Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Today was a first for me with an elevator in a residential application. Obviously there are some safety mechanisms with the little chains connected to the switch. Can anyone help me understand how these safety things work and what I should do as a minimum to inspect them?

"This house includes a passenger elevator and a motorized dumbwaiter. I'm not a certified elevator inspector, so I'm not qualified to inspect either one. These are both very dangerous machines that can cause injury and death. Hire a certified elevator inspector to inspect both the passenger elevator and the motorized dumbwaiter. Follow his recommendations."

BTW, I'm aware of two deaths in my area that were caused by elevators in homes. The one in your picture looks like it could mangle someone pretty easily.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I've seen a dozen or so residential elevators over the years, but they've all been hydraulic. Then again, my market has a plethora of small foundation drill rigs used for installing drilled pier foundations, so getting they hydraulic piston into the ground is easy.

Like others, I always punt. So far I've been able to resist the temptation to operate one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen several. They can have all manner of bizarre issues, not the least of which is getting stuck between floors during a power outage. Yes, it happens. An uninterrupted power supply is a good recommendation. If they got the dough for an elevator, they got the dough for a gas powered generator in the back yard.

The one in the picture looks antique; no way would I ride that thing. The good one's all use hydraulic or scissor lift technologies. I doubt it's ASME approved.

There should be a stamped sealed something or other posted or on the print indicating it conforms to ASME A17.1 Section 5.3. That's the American Society of Engineers code section related to residential elevators.

Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . The good one's all use hydraulic or scissor lift technologies. . . .

I'm surprised to hear that. In recent years, I've worked on the construction of more than a dozen large multifamily projects, all of which had elevators going from two floors to six floors, all of which were cable systems.

The last time I worked on a project with a hydraulic elevator was in the late '70s, and the elevators were oversized things with large freight capacities.

Why is a hydraulic lift superior?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have come across quite a few over the years. I always look at the visible components, operate the elevator. I also disclaim any expertise and recommend inspection by a installation or service company. Years ago I did read up on the mechanical home elevators. I believe they have a clutch that engages with loss of power. I cannot recall what the chain controlled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is a hydraulic lift superior?

Honestly, I don't know if hydraulics are viewed as superior in the largest view. There are cable systems that are fine.

The elevator guys get uppity about their hydraulics and scissor systems, so maybe they influenced my opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is one important safety feature that the occupants mentioned did not work properly on occasion. It's an automatic latch that prevents the door from being opened unless the elevator is on that level and waiting.

Could you imagine opening the door and stepping into an empty shaft?

Click to Enlarge
tn_2013122223654_P1020687.jpg

30.06 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Elevator guys" have actually added language to the HUD UPCS protocol. Inspectors are not allowed in equipment rooms.

D. Elevators

1. Elevator Inspection Policy: This requirement is to be determined during initial interview process at the

beginning of the inspection.

a. Inspectors are not to enter an elevator machinery room when the POA states that there is no nonelevator

equipment in the room. If a door to the room is not secured, record this condition under

Common Area, Health and Safety, Hazards, Other as ?Door to the elevator room was not locked,? but

do not enter the room. Other observed deficiencies with the door are to be recorded under

Closet/Utility/Mechanical.

b. When the elevator machinery room contains non-elevator equipment, or is the only route to another

area requiring inspection, the room is to be inspected. The property must provide ONE of the

following conditions:

i. Elevator equipment must be:

1. Located on a suitable balcony, gallery, or platform that excludes unqualified persons or is least 8 feet above the floor.

2. Protected by permanent, substantial partitions or fencing or screens such that access limited to qualified personnel only.

ii. The property must provide a qualified person to grant access to the room.

iii. The property must provide a written waiver/variance from the governing authority that permits

access without a qualified person.

c. A qualified person means someone who has the skills and knowledge related to the construction and

operation of electrical equipment and installation and has received safety training in the hazards

involved. It is under the guidance and supervision of the qualified person that the UPCS inspector will

enter the room and conduct the inspection or pass through the elevator equipment room.

d. The property is to confirm the qualifications of the escort.

e. Governing authority is that which controls the inspection/certification of elevators for that location.

f. After arrival on-site for the inspection, if these rooms cannot be accessed as specified, the inspector

is to immediately notify REAC TAC that the inspection is unsuccessful because property did not meet

required conditions, obtain a REAC TAC number, end the inspection, and report the inspection as

unsuccessful (RUU) in Scheduler.

g. All other aspects of operation, certificates, and Health and Safety deficiencies relevant to the

elevators are to be reviewed or inspected per UPCS protocol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In August a friend and fellow DJ on mine died when he fell 18 feet down a elevator shaft. He was moving into a loft appartment in downtown St. Louis. He walked in the front door of the lobby at 2 pm and steped inside what he thought was an elevator, but it was just an empty shaft. The building and elevator were 100+ years old. His name was Bob Reuter if you want to google it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I recall correctly piston types do not go over 3-4 floors. Cable lifts are in the vast majority of residential homes due to their lower (relative)cost and easier installation.

Scott, I'm not sure where the cutoff is between hydraulic and cable elevators, but I think that hydraulics are typically used up to at least 6-8 stories. The cheaper home use elevators are cable type, but the higher end are hydraulic.They often have the cylinder mounted in the shaft.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In August a friend and fellow DJ on mine died when he fell 18 feet down a elevator shaft. He was moving into a loft appartment in downtown St. Louis. He walked in the front door of the lobby at 2 pm and steped inside what he thought was an elevator, but it was just an empty shaft. The building and elevator were 100+ years old. His name was Bob Reuter if you want to google it.

Thanks, Mark. The story as I understand it is that when inspectors arrived last year to inspect the 100-yr-old building, that elevator, which has a swing door and no safety gate, was locked, supposedly not in use.

So after the inspection, someone removed the lock? That is unforgivable IMO.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...