Through floor lift

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I have been living in my property for 12 years now and I am a full time wheelchair user, therefore, I have a Through Floor Lift (TFL) to enable me to get upstairs in my home.  This lift was installed by a company called Wessex.  So here I was in a new property with a through floor lift and thinking I was very posh ha ha. Unfortunately, this euphoria was not meant to last as I was plagued with nothing but problems with this lift. Here is a list of some of the problems I had:

  1. The first problem, which happened most of the lifespan of the lift, was the door not having enough power to close onto the latch.  The engineer came out and seemed to fix the problem. A couple of days later, the same problem occurred, so yet again, I phoned my housing officer. You guessed it, another engineer visit.  Again, the engineer seemed to fix the problem and go away. This happened repeatedly, eventually the problem was indeed fixed.  The main issue with this problem was, if the door wasn’t shutting, I couldn’t use the lift,  therefore having to sleep on the sofa downstairs.  Something that happened quite often!

  2. My TFL would sink approx half an inch to an inch overnight. This meant the lift was not fully in the “Up” position meaning once I entered the lift in my Electric Wheelchair,  the extra weight would make the lift sink further making it impossible for the door to close.  Once again engineers came out, scratched their heads, fiddled about, went away, came out, scratched their heads, went away, you get the picture.  Eventually the problem was fixed several months down the road.

  3. This fault was by far the longest to fix.  This took years to fix.  In the end, one of the head engineers from Wessex themselves had to come out and have a go at fixing this one!!  As I travelled down in the lift, the safety under-pan (that detects any objects under the lift and if so, stops the lift from travelling any further) would seem to get stuck to the bottom of the lift, then violently break free and drop into place.  Sometimes, stopping the lift altogether.  I can’t remember how many times the engineers were sent out to fix it but I can assure you, it was a lot more than it should have been.  Even top managers were called out because no one could seemingly fix the problem.  It did eventually get sorted.

  4. The most frightening fault had to be the one where we had come home from doing our shopping and found the lift about to catch fire.  Yes, I said fire!!  We came in the front door and my lift is directly opposite on the other side of our hallway.  I saw a lot of smoke coming from the left side of the lift, which is up against a wall.  The smell was like burning rubber.  My husband very quickly went to the cupboard to switch off the lift and all electrics and immediately call for an engineer to come out.  He came out but had to order a new part.  The solenoid switch is what almost caught fire.  So again, another night having to sleep on the sofa.  I ended up sleeping on the sofa for a few nights.

So you see, as good as these adaptations are, when they go wrong, you are left unable to do the task they were supplied for, so obviously this meant I couldn’t go to bed. Now this wasn’t the first time this had happened, there were times before when a fault could not be fixed on the spot, or a part had to be ordered, I’d have to sleep on the sofa every time. This played havoc with my Scoliosis, I would wake up sore and stiff every time.

In one of the very few services that my lift got.  I was told the lift needed a new roof to meet new health & safety regulations.  Then realising my lift was over 10 years old at the time, it was decided it would be more cost effective to replace it with a new lift altogether.


Well, I won’t bore you with ALL the drama that happened but I I will tell you that I contacted my housing officer, her boss and her boss also, explaining how I didn’t want to be stuck with the same lift due to all the problems I had to deal with, with the last lift.  I made a formal complaint and everything.

Several companies came out to take measurements, so they could then give my housing association a quote for a new lift. 

Did my Housing Association listen?  Not bloody likely!

Unfortunately I’m on my 2nd Wessex TFL of the same make/model because my thoughtful housing association thought it best to give me the same lift ignoring ALL my pleas to have a different one.  How nice of them eh?

Well, what can I say…….2nd lift, 2 years down the road and exactly the same faults happening all over again!!!!! 

  1. Lift door not closing, not fixed.
  2. Underpan sticking.  Not fixed.
  3. Grinding noises.  Not fixed.
  4. Dropping overnight.  Found to be heat related.

The list just keeps growing.  I now live in fear of going out and coming home and again finding the lift almost on fire.  What a way to live, all to save a few bucks!!

Would I recommend this lift?  NO!!  Although I would have to say I recommend the contracted engineers sent out to me even less!!