Understanding the Life Cycle of an Elevator

elevator

Elevator Life Cycle Factors 

Elevators come in a variety of styles, types, and models. These differentiating factors may affect the elevator’s maintenance requirements and overall life cycle. However, despite the differences, there are ways to increase the life cycle of all elevators.

How Modernizing Affects the Life Cycle

If you want your elevator to last, you need to have regular maintenance performed. If you don’t invest in regular maintenance, your elevator’s expected life cycle will decrease drastically. An elevator that is expected to last 20 years may now last only 15. While regular maintenance will keep your elevator in working order, it is not always enough to prevent the technology from becoming obsolete. This is where modernization comes in. Modernization is a great option when your elevator needs more than just repairs but hasn’t quite reached its end. Modernization allows you to upgrade your elevator by replacing any outdated components.

How Inspections and Maintenance Plans Make a Difference

Work with your elevator service provider to manage your elevator’s life span. We perform inspections, create maintenance plans, and upgrade an elevator whenever it begins to lose its efficiency. Without a maintenance plan, your elevator is a mystery. There may be seemingly small problems that go unnoticed, but over time they will grow into large, costly problems.

How the Environment Damages Elevators

One of the many things that can affect your elevator is the elements. If moisture finds its way into your elevator, it can result in severe water damage, mold, or rot. Water can completely sabotage any metal structure and mechanical device. Other elevators, such as hydraulic elevators, are vulnerable when it comes to seismic activities and harsh temperatures.

Servicing the Greater Boston Metro, we provide elevator service to office buildings, hotels, hospitals, shopping malls, and more. If you invest in maintenance and modernization for your elevator, you can push the lifespan far beyond the typical 25 years. Start extending the life of your elevator today by contacting Keystone Elevator.

ada compliant elevator

How to Keep Your Elevators ADA Compliant

When you install an elevator, you have to follow the Americans with Disability Act guidelines. The ADA ensures that those who have disabilities can access elevators and safely operate them. As a property manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that the ADA’s regulations are upheld.

Door Opening and Closing Requirements

Your doors must remain open for at least three seconds at a time. Additionally, there should be a reopening device detection point, in case someone gets stuck between the elevator doors. In the elevator, passengers must have a clear sign that the elevator has arrived at the destination. There must be visible signs, lights, and a verbal or auditory signal.

Button Requirements

Numerical buttons have to be in ascending order and must be reachable to someone in a wheelchair. There should also be a two-way communication system that anyone can safely reach. Door open and close buttons have to be above emergency buttons, and there should never be any symbols that could be confused for another. All buttons should also have braille beneath so that those with visual impairments can also access the controls.

Dimension Requirements

In addition to button and door requirements, all elevators must be in an accessible place in the building. The cart must be big enough for a wheelchair to enter comfortably. An elevator should be at least 80” by 54”. When it comes to door width, a wheelchair requires at least 36” width of clearance. Not only does this help wheelchair users, but the width of the door helps when multiple passengers are boarding at the same time.

If a company chooses not to follow ADA regulations, they may face a fine of up to $75,000. When you work with Keystone Elevator, we can help you stay up to date on the changing regulations. To find out more about elevator servicing in the Greater Boston Metro, call 781-277-4655 or email us today!

Keep Your Costs Down With Regular Elevator Maintenance

Elevators, like all equipment, require maintenance to remain in the best condition. Despite the necessary repairs, building managers and owners may forego maintenance because it can be inconvenient. The problem with this mindset is if you forego the repairs, then the elevators will eventually stop working as efficiently. Most of the time, elevator servicing contractors do not receive a call from building owners until the problem is already obvious and more expensive.

If you want to keep your elevator running and cut down on costs, then you’re going to need preventative maintenance.

Routine Contracts May Be More Affordable

If you enter into a routine maintenance contract with an elevator service company, then you can save on maintenance throughout the year. A contractor will visit your building according to the schedule that you set and will offer detailed reports about your elevator. If there are any issues, they will catch them and repair them right away, rather than waiting for them to get worse.

Major Repairs Stop Elevators for Longer

You may worry about stopping your elevator for maintenance, but routine maintenance is quick, whereas if your elevator breaks down, you are going to have more lengthy repairs. Your guests, staff, or tenants are going to have to wait even longer for an alternative elevator. This can dip into your building’s productivity or cause complaints from your guests.

Doors and Rollers Need the Most Upkeep

To maintain your elevator system and otherwise lower your repair costs, focus on the doors and rollers. Doors are the most heavily used component in your elevator. They undergo a lot of wear and tear and may need to be aligned regularly. Issues with the doors and rollers can lead to performance issues.

Do not let your costs go up because you didn’t receive preventative maintenance on your elevators. Contact Keystone Elevator by calling 781-277-4655 or emailing us today!

commercial elevator

3 Signs That Your Elevator Needs Repairs

commercial elevator

If your building has an elevator, then odds are your guests and staff rely heavily on it to transport them throughout the building. It is your responsibility to ensure a safe and convenient ride.

Elevators have a long lifespan, so how do you know when something is wrong? When is it time for you to invest in repairs or a new elevator? Here are three common warning signs.

Extended Wait Times

How long do passengers have to wait for your elevator? Elevators are supposed to be convenient and quick. Guests and staff should not have to wait a long time for the cab to arrive. If your elevators are too slow, it will cut into the productivity of your building. The long wait times could also indicate an issue with the cables, motor, pulleys, or other mechanical components in the elevator.

Unusual Noise Making

Most elevators operate in silence. A modern elevator should be as quiet as possible. Most passengers feel uncomfortable in elevators that make too much noise. If you hear any clanking, this might mean that you could have several different mechanical issues. Some building owners and managers will shrug off any noises from the elevator. Unfortunately, the sounds will worsen and the problems could become worse over time.

Jarring Movements

Your elevator is supposed to have a smooth operation. Jerky movements and sudden stops are unnatural and a sign that your elevator has a problem. The components responsible for moving your elevator may no longer be functioning properly. An elevator that stops suddenly or has rough movements can injure the passengers inside.

If your elevator is showing even one of these signs, you should have a professional inspect it as soon as possible. Keystone Elevator services elevators in commercial buildings, offices, hotels, hospitals, and more. Call 781-277-4655 or email us today to find out more!

How Do You Know If Your Elevator Is ADA Compliant?

As the manager or owner of a commercial building, you are required to make sure your building complies with all codes, laws, and regulations. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at ADA provisions, you might want to review them to be sure your elevator is compliant. The following are some requirements to be aware of.

Electronic Operation

To be ADA compliant, your elevator must operate electronically. This means the doors have to open and close without anyone touching the actual doors. They need to have a reopening feature that will open the doors without physical contact when someone enters the elevator after the doors have already begun to close.

Floor Space

Your elevators need to have a certain amount of floor space to be ADA compliant. A wheelchair user should be able to comfortably enter and exit the elevator. He or she should be able to reach the controls as well, as they should also be a certain height from the floor.

Hall Signals

Elevators need to have visible and audible hall signals under ADA provisions. If you have more than one elevator in one hallway or location, each elevator should have its own audible, visible hall signal so the user knows which elevator has answered the call button. Ascending and descending directions should have appropriate audible signs, and users should have a verbal signal that shows whether the elevator is headed up or down.

Open Doors

When an elevator door opens, it needs to remain open for a minimum time of three seconds. This gives those with special needs an appropriate amount of time to enter or exit the elevator. If he or she needs more time, the electronic reopening feature should kick in.

Learning More About ADA Compliance

If you’re still unsure whether your commercial elevators are ADA compliant, consult with the professionals. Contact Keystone Elevator by calling 781-277-4655 or emailing us today to learn more!

Three Ways Modernizing Your Commercial Elevator Could Save You Money

Commercial Clients

There are a lot of benefits that come with elevator modernization. This includes increasing property value, improving safety, and increasing traffic flow within the building. Did you know elevator modernization can also save you money? The following are three upgrades you might consider in order to do so.

Installing Digital Controllers

Digital controllers are constantly scanning and assigning activity within the machine to make the elevator more efficient. When you have smart controllers, energy consumption is often greatly reduced. Everyone knows reduced energy means reduced energy bills.

Replacing the DC Motor to an AC Motor

Again, there is less energy used when you complete certain repairs, including using an AC motor instead of a DC motor. Less energy and higher efficiency mean less in energy costs. The power factor correction will also make your energy bills reduced. AC motors reduce the amount of heat put out, which means your air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard to cool the building. In turn, you experience more energy cost savings.

Replacing the Motor Drive

You’ll have better luck and more savings with an AC motor drive than you will with a DC drive. AC drives only consume power while the elevator is actually running, rather than at all times like the DC. With the AC motor drives, you can utilize regenerative drives, which puts more power back into the building. Similar to replacing the motor itself to an AC, replacing the drive also produces less heat, which reduces overall energy consumption with the building’s air conditioning system.

Getting Started

Older elevators might work well, and their components may have been right for the time they were built, but there are some modernizing techniques you can implement to save money. Making your elevator more efficient sets off a wave of reactions that allow you to save in other areas as well. To learn more about modernization, or to get started with your elevator, contact Keystone Elevator by calling 781-277-4655 or sending us an email today!

Which Elevator Door Do You Need?

As a property owner or manager, you make a lot of decisions that affect a lot of different people. When it comes to the elevator, it’s your job to ensure everyone can get to where they need to be within the building in a timely manner. Perhaps you’ve never put much thought into it, but what type of elevator door do you need? The following are four different types and what they are each good for.

Single-Speed, One Direction

The single-speed, one direction door is one of the most popular and cost-efficient types of doors. Because it opens in just one direction, it’s perfect for a building in which there is more space on one side of the elevator than the other. The single panel gives it a seamless, clean look that some property owners simply prefer.

Single-Speed, Two Directions

The single-speed elevator door that opens in two opposite directions is another popular option. When you step up to the elevator, the two panels open from the center and move in opposite directions. This type of elevator door can work in pretty much any building, though it will need the storage space inside the wall to store both panels when they open.

Two-Speed, One Direction

What makes this door different than the single-speed, one direction, is it is made with two panels. Both panels move in the same direction, but the door opens a little more quickly because both panels are moving at the same time. The stacked panels make this a great door for freight elevators or those that need to save some space.

Two-Speed, Two Directions

When you take all of the aforementioned elevator doors and combine them, you get the two-speed, two-direction door. This door opens from the center, with the two doors moving in opposite directions. Each door is made up of two panels, so the doors open a little more quickly. These doors often open a bit wider, making them perfect for wide freight elevators or those that carry a large number of people.

Learning More

Whether you’re new to property management, or just looking into some new elevator options, contact the professionals at Keystone Elevator by calling 781-277-4655 or sending us an email today!

Elevator Emergencies: What to Do

Being prepared in case you are ever in an elevator during an emergency is a good idea for everyone, not just those who have a fear of elevators. Whether you use an elevator every day or are an infrequent passenger, the following are some things you should know about elevators and emergencies.

Fire

If you are in a building that has caught on fire, do not take the elevator down to ground level. While it might seem like the quickest way out of the building, doing so could put you in a dangerous situation.

If you happen to be in the elevator when a fire begins, stay calm and wait for first responders to rescue you. If you have a cell phone, or if the emergency call button still works, call for help and let the dispatcher know exactly which elevator you’re in and approximately which floor you might be near.

Lightning Storm

Just like fires, lightning storms can cause a power outage, making the elevator stop mid-ride. If you are in the elevator during a lightning storm that makes it pause, call for help and be patient. You should never try to pry the doors open or escape another way. Emergency personnel will get there, so try your best to stay calm.

Earthquake

During an earthquake, if you are in an elevator, push every floor button so it will stop as soon as possible to let people out. After you are out of the elevator, shelter in place, which means to get yourself as low to the floor as possible and crawl somewhere you can seek shelter. This could be underneath a counter, desk, table, or other piece of sturdy furniture.

Malfunction

Sometimes an elevator just malfunctions. It may not be an actual emergency, but to the people stuck inside, it will certainly feel like one. Regardless of the reason you’re stuck, you should push the emergency call button for help. Resist the urge to pry the doors open. Instead, move to the center of the car and try your best to relax. You shouldn’t jump or wiggle the car and you shouldn’t climb on the railings to look for an escape route. When help arrives, emergency responders will get you to safety.

Learning More

To learn more about elevators and emergencies, seek the help of the professionals. Contact Keystone Elevator by calling 781-277-4655 or emailing us today.

Understanding Your Building’s Elevator

If you manage a commercial building with more than one or two floors, then chances are it has an elevator. Over the past few years, you may have grown comfortable with outsourcing the work to professional engineers. Even so, it’s a good idea to understand some of the basics of your elevators and how they work.

This helps you play more of an active role in ensuring they are properly maintained over time. It also helps you to identify minor glitches versus serious problems that require shutting the elevators down.

Elevator Cabin

The cabin is the part of the elevator everyone is familiar with. This area transports people or equipment to different floors in your building. Some architects design the freight cabins to look different from the passenger cabins due to the likelihood of more wear and tear.

Elevator Doors

These govern the exit and entrance to the elevator cabin. When an elevator becomes stuck, especially mid-floor, these doors may get jammed. Note that there are typically two sets of doors: one on the inside and the outside.

Speed Governors

Some elevators are faster than others. The speed governors or governor rope is responsible for this. They control how fast an elevator travels, whether it’s climbing up ten floors or lowering five. The speed governors are usually found at the bottom of the car.

Buffers

This is also located at the bottom of the car and helps to slow an elevator during descent. This is especially important if an elevator malfunctions and plunges to the bottom of the elevator shaft. The buffers use dissipating or accumulating kinetic energy to bring the cab to a stop.

A little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to fixing elevators. However, you still need professionals to get the job done. The trick is finding the right company. Contact Keystone Elevator by calling 781-277-4655 or emailing us today!

Benefits of Professional Elevator Testing

Elevators are in use in your buildings virtually every day, whether it is a multi-unit residence, shopping mall, hospital, hotel, or office building. Unlike other equipment, such as copiers or computers, they require regular maintenance and detailed upkeep to meet safety requirements. Licensed specialists are critical to keeping your system running smoothly and efficiently. Most people don’t think about elevator upkeep until something goes wrong. However, there are several reasons to have a professional inspect your cabins and overall system on a regular schedule.

Meet Regulatory Requirements

Elevators in Massachusetts and throughout New England must pass routine inspections. Failing to meet the regulatory requirements can result in fines, passenger injuries, and other detrimental events. Not only must it be up to code, but it also needs a separate machine room and control room, specifically for this purpose. These areas must follow fire codes and meet independent tests with each elevator inspection.

Maintain Passenger Safety

Minor issues can become major problems quickly, creating potentially hazardous conditions for those who use it. Regular maintenance can help ensure it operates properly at all times. Not only are tenants, customers, and employees happy, but it also makes the building appear well-kept. As a result, it is more likely to be viewed positively by potential new clients, which helps the building hold or increase its value.

Get Longer Functional Life

Regularly maintained elevator systems can last for decades. Replacing parts as they begin to wear, keeping the cabin in pristine condition, and modernizing as needed can provide significant cost savings. Neglecting routine maintenance can result in complex repairs that become more frequent as the unit ages. Over time corrective and preventative maintenance is more affordable than emergency repairs or total replacement.

At Keystone Elevator, our expert technicians are trained and licensed. We have the experience necessary to guarantee proper service, repair and installation of new, as well as existing systems. Our employees stay up to date with the ever-changing codes and requirements, to provide the best service available. Call 781-277-4655 or email us to learn more about our state elevator testing, repair, and maintenance services.