Nationwide Lifts requires our stair lifts to be installed by a trained technician. It is critical that the equipment is installed properly for safety. In many regions, it is illegal to install a stair lift without a permit and specialty contractor’s license. Additionally, the reliability and longevity of the equipment is dependent upon proper installation and maintenance. In fact, the unit must be installed and maintained by a qualified technician in order to maintain the warranty.
Stair lifts are very reliable. However, when problems occur they are usually related to battery charging. If the lift is not installed properly, the batteries will not charge when the chair is parked. Our technicians will ensure that the charging stations are properly adjusted to avoid any charging issues. Additionally, our Pinnacle product has an expanded charging base, which will charge the batteries anywhere within 3 feet of the landings.
Stair lifts are easily installed on straight staircases. The rail is cut to match the length of the staircase. The stair lift can be configured to ride along the left or the right side of the steps. Straight stair lifts are often kept in stock and can be delivered in just a few days. The installation takes about 4 hours by a trained technician. In many areas these lifts must be permitted and inspected, so do-it-yourself installation is not recommended.
Curved stair lifts operate in a very similar way to straight stair lifts, but the rails are much different. Curved stair lifts require a custom-built rail to match the contour of the staircase. Curved stair lifts can maneuver through 90- and 180-degree turns and across flat landings. These stair lifts can also curve around a banister and park out of the way. Because the rails are custom built, detailed measurements and photos must be taken and delivered to the factory. The production takes 4-8 weeks. Once the equipment is manufactured and delivered, installation only takes 6-8 hours. The cost of curved stair lifts will be about 3-4 times the cost of a straight stair lift, due to the custom fabrication.
The rail for a stair lift is attached directly to the stair treads on every 3-4 steps. The rail does not attach to the wall, which is a common misunderstanding. The rail can be attached to hardwood, carpeted, or concrete stairs.
Preventive maintenance is recommended at least once per year.
The batteries typically last 2-3 years. After 3 years we recommend replacing them. There are two batteries and they cost approximately $50 each.
The majority of residential stair lifts operate with battery power. The base of the chair contains rechargeable batteries, the motor, and controls. The batteries are automatically charged when the chair is parked at the top or bottom of the stairs. The charger plugs into a standard wall outlet. If the house has a power outage, the stair lift will still operate on battery power for several up/down cycles.