Discover your home's full potential with the best accessibility solutions!

    Discover your home's full potential with the best accessibility solutions!

      How To Conduct Preventive Maintenance for Your Vertical Platform Lift

      A Vertical Platform Lift (VPL), also known as a porch lift, is incredibly useful and an essential element in making your home more accessible to anyone with mobility issues. Compared to other alternatives such as an indoor elevator, a VPL installation and purchase require less time and a smaller investment cost. 

      You want to ensure that your VPL operates smoothly and safely. Since most VPL’s are installed on the outside of the house and exposed to the elements (only a few choose to get the optional enclosure), the units should undergo an annual preventive maintenance. 

      No matter what, do not miss out on the schedule of preventive maintenance recommended by the manufacturer and your service provider! With your VPL running a great vertical distance, you as the user or the user’s family member are relying on its functionality and safety. After all, you don’t want it to malfunction while in mid-operation with someone inside the porch lift. 

      Regular preventive maintenance for any equipment is necessary and crucial:

      • Improves efficiency and leads to less downtime- you focus on preventing equipment failure, rather than reacting to emergency breakdowns.
      • Longer life / functional years for the equipment
      • Well-maintained equipment will operate more smoothly
      • Safety of the end user

      What happens during your VPL’s annual preventive maintenance? Let us go over a few key points that should be done.

      Safety System Checks

      The safety features on your platform lift are integral to provide a safe environment around you and your loved ones. 

      In general, the safety features are not that different from manufacturer to manufacturer, but there are lifts out there that go the extra mile to ensure every eventuality is taken into consideration. There are also optional add-ons that can provide an extra level of safety or make the user feel at ease when traveling up and down the lift. 

      The service technician that is looking after your VPL should make sure that all safety switches and locking mechanisms work as intended, and the porch lift adheres to the safety standards of your country. 

      One crucial safety check is the underpan switch:

      • A plate under your traveling platform that will be activated and automatically make the lift stop if any obstruction is detected- to prevent crushing of objects, and more importantly, people and pets.

      Another are the door locks and gate operations:

      • Check the proper closing and locking of all doors on your vertical platform lift setup- a door at the top should not be able to open even though the lift is at a lower landing.

      The worm drive is a simple and reliable way of making the lift travel up and down. It is the big screw in the center of your lift tower, and its drive nut is attached to the platform motor. The motor turns the drive nut, allowing the platform lift to go up or down. 

      The advantage of a simple system such as this means that maintenance can be a bit less involved and major parts replacement are less costly. Cleaning up the old grease and reapplying new coats is simple and fool-proof. This will take care of any unwanted grinding or audible noises coming from your porch lift, while it is operating.

      Some VPL’s are operated by a hydraulic cylinder, and the annual preventive maintenance will include check-ups on transmission fluids. With this setup, parts are more challenging and more expensive to replace, due to the more complex design and the weight. Your service technician should know how to check the pressure and the level of fluid needed to keep your lift running for another year to come.

      Nuts and Bolts

      It is such a crucial part of your annual maintenance to have a certified service technician make sure that all bolts, nuts and screws are still in the right place and tightened to the correct specs. 

      While getting your VPL from well-known manufacturers, such as Bruno, or their official distributor ensures that the engineering and quality of materials of these machines are top notch,  remember that over the course of a year or more, things can change due to high usage or other factors. 

      Having a technician check all those areas of concern can prevent a lot of potential damages to a person or object. No one can fully guarantee that things will not break or wear down- but catching defects early can save you from a lot of headache and money.

      Battery Operation or Backup

      There are two types of battery packages, depending on the manufacturer and the model:

      • Battery operated units, as the name communicates, runs on batteries and batteries are constantly charged via a charger that is housed inside the VPL tower. 

      This is where regular maintenance is crucial, as a weak battery will not be able to operate the vertical lift. It is best to have the technician do a load test and check the voltage of the batteries on a regular basis to ensure that you have a fully operational lift. The average lifespan of batteries is about 3-5 years.

      • Battery backup designed units, on the other hand, run from an electrical power source and in case of a power outage, the battery pack will kick in and allow you to continuously use your VPL until the power comes back on.

      Both kinds of battery designs are able to operate the Vertical Platform Lift even during power outages. 

      Refer back to this article for your checklist, whenever it’s time to have the annual preventive maintenance for your VPL. Remember that your and your family’s safety comes first, so work only with trusted manufacturers and installers in your area.

      Home2stay is a certified dealer and service provider for top VPL brand Bruno in Vancouver and the whole British Columbia region. 

      To learn more about having a Vertical Platform Lift installed in your space, you may contact Home2stay for a FREE ASSESSMENT. Our team will be more than happy to assist you and help ensure that you’re making the right decision for yourself and your loved ones. 



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