Don’t panic! Most stair lifts use audio tones, or “beeps,” to communicate their status with the operator. Some beeps may indicate that all is well, while others may suggest an error has occurred.
There are many situations where a stair lift beeps as a status update but does not require troubleshooting. Examples include:
- The rider has reached the end of the rail and is in the location to enter/exit the lift
- The seat of the stairlift is being rotated for entering/exiting at the upper landing
- Power features, such as power swivel seats or power folding rails, maybe in movement
In the above examples, the lift will typically stop beeping after it stops moving and/or the seat is returned to the ride position. See Figure 1
Occasionally, a stair lift may beep but still allow the rider to travel up or down the stairs. Examples include:
- Low-voltage – the batteries are low
- The lift is not charging properly
In both situations, the stair lift is beeping to indicate that the batteries will soon be too low to power the lift. It is essential to discontinue operating the lift and park it at the bottom of the stairs until the issue has been resolved.
To verify that your stair lift is charging correctly, locate the power supply that connects to your home’s power outlet and the stair lift’s rail. The power supply will typically have an LED light to indicate if it is charging correctly. If either end of the power supply is disconnected, a lift cannot charge. See Figure 2
Other times, a stair lift beep may indicate a fault or error and will require troubleshooting before it can travel up/down the rail. Examples include:
- The seat has been rotated 90 degrees and was not returned to the ride position
- The footrest or chassis/carriage safety sensors have detected an obstruction – See Figure 3
- The key is disabled (if applicable)
- Critically low voltage
- Bad circuit board
In the examples above, corrective action must occur before the lift continues to travel.
Because stair lift manufacturers do not use the same “language” of audio tones, it’s important to reference your owner or operator’s manual to determine the meaning of the beeps. It is essential to note the number of beeps, frequency, and tone. For example, see the table below from the Bruno Elan Operator’s Manual.