip

Is there a display to inform me if my Stairlift is faulty?

Most modern Stairlifts have some type of diagnostic display to inform you about the condition of the stairlift one should check the owner’s manual if the stairlift fails to operate

Does the Stairlift come with a key to isolate the stairlift?

Yes all modern Stairlifts come with some type of key switch to isolate the stairlift ideal if you don’t want the grandchildren playing on it


Is there a display to inform me if my Stairlift is faulty?

How do I operate the Stairlift make it move up and down

There will be a paddle bar Joystick or buttons on one or both of the chair arms one simply pushes the Joystick-paddle in the desired direction or presses a button for the direction of travel they wish to take IE up or down

The stairlift can also be used independently via a remote control unit similar to a TV remote control it consists of two buttons one for up direction and one for down direction

How do I operate the Stairlift make it move up and down

Do Stairlifts have in-built safety features?

Yes all modern Stairlifts come with an array of safety features Safety edge devices are incorporated into the upside / Downs side of the carriage should they be operated due to an obstruction the stairlift will stop one will have to remove the obstruction to continue the journey this also applies to the Footplate where one would rest their feet again a number of safety edge features will be incorporated into the footplate

Do Stairlifts have in-built safety features?

Does my Stairlift come with a seatbelt?

Yes all modern Stairlifts come with some type of seat belt most manufacturers use the same type one would find in motor vehicle “Clunk Click” every trip

Will the Stairlift still work in a power cut / outage?

Yes all modern Stairlifts operate via batteries installed inside the stairlift carriage – body. The stairlift should work for a number of days even if not charged typically a stairlift should complete 12 full runs up and down the stairs allowing ample time for the power supply to be reinstated

How do Stairlifts fix to the stairs will there be any damage to my staircase

There will be no damage to your staircase or walls all Stairlifts fix to the stair treads not the wall normally three brackets one on the first step one in the middle and one at the last top step

The brackets are screwed through the carpet into the stair tread with medium sized fixing screws x4 each bracket

On removal there will be a small indent where the bracket has been and slight signs of the screw hole? A good firm brush and some steam should remove all signs of the stairlift bracket indentation and screw holes depending on the quality of the carpet

My Stairlift keeps making a bleeping audible tone sound

If your stairlift is continually making a bleeping noise similar to the sound of a smoke detector it’s an indication your stairlift is not on charge. Check the stairlift is parked on a charging point ensure the stairlift charger is plugged in and connected to the mains supply check to see if any CB Circuit Breakers have tripped on the fuse board

If none of the above you should call an engineer to check the Stairlift charging circuits also check the owner’s manual for cause and remedy actions required

What type of batteries does my stairlift use?

Most straight Stairlifts operate run on sealed lead acid batteries it requires two 12V 7ah batteries they are wired in series to produce 24V to drive the stairlift motor.  The batteries are accessible within the inside of the carriage stairlift-body

Can I buy Change the Stairlift Batteries when required

We highly recommend you get a trained engineer to exchange the batteries. You can buy the batteries from many battery stores but beware of cheaper none brand names they contain less led content and will degrade a lot faster than a good quality named battery

You should always replace both batteries at the same time replacing only one battery could cause the new battery to degrade a lot faster than its expected life span

Replacing the batteries is a simple task for a trained qualified engineer the main problem could be trying to gain access to the batteries like most things there is a knack or trick on how to remove and refit covers you could damage the covers and safety edges leading to further problems and expense

Replacing the batteries might only be a temporary solution and within a few days the stairlift is running slow or stop starting a good engineer will check all the charger circuits before and after replacement of the batteries

Does the stairlift seat swivel at the top for easy dismount

Yes all modern Stairlifts come with a manual swivel option you simply push the chair seat release handle down and like sitting in an office chair you swivel yourself round using your feet to shuffle the chair 45-90deg

Does the stairlift seat swivel at the top for easy dismount

Can I stand up on my straight stairlift when in travel - motion?

No you should not stand up on a sit down stairlift when in motion the stairlift is designed for you to be seated at all times when in motion

There are Stairlifts designed so one can stand upright when travelling traversing on the stairlift this type of stairlift is known as a perch standing stairlift and has a special frame support for the user to hold onto when operating the stairlift

Can I stand up on my straight stairlift when in travel - motion?

We have a doorway at the bottom of the stairs can we still have a Stairlift installed

Yes in most cases one would require a manual or powered hinge rail! When you have finished using the stairlift you fold up the seat and footplate of the Stairlift and park the Stairlift at the 2nd or third step then you manually lift up the bottom section of the rail to allow access to the room see fig8 There are powered options available where the hinge raises and lowers as you travel up and down on the stairlift at additional costs for such features

We have a Radiator at the bottom of the staircase can we still have a Stairlift installed

In most cases if you have a Radiator at the bottom of the staircase the radiator will require removing or relocating this is a hard one to answer and a site survey would be required

We have a doorway at the bottom of the stairs can we still have a Stairlift installed

How much room is required at the bottom of the staircase to allow a Stairlift to be installed?

From the bottom nose of the first step a clear none obstructive distance of 24 inches is required there could be exceptions a home site survey would be required

How do I clean my Stairlift and rail?

We recommend you wipe dust down the stairlift with a duster for stubborn stains a light damp cloth do not use furniture polish or silicon based products especially on curved rail systems

Does the stairlift come with an emergency lowering system?

Most Stairlifts do not have an emergency lowering system all come with a hand winding wheel this is mainly for the engineer. You cannot hand wind the stairlift down or up the entire track system it would take you all day if not longer the hand winding wheel is for moving the stairlift a few inches which may be required to be done by an engineer for maintenance reasons only

Can the seat height be adjusted raised or lowered?

Yes and No Some models are fixed height IE the seat post cannot be adjusted Acorn Brooks straight Stairlifts have a fixed seat post which cannot be adjusted that said its fixed height serves covers 98% of the population with no issues

Some Stairlift manufacturers do offer seat height adjustment if you think this will be an issue check with the supplier before arranging a home site survey no point in wasting your time or theirs if the product is not suitable for your requirements

Can we renew our Stairlift carpet with a Stairlift Installed?

We strongly advise you to renew the stairs carpet if one is thinking of replacing it in the very near future before stairlift installation

Some carpet fitters will attempt to cut round the fixing brackets to install a new carpet to be honest the best and neatest method is to have the Stairlift removed and refitted on the same day as the carpet fitter attends obviously this would incur a charge by the stairlift company prices vary depending on company and location

Can we get help to purchase a Stairlift such as Stairlift Grants Finance options?

Yes Stairlift grants are available but the process can be very time consuming and waiting times are varied depending on the council and social services departments for your district you will also be means tested as part of the grant scheme

You should speak to your local social services department or adaptations advisor for more information on Stairlift Grants

Can you buy a Stairlift on finance?

There are a number of UK Stairlift companies that offer stairlift finance options. Ensure they are regulated by the finance regulations board fsc and have all the official documentation to offer finance options before signing any finance agreement policy

Do you pay VAT on Stairlifts?

No if the stairlift is for your own personal use and in a private dwelling you do not pay VAT you will be required to sign a form with the nature of your disability or illness to be exempt

Do we have to pay a deposit before Stairlift Installation?

Depends on the stairlift company a lot of the bigger stairlift operators will require a down payment deposit to place an order

We Stairlift Trader do not take any deposits or payments on straight Stairlifts you only pay after installation and you are 100% happy with the product and service you received

Curved Stairlifts are bespoke design! Custom made for each individual staircase, a down payment deposit will be required 50% and is none refundable if you cancel the order before completion and installation of the Stairlift this applies to all bespoke designed items not only related to Stairlifts

Can you rent a straight Stairlift?

Yes you can rent hire a straight stairlift most companies offer Stairlift rentals average price of renting a Stairlift £40-£50.00 pcm Most require an installation fee which covers the installation and administration fees and removal

Your rental monthly price should include servicing maintenance and breakdown repairs plus removal of the stairlift when no longer required

Beware some companies have a fixed term rental period try and find a local company who offer no fixed term contracts

How long does it take to install a straight stairlift?

Average time required installing a straight stairlift 1-1.5 hours and slightly more if it’s a complicated setup that requires a manual or hinge rail system. Curved stairlift installation takes around 3-4 hours

How much do Straight Stairlifts Cost?

Average price cost for a new straight Stairlift £1200-2200 depending on model and manufacturer

Average price for a reconditioned straight stairlift

£500-1000 depending on model manufacturer

How much warranty should my stairlift have?

All new Stairlifts should come with a 12 month warranty and 90% of companies will offer you a two year warranty on new products. They may also offer you an extended warranty at additional costs

They break down warranty packages into categories based on metal colours IE Platinum, Gold, Bronze. Standard the more expensive the metal colour the benefits you receive always check what you are getting and always read the small print

Which is the Best Stairlift to buy?

All Stairlift manufacturers’ suppliers will claim their Stairlifts are the best on the market so to speak the key is to carry out as much research about each model manufacturer as possible due diligence when selecting an installer ensure you have done your home work on the company have they a long standing reputation good reviews etc. Most importantly has the Stairlift got all the functions and specifications you require expect from the product

How do I choose a Stairlift supplier installer?

As stated above due diligence plays a big part research each company ensure they have been trading for a number of years and have a proven track record

Check review websites always do a Google search “Reviews Stairlift Trader” is an Example No reviews or bad reviews is clearly a bad sign

Recommendations from other people is a great way to find a good company supplier of Stairlifts

Obtain at least three quotes from big and small companies

Avoid so called Stairlift Comparison websites! No such thing they simply obtain your details and pass them onto one or three companies they are affiliated with and take a commission if one of the companies installs you a stairlift

Always better to do your own research and contact the chosen company directly

Try and use a local company beware many traders will use virtual address and local phone numbers to make you think they are based in your county district etc they could be on the other side of the country?  And highly unlikely they will attend to a breakdown on a Sunday afternoon leaving you stranded

All reputable companies will attend within 24 hours or less for Stairlift Breakdowns if you have an extended warranty package depending on the package it may include Breakdown cover attendance for the same day

Never feel pressurised into buying something in fact no matter how good the deal sounds don’t sign on the day it’s amazing how different you may feel a day later I guarantee the same deal will be available next week next month next year

Try to get as many family members involved and have them present when the surveyor arrives they might raise questions you haven’t considered it’s always nice to make it a family decision

From the owner writer of this Stairlift FAQ

I hope you found this FAQ helpful and answered any questions you may have had and hopefully a few more you didn’t think about

If you reside in Greater Manchester please check out our range of Stairlifts and prices we have over 40 years experience in the Lift-Stairlift mobility sector we built our business on reputation

Good Luck

Graham Bardsley (MD Stairlift Trader)

Graham Bardsley MD Stairlift Trader


No matter what your requirements if it’s related to Stairlifts we can help. Call us today on 0161 370 6999