Symmetry Elevators Blog: Articles About Home Elevators & Lifts

Overview of a Vertical Platform Lift Installation

A vertical platform lift or VPL is a lifting device designed to transport a mobility impaired person from one elevation to another. The VPL typically consists of a platform, platform sidewalls and a machine tower. The platform is the surface that carries the passenger. The sidewalls contain the rider in a safe manner. The machine tower houses the drive equipment.

Installation Requirements for a VPL

In many circumstances, the VPL will be installed in a shaft. When a VPL is installed in a shaft, certain requirements must be met. The shaft must:

  • Enclose the lift to a height of no less than 42” above the upper landing
  • Have a clear overhead of no less than 80” throughout the travel
  • Maintain a minimum 2” running clearance between the platform and walls on non-opening sides of the lift

The following requirements must be met regarding access to the lift:

  • The entrance of the lift must be guarded by a door or gate
  • The door or gate must be mechanically lockable to prevent the door or gate from opening when the lift is not at that landing
  • The door or gate lock must be electrically monitored to prevent the lift from operating if the door or gate is not in the closed position, and the lock is engaged
    • A 2” door zone allowance is provided for the mechanical lock, so the lock can engage, if the lift were to travel 2” in any direction without the door lock monitor indicating the door lock is engaged, the lift will shut down.
  • A 60” turning radius is required in front of any entrance to the lift
  • A minimum 18” strike side clearance at the door or gate approach, check appropriate codes to ensure compliance

Items a manufacturer will require in order for the equipment to be properly installed:

  • A pit or ramp
    • A pit will be required in order for the riding surface of the platform to be level with the lower landing finished floor, normally a 3” depression is acceptable
    • If a pit cannot be provided, the lift must be accessed with a ramp
      • If a ramp is provided a power door or gate operator may be required
  • Backing must be provided within the wall behind the machine tower
    • When weight is added to the platform and the platform is raised, the tower will deflect, by anchoring the tower to the backing behind the tower, this deflection force can be alleviated
  • The surface on which the lift will be placed should be a minimum 4” thick concrete pad rated at 3200 psi

Vertical Platform Lift Installation

If you have questions about your project, you can contact a manufacturer representative, also known as a product specifier or your local vertical platform lift dealer to ensure you are selecting the appropriate lift for your project.

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