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Modernizing Single Speed AC Traction Elevators

By: D&D Elevator

Single SpeedSingle-Speed AC (SSAC) electric traction elevators – now obsolete and no longer made or installed – are most commonly found in older residential buildings. They first appeared during the post-World War II period, often installed as upgrades to earlier, prevalent DC systems as the municipal trolley grids that powered them became extinct, with installation continuing well into the 1970s. Popular at the time because they were attractively priced, they typically appeared in low- to mid-rise residential buildings, including condo conversions and rental apartments.

Current owners and managers of such properties who continue to operate these elevators are urged to seriously consider upgrading their equipment to modern standards, and there a number of compelling reasons why. Continued operation of this outdated technology presents many potential hazards and problems best to avoid:

  • Code compliance issues
  • Ongoing repair and insurance costs
  • Risk of downtime
  • Risks to passengers and exposure to trip-and-fall litigation

SSAC elevators are slow, single-speed, low-capacity passenger units that are prone to intermittent leveling fluctuations. As such, they present trip-and-fall hazards, particularly to elderly passengers and those with mobility disabilities who may find it extremely difficult to negotiate level differences. This problem is caused by their reliance on brakes to stop the car in properly level position, which often can be imprecise and inaccurate.

stop at floorConversely, today’s elevators have abandoned the use of brakes to stop the car, instead employing VVVF (Variable Voltage-Variable Frequency) control systems that consistently stop the elevator at floor level within tolerances of ¼-inch. As their name implies, these adjust both the voltage and frequency of the power applied to the hoist motor, thereby varying the speed at which the motor operates. With this technology, the hoist motor can be brought to a so-called “electrical stop” – with the hoist motor energized but not turning. This allows floor stops to be accurately specified, without regard to the load in the car.

Current New York State code requires that elevators, when arriving at a floor, stop accurately and consistently within a finite limit of ½-inch above or below floor level. This is reflected in the current edition of The American Harmonized Elevator code (CSA B44/ASME A17.1). The Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) has also written on the matter, recommending that these elevators, because of their poor leveling ability, should be upgraded.

D&D Can Help

The experts at D&D Elevator stand ready to help you evaluate your particular needs, to cost-efficiently achieve safety, code-compliance – and peace-of-mind!

D&D Is Here For You!

By: D&D Elevator

D&D is here for youWe are open for business and our hours have not changed.  If you require service and/or if your elevator needs to be repaired, call us immediately at 914-347-4344 and a mechanic will be there. When you contact us, please let us know if there are any special procedures to enter the building, e.g., someone whom we need to contact upon entering, special protection that needs to be worn, etc. If you have any questions concerning your elevator, please call and speak to us. We are committed to giving you the exceptional customer service to which you are accustomed.

Here at D&D Elevator, nothing is more important to us than the safety, health and comfort of our customers and staff. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact our communities, we consider it a responsibility to follow the recommendations issued by the CDC for the greater good of all, including the wearing of gloves and use of face masks when necessary. 

We also want to share with you here some of the guidelines that are being recommended:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they dry
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact, social distancing is a must, stand or sit at least six feet apart
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care

If you need additional information regarding Covid-19, we suggest the following resources:

CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19) info

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Coronavirus info

CareMount Medical Coronavirus info

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 - pdf 

As always, D&D Elevator is committed to your safety and wellbeing and looks forward to serving you during these difficult times.

Elevator Mechanic Licensing Mandated by New York State

By: D&D Elevator

its the lawNew York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved a bill requiring licensing of the state's elevator mechanics, but, in a deal worked out with the legislature, has delayed its taking effect until January 2022. The "Elevator Safety Act" requires the state Labor Department to license mechanics and others involved in elevator maintenance, other conveyance work, and to participate in more extensive education and training. The bill, which creates a thirteen-member Board of New York State Elevator Safety and Standards, is structured in two parts; part “A” requires the licensing of persons engaged in the design, construction, operation, inspection, maintenance, alteration and repair of elevators and other automated people-moving devices covering cities with a population of less than one million, while part B relates to the licensing of approved elevator agency directors, inspectors, and technicians performing elevator work in the City of New York.

The state’s Department of Labor and the city’s Department of Buildings, respectively, will be responsible for issuing statewide and city-based licenses. The bill was originally written to take effect in June of 2020 but, per recent negotiations, moves up the date for NYC officials to comply with mechanic licensing from three years to two and allows the City's Department of Buildings to enact stricter licensing requirements in the future. Originally introduced in 2011 but failing for years to pass, it finally gained traction following an August 2019 incident in which a man was crushed to death by an elevator in a Manhattan apartment building and sparked mounting pressure to improve safety standards.

bobby elevator

Elevator Learning Center

Says Bob Schaeffer, D&D Elevator’s president and CEO: “For quite some time now – beginning many years before this bill was even envisioned – D&D has been in compliance with the standards that the law is now defining. Our mechanics have been and are trained using the CET™ (Certified Elevator Technician) program, which is ANSI and ISO accredited, and adheres to federal and state apprenticeship requirements. At D&D, education/training has been and continues to be a top priority.”

An elevator industry veteran, Schaeffer has throughout his career been a strong advocate for education. Among his many accreditations, he served as board president of the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) and, as Education Chairman, was instrumental in creating the CET certification. This nationally-recognized program provides the elevator industry with the means of obtaining and verifying knowledge and experience requirements related to compliance with industry codes, elevator and escalator specific technical theory, components, and competencies. Most recently, Schaeffer has established a 2,500-sq-ft Elevator Learning Center in Yonkers, NY, minutes north of New York City, with classes taught by highly-experienced and certified instructors.

D&D Can Help!

For the ultimate in peace-of-mind, the experts at D&D Elevator right now stand ready to deliver service to you at the highest level of safety standards! Call (914) 347-4344 with any questions you may have.