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Care & Prepare for Winter!

D&D Elevator on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 12:00:00 am 

Thermometer showing coldWith late Fall and Winter very soon upon us – bringing frigid temperatures and possible major storms – your elevators now require some focused extra attention. Make sure that your motor room is properly heated and that there are no broken windows or other outside air leaks – keeping the motor room from becoming unduly cold will help prevent solidification of vital fluids and potential failure of the system. But, there are numerous other possibly dangerous, disruptive and costly problems that the coming season can create for your elevator systems.

Inspection & Maintenance Are the Key

As a building owner or manager, it is always good business to be attentive to the condition and operation of your elevators. But this is especially true of the upcoming season, when harsh winter weather can severely compromise the performance and safety of your equipment. Best practice, therefore, before and during the season, is to have your systems inspected and proactively maintained, once a month, to head off such problems. Here are some particular areas on which to focus:

First & Foremost: Climate Control

Make sure your system is equipped to keep the machine room temperature between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if yours is a traction elevator. If your system is hydraulic, consider having a tank heater added to keep the oil between 85 and 96 degrees, Temperatures below this range can change the viscosity of the oil and throw off leveling of the elevator.

Other Top Tips

  • Have the steel rails properly lubricated – during colder weather the lubrication dries out, which can cause noise that passengers find concerning
  • If you do not already have them, install battery back-up units to kick in during a power failure – if you do have them, make sure they are fully charged and operational
  • Have your system programmed to park cars in the middle or upper shaft where temperatures tend to be warmer – avoid having them park at the lobby or the basement level, especially if the area is subject to drafts and/or has a “cold floor”

The Importance of Clean Door Tracks

Elevator Door Tracks - Care Side Track - Hall Side Track Best practice here is to keep your elevator door tracks clean and functional year-round – on both the car and hall sides – as part of your regular maintenance program. But it is particularly important at this time of year, when clogging by pine needles from holiday trees, packed snow, ice, mud, salt and all manner of debris can severely aggravate the problem and create door-opening and closing issues. During the high-traffic holiday season, between maintenance visits, your building’s staff can “touch up” by:

  • Thoroughly vacuuming out the door tracks
  • Using stiff paint brushes to loosen and remove common track obstructions
  • Using a stiff nylon parts-cleaning brush for more stubborn obstructions

Prepare for Harsh Weather & Major Storms

FloodUnder more temperate weather conditions, winter storms can bring severe flooding to cause potentially dangerous problems. To best protect your elevators and passengers when such conditions are expected to or do occur:

Before the storm arrives

  • Check the condition of the pits and make sure that sump pumps are functional and not clogged 
  • In severe flooding areas, barricade the motor room to, best as possible, prevent entry by major amounts of water
  • Close any vents and openings atop the hoistway to keep water out of the shaft

During potential flood conditions

  • Position the cars at the top floors and shut down the system and power, making sure there are no remaining building occupants dependent on the elevators to vacate

D&D Will Help!

Regular preventative maintenance goes a long way toward avoiding trouble while saving unnecessary expense and inconvenience, especially during Winter. As always, D&D stands ready to assist with a maintenance program custom-designed for your building, and any seasonal difficulties you may encounter!

Call our friendly team at (914) 347-4344 or email Support@DDElevator.com