Gartec Ltd - How Hydraulic Lifts Work | Hydraulic Home Lifts
March 2020

There are a few different types of drive systems that lifts use. The main 3 are electrical, traction and hydraulic. This blog will answer all your questions about how hydraulic lifts work and hopefully help you decide if it is a system you would like for your home lift!

A lift drive system is the mechanism or parts of the lift that make it move up and down. For example, our electrical lifts use a motor to move a nut and the standing area up and down a large screw. This is the basic drive system and without it you wouldn’t be able to move the lift.

There are of course many parts in a lift! These all link together to create all the gadgets, buttons and style options, but the integral part that makes the lift move is the drive system.

Make sure you know about how the drive system in the lifts you’re considering works to make sure it is what you want.

Hydraulic lifts use an oil based system that basically moves the lift car up and down using pressure.

A separate room or small box with an oil reservoir (usually very small for home lifts) has a store of hydraulic oil in it. This is linked to the lift car.

When the “up” button is pressed, oil is pushed through pipes from the oil reservoir using a pump. This pump pushes the oil through the pipes to a piston underneath the lift car. As the oil is pumped through, the pressure pushes the lift car upwards. A valve in the pipes stops the oil from going backwards.

When the “down” button is pressed, the valve in the pipes opens. The gravity and weight of the lift car pushes the oil back through the pipes into the oil reservoir and lowers the car.

Really, although a hydraulic system can be used for the largest lifts, it is much smaller and simpler in a home lift system. For a very large commercial lift, a large pit is required to house all the oil – but in a home lift this is stored in a much smaller space and no deep pits are required.