Because elevators are so commonplace, it’s easy to forget just how complex these machines are. But an elevator is made of many moving parts, including a car for passengers, doors or gates with special safety sensors, and a drive system, to name a few.
All these parts must work in unison to provide a smooth and secure ride. In order to keep the elevator running smoothly, routine elevator maintenance is key. Read on to learn about the different elevator maintenance requirements for home and LULA elevators.
What is the Purpose of Elevator Maintenance?
The purpose of LULA and home elevator maintenance is to ensure that the many components of an elevator are working as they should be. For both residential and LULA elevators, maintenance is a necessary and beneficial practice.
One key aim of elevator maintenance is to diagnose any mechanical issues that need to be resolved. Just like a routine checkup at the doctor’s office can uncover a medical issue that a patient was unaware of, regular elevator maintenance can diagnose problems with the machine and address them to keep the elevator running at its best. Another purpose of elevator maintenance is to decrease the probability of a major breakdown.
The preventative care benefit of elevator maintenance can save you from heavy spending on large scale repairs down the road. Since the parts of an elevator are largely interconnected, damage in one area can lead to an array of issues if left unchecked. With maintenance, parts in need of repair don’t get the chance to turn into full-scale problems.
Last but not least, elevator maintenance adds to the longevity of your elevator. A quality elevator is built to last. With regular LULA or home elevator maintenance, your elevator will run for longer and be a worthwhile investment. Keeping your elevator in service for a long period of time is a benefit of elevator maintenance that’s too valuable to overlook.
How Often Do Elevators Need to Be Inspected?
The benefits of elevator maintenance are clear. But how often do LULA and home elevators need to be inspected? Three main components influence the frequency of elevator maintenance.
- Requirements of local/state elevator inspector
- Recommendations of manufacturer
- How frequently it’s being used
When an elevator is first installed, an inspection is usually required. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) creates safety codes for elevators, including ASME A17.1. This code, which is widely adopted by state and local elevator jurisdictions, mandates an acceptance inspection. This is a one-time process typically performed by a government agency.
Moving forward, periodic inspections take place. These elevator inspections typically occur once or twice a year, depending on state regulations as well as the type of elevator.
For instance, Limited Use/Limited Application (LULA) elevators and larger elevators must be inspected twice a year. In many states, accessibility lifts, such as platform lifts and commercial stair lifts, only require inspection once a year. Residential elevators, while required to comply with safety codes, do not generally require periodic inspections by government inspectors. However, they do require maintenance and safety tests completed by a qualified elevator company.
Beyond inspections, ASME A17.1 requires safety tests as part of commercial and home elevator ownership. These tests are a critical component of elevator ownership requirements as they ensure the security of each machine.
Safety tests occur at different frequencies, depending on the category. First, there is an acceptance safety test that the elevator company performs before anyone is allowed to ride in the elevator. This occurs once, at the time of installation, and is typically witnessed by an inspector during the acceptance inspection.
Next are Category 1 safety tests, which happen once a year. These tests are conducted by the elevator company–often without an inspector present–to ensure all safety features are properly functioning. Category 5 safety tests take place every five years, are conducted by the elevator company using a “full load” of test weights, and usually do not require the presence of an inspector.
Planned Elevator Maintenance
To reduce the frequency of repairs and the costs that come along with them, planned elevator maintenance is crucial. This component of LULA and residential elevator maintenance is carried out by a skilled technician who conducts a thorough examination of the elevator.
Planned elevator maintenance occurs at different frequencies, depending on the elevator type. For instance, LULA elevators should generally be maintained every 3 months, while home elevator maintenance usually takes place twice a year.
This process typically follows a multi-point checklist. Examples of work conducted as part of an elevator planned maintenance program include:
- Lubricating certain components
- Checking for any loose bolts or screws that require tightening
- Ensuring emergency brake and safety devices are working properly
- Checking back-up light batteries
Home Elevator Maintenance vs. LULA Elevator Maintenance
As you can imagine, elevator maintenance requirements differ based on the type and location of the elevator.
When it comes to LULA elevator maintenance, governmental regulations play an important role in the frequency of tests and inspections. Because the elevator is open to the public, it will be used often and undergo the normal wear and tear that regular maintenance addresses. Ensuring that your elevator complies with government regulations is not an option. It is required by law.
Home elevator maintenance, on the other hand, is less about regulatory compliance and more about managing the long-term cost of ownership of the residential elevator. This places more control in the hands of the elevator owner. Nearly all home elevator owners follow a regular maintenance routine to maintain the safe condition of their elevator.
Trust the Experts for Your Elevator Maintenance Needs
The benefits of routine elevator maintenance are plentiful, from ensuring the security of riders to preventing major breakdowns. Whether you are in need of home elevator maintenance or require maintenance services for a commercial elevator, working with a skilled company brings peace of mind. The knowledgeable technicians at Arrow Lift offer maintenance services to keep your elevator in top shape. Contact us today for details!