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What Is A Hydraulic Lift?

Published on 1st July 2020
by Robyn

When looking into the perfect lift for your home, you’ll usually come across the ‘traction vs hydraulic’ argument, and while there are countless other operation methods for residential elevators, these two are some of the longest-standing in the lift market. Hydraulic lifts are designed with longevity and ride quality in mind, with long-term, frequent use as the focus during design and manufacturing, all of which make them perfect as a residential elevator.

How Does A Hydraulic Lift Work?

The hydraulic systems are used in more than just home lifts, but all have the same components: 

  • A Motor To Drive The Pump
  • A Pump
  • A Piston Within A Cylinder
  • An Oil Reservoir Or Tank
  • A Valve

In some cases, these lifts can require a machine room but for the more compact residential lifts, the machinery is housed within the elevator shaft itself, making for a much more space-efficient option. 

In order for the hydraulic elevator to function, the components listed above all need to work together to power the lift. The pump pushes oil from the reservoir into the cylinder, where the piston will then be pushed up and, in turn, pushes the lift car up too. For the lift to descend, the valve will open and oil will flow back into the tank or reservoir, effectively using gravity in a controlled way in order to lower the car back down to the desired floor.

Why Are They Good For Residential Properties?

Hydraulic elevators have long been used in commercial properties such as hotels, public shopping centres and other high-rise buildings, but with changes in technology and more compact design, they are now being installed in homes and other residential properties across the globe. As a whole, hydraulic home lifts are: 

  • Space Efficient - With the machinery installed within the elevator shaft, you won’t need a machine room and unlike traction lifts, you often won’t need headspace in order to house the system.  
  • Slower And Safer - In general, residential-style hydraulic elevators will travel at speeds of around 0.15m/s. While slower than one you might find in a commercial property, this does offer a smoother, more comfortable and ultimately safer ride at home.
  • Hotel-Style In A Residential Property - Hydraulic elevators offer a hotel-style shaft-based lift that fits well into the home, offering luxury and comfort right there in the home.
  • Can Rise Up To 6 Floors - Due to the way they are powered, hydraulic lifts can usually rise up to around 6 floors, though this may depend on the brand that you choose. 
  • Can Be More Affordable - Compared to traction lifts, hydraulic lifts often have a slightly lower cost so those on more of a budget could benefit more from a hydraulic residential lift.

The Altura Platinum Hydraulic Lift

The Altura Platinum lift is a stylish, fully-customisable bespoke elevator driven by a hydraulic system and perfect for both private use, and light public use. It’s reliable, crafted with proven high-quality systems that ensure a smooth ride and optimum performance and safety, even in the case of a rare power failure - the Altura Platinum hydraulic lift uses a battery back up system that not only stops a freefall, but will safely lower you to the nearest floor to allow you to exit the lift and wait for the power to return. It’s adaptable to fit both indoors and outdoors depending on your needs and with either it’s own metal shaft or installed in an existing masonry one, it truly is the epitome of flexible.

The Altura Platinum is completely bespoke to your style, from the cabin style, to the doors, buttons, carpet colours and more. The customisation options come in two ranges - Simplicity and Deluxe. The Simplicity range is discreet, offering co-ordination with the environment and is generally good for more public spaces. Deluxe, on the other hand, offers elegance, perfect for any interior design you might have.

We offer full design and installation of the Altura Platinum Hydraulic to suit your property and needs. Just get in touch with our team to book your site survey or for any additional information you might need.