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The Ups & Downs of Elevator Maintenance

The Ups & Downs of Elevator Maintenance

Ups & Downs of Elevator Maintenance

I don’t trust elevators.

They’re always up to something.

Sometimes that old joke hits too close to home (or whatever building you’re responsible for). Since most multi-level workplaces depend on elevators, a non-functioning elevator results in frustration, downtime, and inefficiency—not to mention possible liability for the company if anyone is injured.

Even faulty but still-functioning elevators can be written up for elevator safety code violations, so both passengers and building owners depend on facility managers to maintain safe, smoothly operating, up-to-code lifts.

Don’t Let Your Elevators Down—Schedule Preventative  Maintenance

The first and most important way to keep your elevator on the straight-and-narrow is to find an experienced, professional elevator maintenance company.

A good preventive maintenance plan for elevators takes care of most problems before they even happen. So make sure that during their monthly check-up, your elevator experts:

    1. Check & lubricate each moving part of your elevator(s)
    1. Inspect the hoist ropes & traction cables for fraying and extreme tension
    1. Check and, if necessary, fill the oil levels of hydraulic elevators
    1. Check for signs of water damage
    1. Test the elevator belts, chains, and bolts
  1. Test all the lighting: electric panels, emergency lights, cab lights, hall lanterns & buttons, position indicators

A good elevator expert will also let you know when it’s time to replace parts of the elevator, and/or modernize the whole mechanism.

For everyday maintenance, you or your team should:

    1. Replace light bulbs as soon as needed
    1. Keep the elevator clean of all debris
  1. Make sure you have extra sets of the elevator keys and firemen’s keys available—you don’t want to be caught unprepared!

How to Handle Most Elevator Issues

What did one elevator say to the other?

I think I’m coming down with something.

Elevator malfunctions happen. If someone’s health or safety is in danger, call 911 immediately; for less urgent problems, declare the elevator out-of-service and call your elevator contractors.

DO NOT try to fix the issue on your own; even with the best of intentions, tampering with the intricacies of your elevator’s mechanisms will only endanger you and anyone who uses the elevator.

However, there is one issue it’s okay to try to solve on your own:

How to End an Elevator Shutdown

If the only problem is that your elevator doors refuse to lock (and thus the elevator refuses to move) you might be able to fix this by:

  1. Removing all trash on the door sill

    Like your garage door, the elevator doors “sense” when something’s in their way and stop.

    This response provides welcome safety for passengers’ arms and legs, but can lead to shutdowns when some tiny item (such as a bottle cap, crumpled paper, or candy wrapper) is left on the door sill.

    Once you’ve taken away the item, your elevator should happily resume its normal activities.

  2. Cleaning the door-opening device

    Much like the above tip, this one also depends on the elevator door’s conscientious sensors. While older, mechanical devices can just get stuck and need a bit of a shove to move again, many modern elevators use infrared detectors to ensure that everything’s out of the way before the elevator door locks.

    Thus, if either the infrared detectors or their lenses get dirty, the grime blocks their signal. Since the receiving sensor doesn’t get that signal, it assumes that something’s in the way and refuses to lock the doors. 

    Cleaning the detectors lets the signal be received, allowing the doors to lock, and your elevator to move again.

  3. Checking the Push Buttons

    If the elevator’s push buttons are stuck, press them a few times—this usually gets them in working order again.

    This is a temporary fix, so call your elevator professionals to replace that button ASAP.

    Following your preventative elevator maintenance schedule should take care of most other issues—and if not, your elevator experts will handle it!

As said before, the most important part of this lift elevator maintenance plan is a trustworthy, highly skilled elevator company. Since the last 50 years in business have made Duthie familiar with many such elevator companies all over Southern California, just get in touch if you want a recommendation!

And, of course, make sure your emergency generator is fully operative and well-maintained so that, even during a blackout, your elevator can continue to function. We’ll be happy to help with that ourselves; to find out more, request a quote here or give us a call at 1-800-899-3931. We’d love to chat with you!

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