Help! What is an AC Powered Stairlift?

We've had a few questions on this one at Unicorn and although obvious to us, it can be a little unclear to customers who are researching stairlifts before they buy.

AC stands for Alternating Current and was the way domestic stairlifts were powered up and down the stairs for a long time until DC (Direct Current) model stairlifts came along. This worked by using the mains voltage (230 volts) to power the stairlift carriage directly. A cable (trailing cable) runs along side the stairlift track and is attached to the stairlift unit. The trailing cable was long and flexible so would move along with the stairlift whilst moving. This would be connected directly to a mains power supply from the actual stairlift unit. Most AC model stairlifts are now obsolete due to the many advantages of DC powered stairlifts.

If you’re considering buying an AC model stairlift then you should bear in mind that the stairlift in most cases will be a fairly old unit with many features missing from today's current stairlifts. Also if your AC model stairlift is in need of repair, spare parts are usually hard to come by.

Old AC Stairlift


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  • Bradford City Supplier

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