Elevators can be expensive! Have you ever placed a trouble call for an elevator malfunction, only to receive a massive bill in the mail a few weeks later? Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence, with elevator companies often citing "misuse," "vandalism," or other causes outside of their control so that they can bill the owner for the maintenance work. As elevator contractors' rates rise sharply year over year, it is increasingly important to know what to check before placing a call. To help save you time and money, we at Professional Elevator Inspections have compiled a list of items you can check before placing that call.
1 – Clean the door sills
The sills are the nickel-plated tracks at the bottom of the doors. Often debris can accumulate in the tracks causing the doors to bind. It is good practice to vacuum and sweep out the tracks each time you clean the elevator interior to ensure this does not happen. Want to learn more about properly cleaning your elevator?
2 – Clean the door edge
The door edge utilizes an infrared light curtain that functions a lot like your garage door reopening beam. If anything blocks one of the hundreds of rays, the doors will not close. Clean the door edge cover with a rag and mild solvent. Want to learn more about properly cleaning your elevator?
3 – Check key switch positions
The key switches on the car operating panel are used for many functions. Before placing a trouble call, make sure all the switches are in the correct positions. A trouble-call where a technician merely resets a switch can cost thousands of dollars! Want to learn more about properly cleaning your elevator?
4 – Check building power
If you have checked the items above and problems persist, ensure electricity is going to the elevator. Check to make sure the disconnect switch is in the proper position, and if equipped, the feed breaker has not been tripped. If there are any anomalies noted, contact an electrician to restore service before calling the elevator company.
5 – Understand Your Contract
If the malfunction is after hours, getting a technician that night can be very costly. Some contracts allow for 24/7 coverage for emergency repairs, but if you are one of the 75-80% of owners that do not have that coverage, things can get expensive, fast. If you are unsure about the level of coverage provided in your contract (unless urgent), request service during "regular working hours," which will ensure that your elevator is at the top of the list come the next workday. Often this will come without any additional charges.
Following this simple guide, you will hopefully allow you to avoid unnecessary and costly invoices that come with calling your elevator maintenance company.
If you feel that you were wrongly billed for a trouble call, repair or would like an extra set of eyes to review your contract, let us know. We know elevators can be confusing, so we are here to help owners and managers manage budgets and keep elevators running safely and efficiently.
Disclaimer: Although this guide is a helpful start, every elevator situation is different, so we cannot ensure that these tips fit your specific needs.
Author Contact Information:
Vice President, PEI Colorado
Cell: (970) 763-7463 | Office: (720) 641-1300 x105