5 Signs That Your Lift Needs Maintenance

Recognising the signs your lift needs maintenance is crucial to ensure its safe and efficient operation. Educating lift users and building managers on lift maintenance enhances your awareness and promotes a culture of safety and proactivity.

Implementing a proactive approach to maintenance reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns and subsequently reduces costs and downtime. 

It is estimated that, collectively, people across the globe spend roughly 11.6 million hours stuck in lifts every year.

As the UK’s leading lift company, we advocate that lift breakdown, although common, is avoidable with proper care and maintenance. In today’s blog, we’ll be covering the key warning signs that your lift needs maintenance. Whether you are a building manager, a maintenance professional, or simply someone interested in lift safety, this article aims to equip you with valuable insights to ensure the smooth and reliable operation of your lifts.

Remember, ensuring the proper functioning of lifts not only guarantees passenger safety but also contributes to a positive experience for building occupants and visitors alike. 


What Are the Signs That Your Lift Needs Maintenance? 

Neglecting lift maintenance can lead to inconvenient breakdowns, expensive repairs, and, most importantly, compromised safety. Therefore, it’s important that routine checks are carried out. 

Here are 5 key signs to look out for to maintain your lift’s reliability and smooth operation.

Sign #1: Your Lift Is Making Unusual Sounds

One telltale sign that your lift may need maintenance is the presence of unusual noises from the motor or shafts. But what exactly is considered an ‘unusual sound’ from a lift?

A lift that is in working order will be fairly quiet as it moves from floor to floor. The most you’ll hear from a functioning lift is a faint mechanical sound. Anything that comes on suddenly or is loud should be a concern. This can be:

  • Grinding
  • Rattling
  • Screeching
  • Clanging

Any form of strange noises coming from your lift is a sign that your lift needs maintenance as it could indicate an issue with:

  • Worn or damaged bearings
  • Loose or broken pulley
  • Malfunctioning motor
  • Failing breaks
  • Lack of regular lubrication

Lifts play a pivotal role in modern infrastructure, serving as a lifeline for vertical transportation in various settings, including commercial buildings, residential complexes, and public facilities such as healthcare facilities.

Given their frequent use and heavy workload, lifts require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance, mitigate potential risks, and extend their operational lifespan. If you become aware of any unusual sound coming from your lift, we recommend you contact Sheridan Lifts today!

Regular lift maintenance and inspections can help detect and resolve these problems before they become more serious. Depending on your lift’s age and type, a complete lift refurbishment may help to keep it running smoothly and safely.

Sign #2: Your Lift Is Starting to Slow Down

If your lift is slow to come when called, slow to open its doors or slow to travel between floors – this is usually a big sign that it needs maintenance. This can be caused by something as simple as exceeding weight capacity or heavier usage than expected. Or something major, such as:

  • Faults with the lift’s hinges
  • Malfunction in the lift’s communication equipment
  • General wear and tear if it hasn’t been maintained in a long time

Having a slow lift goes beyond being a minor inconvenience or frustration for users but it can lead to disastrous accidents if not addressed properly. It can have a serious impact on their safety, as your lift slows down and frustration increases users might overcrowd the lift which in turn can lead to a breakdown with occupants stuck inside. In the case of being stuck in a lift, here are some useful Do’s and Don’t to follow. 

Regular and consistent maintenance will avoid these issues from arising and in turn, the chances of major incidents decrease. 

Sign #3: Your Lift Is Shaking and Unsteady

Lifts are designed to move up and down smoothly, without any sudden movements, so it shouldn’t be unsteady or have sudden shakes. If your lift does start to rattle, this is often a sign that there is an issue with its mechanisms and it’s time to book a repair with a reliable accredited lift company.

As a lift user, experiencing uneven movements while inside the lift can be a scary ordeal. It’s not only uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. Uneven movements can be caused by various factors:

  • Poor electrical adjustment
  • Uneven torsion or tension of wire rope
  • Broken wires
  • Corroded anchor bolts
  • Inconsistent gap between the brake shoe and the brake
  • Loose rail screws
  • Poor vibration reduction

This list is by no means comprehensive. It is always best to seek professional help when it comes to lift repairs and maintenance instead of trying to address it yourself. It can be dangerous and even fatal if you’re not properly trained. 

Sign #4: Your Lift Is Stopping between Floors

This is likely a sign that you should call a lift technician as soon as possible. Whether stopping between floors and requiring regular call-outs for emergency lift repairs or even if the cabin is not flush with the floor on arrival, it is time for more thorough and consistent lift maintenance.

Lifts being unable to reach certain floors can be a frustrating experience for users, and it can greatly affect the efficiency of your building’s operations. It also comes with an added serious safety risk if occupants get stuck.

In some cases, the inability to reach certain floors may be due to a design flaw. If your lift is old, it can become a serious safety hazard if left unchecked as it may not accommodate newer building codes and regulations. 

Further causes of this lift fault:

  • Broken cable
  • Malfunctioning motor
  • Faulty control system
  • Overloading of lift
  • Worn lift components

Regardless of the reason for the lift malfunction, it’s important that you seek assistance from a qualified lift technician to restore it back to working order. 

Sign #5: Your Lift Is Experiencing Leaks or Corrosion

The last warning sign we recommend you keep an eye out for is visual signs of lift damage, such as leaks or corrosion. At a glance, you may think that this will only be applicable to hydraulic lifts as opposed to traction lifts, but both types of lifts can have leaks or corrosion and this should be taken seriously. 

There are several types of leaks you may find in your lift:

  • Fluid leaks such as water, oil or hydraulic fluid, which is found in hydraulic lifts
  • Gas leaks in some gas-filled systems (lifts with gas springs or pneumatic lift systems)
  • Coolant leaks in motor-driven lifts (these often use coolant to prevent the lift from overheating)

Leaks themselves can also lead to further corrosion so should be treated as a priority repair. Leakage affects the lift’s ability to function properly and leads to diminished load capacity as it’s the cause of hydraulic fluid leaks.

If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to costly repairs and expensive downtime, which regular lift maintenance using a reliable service provider can help make avoidable.

5 Signs That Your Lift Needs Maintenance

What to Do If Your Lift Has a Problem?

  • Stay calm – It is normal that a lift breakdown will cause anxiety and panic. Try your best to remain calm by doing breathing exercises or using other calming tools. 
  • Ensure the safety of all individuals – First and foremost, prioritise the safety of all individuals using or near the lift. Assess the risk to individuals and follow your established safety protocols, calling emergency services if necessary.
  • Call Sheridan Lifts – Our emergency line is 0330 175 8744. We provide emergency lift repairs service 24/7 and aim to be there in 4 hours. In the case of entrapment, we guarantee 1-hour callouts.
  • Limit Access – If a lift is malfunctioning, you must restrict access to the affected lift until the problem is solved by our engineers.
  • Communicate Updates Effectively – Keep building occupants, tenants, or relevant stakeholders informed about the progress of the repair work. Provide updates on the estimated time for resolution, alternative transportation options, or any changes to the situation. Clear and timely communication helps manage expectations and minimises inconvenience.

Regular lift maintenance is the best solution to avoid major breakdowns down the line. When maintenance is required, providing a detailed report about the fault ensures that the problems are addressed quickly and reduces the potential for further damage. 

What Does Lift Servicing & Maintenance Cover?

LOLER, or the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, is a set of regulations established to ensure the safe use of lifting equipment. It does not just apply to passenger lifts but to any other lifting equipment such as car lifts, cranes, hoists, platforms, and other lifting machinery.

According to LOLER, it is a requirement that all lifts must undergo a thorough inspection, maintenance, and risk assessment. This minimises the risk of accidents or injuries associated with lifts. 

At Sheridan Lifts, we provide three maintenance packages for a wide range of sectors, from hospitals to residential buildings:

  • Sheridan Standard – Excellent for clients whose lifts don’t experience heavy usage. It includes 4, 6 or 12 service visits per year from one of our lift experts, as well as access to our 24/7 emergency line. 
  • Sheridan Comprehensive – This is an all-inclusive service package for clients that require extra. It includes everything that the Sheridan Standard offers, with 6 or 12 yearly visits, as well as replacement parts up to £350. 
  • Sheridan Premium – An all-in-one package that offers everything the last two packages offer, with the added bonus of callouts for emergency lift repairs during normal business hours is included at no extra cost! This includes peak periods where a lift breakdown is likely at its most inconvenient.

Is Your Lift Showing Signs That It Needs Maintenance? Call Sheridan Lifts Today

Without action, a fault in a lift can easily turn into a bigger problem down the line. Regular lift maintenance is a sure way to maximise your lift’s longevity and safety.

Sheridan Lifts is a UK-based independent lift company. We have been in the business for over 40 years ensuring that lifts across England adhere to legal requirements and run as smoothly.

We believe in a proactive approach with preventative maintenance and care, which reduces the risk of breakdown significantly. Our experienced team of engineers are highly skilled in dealing with lift issues. If your lift is showing any of these signs that it needs maintenance, be sure to get in touch today!