Published at Friday, 14 September 2018. Stair. By Christina Finke.
While the maintenance of mobility in the event of a power outage is a huge advantage of a DC stair lift system, that advantage is tempered by the cost of replacing batteries every 12 to 18 months, which can run up to $100 a pop for most stair lift batteries. On the other hand, DC stair lifts make less of a demand on the home electricity system, meaning that electric bills will be somewhat lower for DC powered lifts. The batteries of a DC powered stair lift charge in one of two methods: station charging or the use of a charge strip. With station charging, permanent charging stations are positioned at each end of the rail. Charge strips allow the lift to charge at any point along the track. Today’s rechargeable batteries are reliable and hold a charge better than old models. The typical stair lift battery will stay charged through about 8 trips up and down the track, though it will vary based on how long the staircase is and how heavy the person it is transporting is.
Battery packs come as a sealed unit that is maintenance free. Eventually, however, it will lose its ability to hold a charge and need to be replaced. the battery packs attach to the stair lift or are externally mounted near the charge station. It is a good idea to check the cost of batteries when choosing a stair lift, because they will have to be replaced eventually. Stair lift technology has moved away from the use of household AC power to use of rechargeable DC battery packs. While the batteries recharge on the household current, the lift does not require the household current in order to work, allowing use of the lift during power outages and resulting in a much smoother and quieter ride.
Starting with two parallel 2x6 stringer members, the adjustable brackets are first positioned using a spacing tool and then attached to each member with a single "pivot screw". For finished interior stairs, the stringers may be "paint" grade or "stain" grade but will have a tongue and grove or spline milled into the parallel mating surfaces so that once the brackets are adjusted, the mating surfaces will be pushed together to form a continuous, decorative, one piece knee wall stringer. The remaining screws are inserted and the end cuts are made. All the risers and treads are now square cut to the exact length using a chop saw. It is recommended that a stop is used for accuracy and efficiency. The treads are usually cut slightly shorter than the risers (1/64") for fit. For fast assembly it’s best to first pre- assemble the stair and then lift into position whenever circumstances permit.
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