What to Expect with a Commercial Elevator Installation

If your commercial building has multiple floors, you should consider installing an elevator to enhance accessibility for your tenants and customers. This is a requirement by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) law and it is best to comply and avoid possible legal issues.

If you have an upcoming commercial elevator installation, you must plan your project before implementation to ensure proper functionality and meet safety codes. Read this quick guide for what to expect.

Your Building’s Support and Structure Evaluation

Assessing the support and structure of your building determines the feasibility and safety of the installation. The process involves evaluating the current state of the property. This includes assessing the layout, design, and materials used to check if your building can support the weight and size of an elevator.

During the evaluation, a professional will assess the load-bearing capacity of the foundation, walls, and floors. They will consider the elevator shaft size, location, and possible structural challenges hindering installation.

If the professional deems your building suitable for an elevator installation, they will create a detailed plan for the project. Considerations include the elevator size, shaft, components, and necessary modifications to your building’s structure.

Guide Rails and Rail Brackets Installations

Guide rails are the vertical tracks that guide the elevator car as it moves up and down the shaft. They attach to the shaft’s walls, allowing the elevator car to stay on course without swaying or drifting.

Rail brackets secure the guide rails to the shaft’s wall. With a robust design, they can withstand the elevator car’s weight and the forces from its movement. Here are the steps to install guide rails and rail brackets during your commercial elevator installation:

  • Measuring the guide rail length and cutting it to size based on the elevator’s specifications
  • Positioning the guide rails in the shaft to make them parallel to each other and level
  • Marking the location for the rail brackets on the shaft’s wall
  • Drilling holes in the marked areas for the rail brackets
  • Securing the rail brackets to the shaft’s wall using the appropriate hardware
  • Attaching the guide rails to the rail brackets and adjusting them as necessary

Elevator Drive Fitting

The drive allows the elevator car to move up and down the shaft and involves the following steps to install:

  • Installing the drive machine on the top or bottom of the elevator shaft
  • Attaching the drive belt or chain to the drive mechanism and the elevator car
  • Connecting the drive mechanism to the elevator’s control system
  • Testing the drive by running the elevator through a complete cycle
  • Adjusting the drive as needed for smooth operation.

Carriage and Gates Installation

The carriage is the platform where the elevator car rests while gates prevent passengers from falling into the shaft. This commercial elevator installation step involves aligning the carriage with the guide rails, attaching it to the hoist ropes, and securing it to the elevator.

Electrical Wiring Installation

Electrical wiring prepares your elevator for commercial use. After wiring the most significant components, the professional tests the system for efficiency and proper functioning. The final step is getting certification to start using your elevator.

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Elevator installation in your commercial property can impact your tenants’ experience, giving you a competitive edge. Work with reputable service providers like Keystone to get the most out of your investment. Are you ready to get started? Contact us today!

Hydraulic Elevator System: Here’s How They Work

Most people think that elevators became popular and commonplace in the mid to late 1800s, but the history of elevators goes back way further. The elevator concept was first designed by Archimedes in Ancient Greece circa 336 BC. The Roman Empire then expanded the concept, using primitive elevator platforms in their arenas, prisons, and other infrastructure.

Though those early lifts were powered by people, animals, or water wheels, modern iterations use the pulley (traction) system or hydraulics. In this article, we are going to discuss the marvels and benefits of a hydraulic elevator system.

Hydraulic Systems

A hydraulic system works by taking advantage of changes in pressure to create movement or to hold a form. Modern hydraulics are made of two or more pistons with hollow chambers. Pipes and valves connected to the pumps connect these chambers together and the entire system is filled with hydraulic fluid or oil.

The pumps make the oil flow between the piston chambers and the valves help maintain the system’s desired pressure. The resultant change in pressure generates an equal amount of force. The system can then move or compress whatever is connected to the hydraulic mechanism.

How a Hydraulic Elevator System Works

A hydraulic elevator uses a piston hydraulic system to move up and down, differing substantially from a conventional traction elevator. The piston, or ram, sits in a hole under the cab and shaft. Somewhere near the base of the piston is an oil reservoir, a pump, and a motor to run the pump.

When the piston is empty, the elevator cab is at its lowest point. When the elevator operator wants it to rise, a valve opens and allows hydraulic fluid into the hollow chamber of the piston. The pump will then pump the hydraulic fluid into the chamber, creating more pressure.

The increased pressure causes the piston to extend, which drives the cab upward. Once it reaches the desired floor, the valve will close and the pump will switch off. The closed valve ensures that the pressure cannot decrease because that would cause the piston to collapse again.

When the user wants to come down again, the whole process happens in the opposite direction. The pump pumps fluid out of the piston and the decreasing pressure lets the cab come down as the piston collapses.

Why People Choose Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic elevators are popular for low-rise buildings with less room for equipment. Traction elevators need a separate machine room, whereas hydraulic lifts can have all the essentials in the pit under the shaft. Their elevator installation costs and maintenance are also cheaper than traction elevators.

The only downside to hydraulic elevators is that they can only go up to 7 stories, which is why traction elevators are more common in high-rise buildings.

Learn More About Elevators With Us

Hydraulic elevators are wonderful for projects with limited cash and space budgets. Because they use hydraulic pistons to move, they only need a shaft and a pit to house their essential equipment.

A power or system failure can also never cause a dead drop. A malfunction can only ever allow the elevator to descend as fast as the pressure drops in the piston.

If you want to install a hydraulic elevator system or learn more about elevator types, then check out our blog today. We can help you with installation, maintenance, elevator operation, and more!

The Benefits of Having Consistent Elevator Inspection Services

Did you know that commercial elevators have been in operation around the globe for more than 125 years?

When the first electrical elevator was unveiled at the 1854 World’s Fair, it changed transportation. People no longer had to walk up flights of stairs to arrive at their destination. Elevators introduced a convenience that many take for granted today.

While there are great benefits to elevators, issues can occur. Elevators are machines and can break down unexpectedly. This is why it is essential for them to be well-maintained and regularly inspected.

Continue to read to learn more about the benefits of elevator inspection services.

The Importance of Elevator Load Testing

One of the most important aspects of maintaining an elevator system is occasional testing. One such assessment is a load test. During a load test, the elevator will be inspected to see if it can handle its maximum load capacity while traveling at a considerable speed.

Additionally, load tests will monitor an elevator system’s breaks and determine if they are working properly. Load capacity, speed, and brakes are all examined in detail to ensure passenger safety and comfort.

Load tests should occur every five years. This is a legal requirement in certain cities.

Routine Examinations

Elevators should be routinely examined every year to ensure their overall safety. The American National Standards Institute has strict regulations in place,c and all elevators in the U.S. must adhere to these codes. In some cities and states, yearly exams may be legally required.

The Consequences of Not Examining and Maintaining an Elevator

There are serious implications to not inspecting your elevator system on a frequent basis. Foremost, your guests’ safety may be compromised.

A critical issue could occur, and in turn, your guests would be injured. If you had invested in an elevator inspection, you could have prevented this issue before it had undesirable consequences.

Beyond guest safety, elevator inspections ensure that your system is up to date with all government regulations. If your system does not adhere to these codes, your state or city may force it to cease operation.

Elevator inspections also help discover minor issues before they become problematic. When these small problems are handled in a proactive way, you will have a longer-lasting and safer elevator system.

Invest in Comprehensive Elevator Inspection Services

Comprehensive elevator inspection services can improve your system’s longevity. More so, it will provide better protection for your guests. Safety should always be your first priority as a commercial elevator operator.

At Keystone Elevator Service and Modernization, we believe routine elevator inspections are critical. Our team of experienced professional technicians will examine your system in detail to ensure it is working to its full potential.

We offer a variety of services, including elevator repair, state elevator inspection, testing, and preventive maintenance. To learn more about us and how we can be of assistance to you, we invite you to contact us today.

What to Look Out for in Your Elevator Warranty

Elevators are one of the greatest inventions in the world, as they allow you to ascend tall buildings without exhausting yourself. However, there’s also some level of risk involved. According to studies, there are roughly 17,000 people injured every year due to accidents involving elevators.

Many of these accidents are caused by failure to maintain the elevator, defective doors, or faulty wiring. As such, it’s important to get an elevator warranty to help keep it functioning properly and avoid potential lawsuits.

Here’s what to look for in an elevator warranty and how it works.

What Is an Elevator Warranty?

Like other types of building warranties, an elevator warranty protects the owner in a variety of different ways. It helps cover the cost of repairs and regular elevator maintenance. In the case of an accident or malfunction, a manufacturer’s warranty may take some of the legal responsibility away from you.

More often than not, elevator warranties are geared toward repairs and maintenance and do not cover a replacement. Despite that, it’s essential if you plan to install an elevator, even if it won’t see regular use.

What Does an Elevator Warranty Cover?

Every elevator warranty will offer different types of coverage for different amounts of time. It’s important to speak with your contractor to figure out the contents of your warranty.

First, what is the effective date and duration of the warranty? There should be a specific start date and end date for your coverage. It should begin after the final inspection by a certified inspector, and the coverage usually lasts at least a year.

Ideally, the warranty should cover or at least lower the cost of repairs. Commercial elevator services such as elevator maintenance and the cost of parts and labor should also be covered.

There may be exclusions to your warranty, such as damage from natural disasters or misuse. It’s also unlikely you’ll get complete coverage for a new elevator if you need it replaced.

Finding Elevator Repair and Maintenance

Before your elevator guarantee runs out, you’ll need to come up with a plan for continued elevator upkeep. If your elevator system fails and you don’t have coverage, then you’ll be responsible for all of the repair costs.

The best elevator maintenance contract you can get is an all-inclusive one. Your service provider not only assumes all responsibilities for repairs and maintenance, but they’ll also be on call for emergencies.

Choose your elevator company based on experience and availability. You can never predict when an elevator may break down, and the last thing you want is a tenant spending all night trapped inside one before you can get help.

Get 24-Hour Commercial Elevator Services

Without an elevator warranty, it’s hard to tell when an elevator is going to develop problems. If you don’t keep up with maintenance, an elevator accident can result in serious injury or worse for your guests.

Keystone Elevator offers services in installation, repairs, maintenance, and more. We operate in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

Common Elevator Questions and Answers

An elevator can change the way people view the value and standards of your commercial property. It is an important part of a building, so it needs to be working correctly and in good condition at all times.

Elevators have many parts that all need to work together for them to function properly.

Here are some common elevator questions that Commercial Property Managers have. Included are the answers so you can ensure that your elevators are always running smoothly and safely.

Are Elevators Safe?

Commercial elevators are some of the safest pieces of machinery in existence. This is because they have been created with safety as a primary concern. They are also tested regularly by their manufacturers.

If your elevator has been inspected recently, there should not be anything to worry about.

What Makes an Elevator Safe?

Passengers trust elevators every day. But they don’t always understand how elevators are constructed or how they work. An elevator is a machine, and like any machine, it has parts that can fail.

That’s why proper maintenance and regular inspections are so important. Elevators also rely on electronic systems to operate safely.

If you notice problems with your elevator, contact an elevator repair company immediately.

How Many People Can an Elevator Hold?

People sometimes ask how many people can fit in an elevator. To answer that question, you need to know how big the elevator is.

It may come as a surprise to learn that there are many different sizes of elevators available in today’s market.

How Often Should I Have My Elevator Serviced?

While most elevators come with an elevator maintenance schedule, it’s essential to have your elevator serviced regularly.

Most industry standards suggest an annual inspection. Yet, you should have your elevator inspected at least every six months. Consider monthly inspections if you’re looking to sell your property.

How Long Does It Take to Service an Elevator?

Service times vary by elevator model. But in general, it can take anywhere from 1-4 hours.

If you’re looking for a ballpark, expect to schedule your elevator service at least one day in advance. The good news is that most elevator problems are fixed within a day or two.

Why Are Some Elevators Noisy?

There is a good chance that elevators are noisy because of loose bolts or metal parts. Once you locate exactly where it’s coming from, you should bring in an expert to check things out.

Noisy elevators are often a sign of bigger problems, such as improper installation. The best way to fix noise issues is to figure out why they’re occurring in the first place.

Once you have a diagnosis, you can take preventative action and avoid further complications down the road.

Is It Possible to Get Parts for My Existing Elevator?

Yes, it is. Yet, not all elevator companies sell parts for older elevators. Instead, they may replace them, but only if they deem it necessary.

More Answers to Your Elevator Questions

How do I know if I need a new elevator? Sometimes people may not realize that their elevator is malfunctioning or not working up to par. In some cases, it may be an equipment problem.

But in other cases, there might be a physical obstruction that is stopping your elevator from functioning properly.

If you have any elevator questions or whether you need a new elevator, we encourage you to click here and contact us today.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our elevator answers.

elevator maintenance tips

Elevator Maintenance Tips For Smooth Running Elevators

Do you own a commercial building with elevators?

It’s hard to imagine a world without this form of transportation. After all, they make it possible to easily move up and down inside incredibly tall buildings.

Elevators represent a form of technology that is largely taken for granted. That’s because we’ve become so accustomed to this type of modern convenience that we don’t stop to think about them until there’s a problem.

The key to minimizing mechanical issues is to pay attention to safety regulations and be sure to service malfunctioning equipment. Keep reading to learn important elevator maintenance tips that will help prevent potential accidents.

Perform a Quick Daily Elevator Maintenance Check

The best first step is to perform a quick inspection every single day. This doesn’t need to be a complicated process. The key is to make a quick visual sweep to ensure that everything appears to be in proper working condition.

Look for obvious damage, check the buttons to make sure they aren’t sticking, and check that all lights are working properly.

Keep Your Elevators Clean

It’s crucial to keep the elevators in your building clean. That’s because a clean elevator is less likely to experience major mechanical issues. You should never clean an elevator until you know how to without damaging sensitive parts.

The best strategy is to contact a repair company for specific instructions on correct elevator service and cleaning protocol.

Inspect the Doors During Your Elevator Maintenance

Always inspect the elevator doors. In fact, you should do this every day. The key is to make sure the doors are free of any kind of damage, and that they open and close properly.

The most common signs of damage you’ll notice will be catches and dings. When you notice scratches on the inside or outside surfaces of the doors, you’d be wise to have the elevator professionally serviced as soon as possible.

Always Contact a Repair Company First

It’s never a good idea to repair malfunctioning equipment yourself. When you notice damage or the elevator doesn’t seem to be operating properly, schedule a service call immediately. This will help reduce the potential for injury or additional damage.

Avoid Using Industrial Cleaners

Professional elevator service companies understand how to clean and service elevator equipment. This includes using the proper cleaning products. Thus you should avoid using industrial cleaners that haven’t been specifically designed for elevators.

Keep a Log of Potential Problems

When you notice something that could lead to potential mechanical issues down the road, write it down in a notebook. Keeping a log of potential problems is a great way of staying ahead of them so you can schedule professional maintenance before something breaks.

A Guide to Elevator Maintenance Tips

When you own a commercial building, there’s nothing more important than maintaining a safe environment. This includes making sure the elevators in your building remain as safe as possible. These elevator maintenance tips are a great place to start.

Please contact us today to learn about how our products and services can benefit your commercial building.


Upgrades That Can Improve Your Elevator’s Energy Efficiency

If you don’t feel like your elevator is running at optimal efficiency, it may be time to make some changes. At Keystone Elevator, we understand how vital your elevator is to running your business. However, if you want to save money on your energy bill, consider how much energy you waste.

Install New Lighting

Your lighting should only consume a small percentage of your elevator’s energy. You should replace all incandescent and fluorescent lighting with LED lights. These lights help people save up to 80% of the energy used on lighting. Additionally, when you have LEDs, the bulbs last longer. You may not have to replace your lighting for decades.

Improve the Hardware

Consider upgrading the housing system and other hardware. Some of the components you should consider upgrading include:

  • The starters
  • The motor
  • The door drive motors
  • The landing systems

Replacing these systems with new ones may help you save money on your monthly energy bill. For example, old DC motors’ elevators may use 50% more energy than new AC motors.

Consider Automated Controls

There is various elevator system software that may help you save energy. Opting into automated controls to automatically turn off air conditioning, lights, fans, and other systems when the elevator is not used will help conserve energy. When your elevator is in standby mode, it consumes more energy than any other state. If you do not control what the systems do in standby mode, you could waste up to 70% more energy than automated controls.

Data logging, for example, allows the elevator to gather traffic data and assess it to make more efficient decisions. The software takes into consideration elevator usage, peak periods, and more. Standby mode can also take over the system and turn off any non-essential power systems. The systems turn back on when someone touches a button.

At Keystone Elevator, we have been servicing elevators in the Greater Boston Metro since 1995. Contact us today at 781-277-4655 or email us for more information on how you can save on your energy bill.

elevator service

How To Choose Your Elevator Company

Elevator Service

While you know how important it is to have an elevator that runs smoothly, you may know less about what to look for in an elevator service company. At Keystone Elevator, we understand the importance of your elevator to transportation through your commercial business. When choosing an elevator service, there are questions to ask.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

When talking to your elevator servicing company, you should feel comfortable asking about their contractors’ level of experience. All elevator contractors should have the licensing and training necessary to work in the elevator industry. Look for mechanics who have many years in the industry. The longer the experience, the more likely they have dealt with various situations similar to yours.

The elevator industry is constantly changing. Contractors need to have ongoing training to handle new products and technology.

Do You Handle Emergencies?

You can never predict when your elevator may break down. While a maintenance plan helps you avoid sudden breakdowns, you need to be prepared for anything. An elevator breakdown can shut down your business for several hours or days if you cannot find a contractor willing to help. Likewise, if you have someone stuck in the elevator, it can be a frightening and challenging experience for the guest. Ask the potential elevator service company if they handle emergencies. They should be able to give you an emergency number to help you get the elevator moving right away.

When it comes to your elevator, you need a contractor who cares about the service you receive. Poorly serviced elevators are more prone to breakdowns. At Keystone Elevator, we have been serving the Greater Boston Metro since 1995. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools necessary to keep your elevator running safely and efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about elevator repair and the maintenance options we provide.

elevator service

Debunking Elevator Myths

Elevators have been safely transporting passengers since the 19th century. Since then, modern elevators have had several upgrades that make elevator travel safer than ever. However, several elevator myths continue to make some apprehensive about using them. Elevator tragedies are familiar storylines in film and television programs, but the frightening scenes that you see onscreen are rarely based on facts.

Freefall Scenarios

One of the most common disaster scenarios in a horror or action film is the out-of-control elevator plummeting to the bottom floor. While this scary situation makes moviegoers cringe, it’s inaccurate and unlikely to happen in the real world. Elevators are designed with capabilities that limit the cabin’s speed. If a malfunction causes the unit to accelerate too much, an emergency brake stops the elevator’s movement. Braking systems are designed to function even if a power outage occurs in the building.

Broken Cables

Cables do not control most modern elevators, and older models are not reliant on a single line for operation. Multiple cables are used to manage the cabin’s movement, and the likelihood of a cable snapping is minimal. Overloading an elevator is also unlikely because the machine will not move if the weight capacity is exceeded.

Elevator Door Malfunctions

Have you watched a film that shows a passenger being squeezed by the elevator door? Elevator doors will not close if the infrared sensor detects a passenger, and the machine’s door locking mechanism prevents the door from opening between floors. When someone enters the elevator when the doors are closing, the fail-safe mechanism forces the door to retract.

Low Oxygen Levels

When passengers become stranded in a malfunctioning elevator, some fear that they’ll run out of air because they believe elevators are airtight. Elevators are constructed with vented areas on the floor, and most are connected to HVAC systems to bring in fresh air. A stopped elevator can elevate anxiety levels, but you’re unlikely to suffocate or have problems breathing. When you need repairs, maintenance, or elevator installations for a commercial property, you can rely on Keystone Elevator.

slow elevator door

Solving the Problem of Slow Elevator Doors

Your patrons, guests, clients, employees, and other visitors don’t like to wait long on elevator availability. The problem of delay can be compounded when the elevator doors are slow-moving. It is dangerous to ignore slow doors, as it could signify a more significant malfunction. While you should call Keystone Elevator to tackle your elevator problems, some possible issues and resolutions may be appropriate.

New Elevator Assemblies

An elevator is assembled and installed on-site, so if a new elevator is experiencing trouble with the doors, it could be a problem with the assembly or installation. Disconnects between the floor door and the movement of the car door cause doors to open slowly, and it could be an issue with the door locks. Installation engineers have a manual from the elevator design company, but discrepancies can still occur. Keystone Elevator can address and remedy these concerns.

Old Elevator Systems

If the doors on an older system open slowly, look at the horizontal groves above and below the door. If debris, dust, rust, or other unwanted objects are clogging the grooves, it can cause a delay. Clean the grooved thoroughly. An integrated circuit in the elevator may have shorted or become faulty, in which case it would need to be replaced or repaired. There are times when turning the elevator off and on again can help recircuit the system correctly, but any electrical concerns should be left to the professionals.

Look for signs of rust on the door panels, as these can also hinder efficient opening. Older elevators can lose their shine and develop rust quickly, making a metal refinishing job possible.

Solve the Problem

Recurring issues with an elevator could signal unwanted friction between the various components. Keeping up with routine maintenance can help prevent these issues and address any others causing your doors to open slowly.

Keystone has serviced the Boston area for over 20 years. We understand the importance of a safe, functioning elevator, no matter what the weather looks like outside. Contact us today by calling 781-277-4655 or emailing us to find out how we can care for your elevator!