There are several different kinds of floor jacks, and each has its own use. An automobile floor jack or car floor jack is used to lift up part of the car so that repairs can be made. There are also building jacks that lift a building so that repairs can be made. The final type of floor jack is used for telephone connections. Although these floor jacks are all much different, they share the same name because they are used from the floor or on the floor.
The most common kind of floor jack is a car floor jack. Those who do their own repairs on their cars typically have one of these in their garage. They are different from the hydraulic jacks that are used in professional car repair shops that lift the entire car up. Floor jacks are pumped up by hand, and they only raise part of the car. One wheel may be raised while the remaining three wheels stay on the ground. This equipment is used to change a tire or replace brakes. The floor jack must be on flat, steady ground or else it could fall down and cause serious injury to the person under the car. Automobile floor jacks can use hydraulics, air compression, or a pump arm to raise and lift the car. Car floor jacks are usually capable to lift around two or three tons, which is the weight of a normal car. Trucks and very large cars need a floor jack that can lift even more weight, up to about 10 tons. Car floor jacks vary in price from under $30 for an inexpensive jack with a pump arm that has a 2 ton lift capacity to around $400 for a hydraulic floor jack.
There are also floor jacks made for low profile cars. Most models will fit underneath any automobile that sits lower than the average car. They are specially designed with rear swivel casters so that they move easily and can be placed under low profile cars. Models that are capable of lifting two or three tons cost around $100. A lightweight aluminum model is capable of lifting 3,000 pounds with only six pumps. It is used by professional race teams who need to quickly change tires during races. The price of this model is around $200.
Basement floor jacks, or building jacks, are used to lift a house with a sagging floor caused by faulty construction or concrete footings that are sinking into the ground. The floor jack lifts steel posts that are put in place to level the floor. These jacks are sold with a pump arm or they may be built with an automatic hydraulic lift that will raise and lower the steel posts. The purpose of lifting the building is so that a new foundation can replace one that is defective for some reason. Once the foundation is finished hardening, the building jacks lower the house onto it and they are removed. They are not meant to be a permanent part of a basement foundation. The prices of these jacks range from under $100 to well over $500.
A telephone floor jack is a device that has one or more phone ports where phones can be plugged in. It is placed in the floor of a house or office building and is usually covered with a decorative brass plate or one made of a similar material. Most jack kits contain matching screws to secure the plate onto the floor. Telephone floor jacks prevent tripping on telephone cords. They can be placed into hardwood floor, tile, or carpet so that they are barely noticed. The telephone floor jack is pre-wired, so it only needs to be connected to phone wiring that is already in the house or office. These jacks are inexpensive and sell for around $30.