Written by Stannah at 18-09-2019
Do stairlifts have batteries?
Yes. Stairlifts run on batteries that receive a constant charge from the main power supply; this is the case for both curved and straight stairlifts.
Stannah stairlifts employ a battery-powered rack and pinion drive system that is continuously being charged by a nearby outlet at the top or bottom of your stairs. This means all you’ll need is a regular outlet near the stairs, and your stairlift will be ready to go! The power supply will keep the chair lift batteries charged and ready to be used at all times. During your commitment-free stairs survey, one of our experienced advisers will identify the most convenient outlet, so you need not worry about this.
You’ll also get added peace-of-mind, knowing that a Stannah battery operated chair lift will have your back when you need it most. During a power outage, the stairlift batteries will continue to work, getting you safely to your destination. Even if the power outage takes a while, fully charged batteries are good for at least 15 to 20 rides up and down your stairs.
Read more on power outages in our article on the matter.
The kind of battery a stairlift uses
Stannah stairlift batteries consist of two rechargeable 12v 7.4 ah batteries wired in series to run a 24-volt dc power motor, the stairlift’s batteries are VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid batteries).
A Stannah stairlift model 260 on stairs of 12 meters or longer, or heavy duty stairlifts need more power therefore these operate on two 12v 12ah batteries. This is about the same as a tennis ball machine but less than a golf caddy battery.
Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries are designed to keep the electrolyte captive. This means that it’s protected from spinning, even if the battery is punctured. This type of security system makes Valve Regulated Lead Acid batteries the most popular reserve power design out there.
How long do stairlift batteries last before they need to be replaced?
Stannah stairlift batteries generally last around 3 to 5 years, of course this depends on the usage and if the stairlift is often left off its charge point. When not in use, your stairlift should never be left off its charge point.
Your stairlift should also be left in the “On” position under normal circumstances. Only in the case of a power outage, should you save battery power by turning off the isolator switch when you aren’t using the stairlift. This is, however, a measure that’s only to be used in case of an (power outage) emergency. If you keep your stairlift turned off, the batteries will not receive the proper charge.
The type of your stairs is of no consequence to the battery systems, both for curved stair lifts or straight stairlifts, your stairlift will use the same kind of battery with the same product specifications and power system.
The length of the stairs does have an impact, as you’ll use the stairlift longer than on a short flight of stairs. As mentioned in the paragraph above, the batteries used in a Stannah model 260 installed on stairs of 12 meters or longer, or heavy duty stairlifts would have two 12v 12ah batteries instead of 12v 7.4 ah batteries, for example.
Stairlift batteries maintenance
Your Stannah stairlift batteries won’t need maintenance, making sure it’s never left to long off its charging point is really all you need to think about.
This simply means “parking” your stairlift after every ride. During your commitment free stair survey, one of our experienced advisors will provide you with all the information you need on important issues, like service plans; it is, however, common for stairlift batteries to be covered under an initial warranty or an extended service plan.
During a routine maintenance check, the stairlift technician will check the current battery set and use battery testers to measure if the batteries are still charging properly. The battery testers will indicate if a replacement battery is needed or if the current stairlift batteries are still viable.
We strongly advice against replacing your own stair lift battery. Replacing the battery of your straight or curved stairlift might not seem overly complicated, but it can be tricky, if you aren’t trained on the product.
Replacing a stairlift battery means you’ll need to remove some parts of the stairlift carriage, extract the old battery and install a new battery of the correct voltage. Then you’ll have to make sure to put the chair lift carriage back together the way it should be.
A professional Stannah technician, a representative from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer can take care of the replacement for you, ensuring you and your loved-one’s safety.
How do I know when to replace my stairlift battery?
Stairlift batteries replacement
If your batteries are running low, you won’t be startled by buzzing alarm systems going off or flashing emergency lights lighting up your staircase. What you can expect when your stairlift battery is nearing end of life are the following signs:
- Your stairlift will go slower than its usual pace
- Your stairlift will stop after a short distance and then continue
- The battery won’t charge in its usual charging point
In the latter case your stair lift battery has been completely drained and won’t charge again. At this point you’ll need to replace it. Again, our recommendation would be to please make sure a professional technician takes care of this for you.
The batteries are charged every time you use your stairlift and park it, this is important because it guarantees your batteries are always charged. Should you go away for a longer period of time, for example on vacation, it’s a good idea to have someone come over to water your plants and take a ride on your stairlift for you.
Stairlift batteries costs
When it comes to the price of stairlift replacement batteries it’s best to contact your local Stannah office or dealer directly.
You might be under warranty or benefit from an (extended) service plan. One of our trained customer service agents will be happy to help you, either over the phone or during your commitment-free visit at home.
This goes for all your stairlift replacement batteries queries. Who can help you better than a stairlift manufacturer who’s been in the lifting business for more than 150 years?
Stairlift batteries FAQ
We receive a lot of questions about stairlift batteries, we’ve tried to answer them as thoroughly as we can here above.
We’ve gathered the remaining frequently asked questions in this section. Is your question not listed? Don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re happy to help and give you the information you need so you can make an informed decision.
Should I turn my stairlift off to “save” the battery?
No, under normal circumstances that’s not necessary. You should always ‘park’ your stairlift after every ride so that it’s on its normal charging point and in the ‘on’ position. This way the batteries always receive their proper charge and you’re never without your trusted stairlift.
Only in the case of a power cut can you might want to turn off the isolator switch for the purpose of saving the batteries.
Should I hire a professional to replace the battery or Can I do it myself?
We advise that a trained professional changes the batteries. Stairlift batteries are industrial batteries, stored within the stairlift’s carriage. They therefore should be replaced by a trained technician as it requires extracting the old battery and installing a new set of the correct voltage, and afterwards putting everything back together again.
If possible a Stannah representative or an authorized Stannah dealer is the best way to having your stairlift batteries safely replaced. This is often covered under an initial warranty or extended service plan.
Where do the old stairlifts batteries go?
The old batteries will be taken back to Stannah’s warehouse where the they will be picked up by companies that take care of appropriately recycling this kind of product.
When you have your stairlift batteries removed by a Stannah technician, they will in addition to replacing the batteries, perform a general check-up of the equipment to verify and if necessary check that all the parts of the equipment are functional as well as the safety mechanisms.
What happens if there’s a power cut?”
In case of a power cut your stairlift will keep on going, for approximately 20 roundtrips. Stairlift are equipped with batteries that are constantly charged by the main power supply. If the main power fails, the batteries take over so the stairlift will keep on going. The batteries are automatically charged when the stairlift is at a charging point. It’s there vital you park your stairlift on the charging point when not in use.
During a power cut you can save battery power by turning off the isolator switch when you aren’t using the stairlift. This is, however, a measure that’s only to be used in case of an (power outage) emergency. If you keep your stairlift turned off, the batteries will not receive the proper charge.
A stairlift isn’t an everyday purchase we understand that you’ve got questions. We’re here to help you make the best decision for yourself and for your home. Give us a call or request call back and we’ll gladly provide you with personal, commitment-free, advice.