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Some Like it Hot. But Elevators Donít!

By: D&D Elevator

ThermometerPrepare your elevators for Summer!

With the warm weather season now upon us, there are a number of important items requiring attention, to ensure that your systems are properly prepared for the Summer heat.

Of vital importance is to check the ambient temperature of elevator machinery spaces in your building. Current code regulations require proper ventilation of machinery spaces and temperature control within a range as specified by equipment manufacturers.

According to a National Institute of Standards and Technology report titled “High Temperature Operation of Elevators,” systems operate best when their machine rooms are maintained between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Machine room air temperatures outside this range can lead to equipment failure.

Steps to prevent costly downtime and unhappy tenants

  • Make sure that your motor room air conditioning and exhaust fans are in proper working order and that thermostat controls are properly maintaining ambient temperature
  • Make sure that ventilation ducts, wall and motor room door vents are working normally and that there are no obstructions limiting the flow of air
  • Make sure your elevator interior exhaust fan is working and that it is running during hotter Summer days

Air conditionerBrownouts & Blackouts

During heat waves, there is vastly increased demand for electricity, which can cause momentary power loss, a reduction in voltage and longer-term power outages. In such event, best practice is to remove the elevator from service and immediately notify your elevator company.

  • Top priority: During a power outage make sure that persons using the elevators in your building are not trapped or in need of assistance  
  • Momentary loss of power can cause the elevator to stop, the doors to malfunction, or the system to attempt to reset by skipping floors and moving to the terminal landings
  • A reduction or fluctuation in voltage can cause intermittent failures of components, which will momentarily stop the elevator or doors from operating. Such “ghost calls” can be problematic since, by the time technicians arrive on site, the voltage may have returned to proper levels and they cannot see the problem in progress. It is important to report these intermittent failures to the technicians to avoid any inconvenience to the riding public.
  • Brownouts are a normal recurring issue during the hot summer season. If you are experiencing a brown out, you must check the elevator equipment to ensure it is working properly. Brownouts can cause major damage to motors and motor control equipment. “Single Phasing” of 3 phase electrical equipment will cause motors to burn out and contactors to weld closed.

D&D Can Help!

The experts at D&D Elevator stand ready to evaluate your particular needs, assist you with preventative maintenance and respond to you immediately in the event of emergency. In the meanwhile, stay cool!

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED: Significant Code Changes that will SOON Affect Your Elevators

By: D&D Elevator

Elevator Door Lock Monitoring Deadline Rapidly Approaching!

Example of Door Lock MonitorThe New York City Department of Buildings has mandated that – by January 1, 2020 – all "automatic passenger and freight elevators must provide a system to monitor and prevent automatic operation with faulty door contact circuits.”

For reasons of safety and code compliance – and to avoid potentially costly liability for injuries resulting from failure to comply – it is imperative for this deadline be met, for the system to be installed, tested and inspected.

Waiting until the last minute should be avoided, especially since the “last minute” is just about here. Due to the increasing demand, manufacturers are quoting longer and longer lead times for supplying the equipment, and the New York City Department of Buildings is becoming increasingly backed up on the issuance of permits.

The code is a requirement of Appendix K3, Rule 3.10.2, stating that the car doors must be monitored to prevent the following two issues:

  1. To prevent operation of the car if the car door is not closed, regardless of whether the car-door contact and interlock contact circuits are open or closed (excluding the access switch operation and inspection operation)

  2. To prevent power closing of the doors if the door is open and the car door contact circuit is closed or bypassed, or if the interlock circuit is closed (excluding during Firefighters' Service Phase II). Primarily, this determines if jumpers or other means of bypassing normal operation are being used Elevators installed or modernized prior to July 1, 2009 will require a software and possibly a hardware update. Controllers installed or modernized after July 1, 2009 may already be partially compliant and may require installation of additional hardware or software – this will need to be confirmed by the elevator contractor.

Elevators installed or modernized after January 2, 2015 can be made fully compliant but may need hardware or software installed. This also should be confirmed by the elevator contractor. If the controller cannot be adapted with the hardware or software upgrades, a modernization may be required. All modifications and/or software changes to the controller will require filing with the New York City Department of Buildings, and inspection and testing upon completion.

D&D Can Help!

Running out of time to get this done is just around the corner. The experts at D&D Elevator stand ready to evaluate your particular needs and help you cost-efficiently meet this important deadline.



Best Practice: Upgrade of Single Speed AC Elevators

By: D&D Elevator

A typical single-speed, AC traction motor

A typical single-speed, AC traction motor

Building owners and managers whose properties continue to operate Single Speed AC traction elevators should seriously consider upgrading their equipment to modern standards, and there are many good reasons why. Continued operation of this outdated technology presents many problems: code compliance issues, ongoing repair costs, insurance costs, risk of downtime, but, above all – because of their inherent leveling issues – discomfort and risks to passengers and exposure to consequent trip-and-fall litigation.

Single-speed AC (SSAC) electric traction elevators are slow speed, low-capacity passenger units that may cause the elevator not to stop within level. 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 into the 1970s. Popular because they were attractively priced, they typically appeared in low- to mid-rise residential buildings, including condo conversions and rental apartments.

These elevators travel at one speed, which makes them prone to intermittent leveling fluctuations and trip-and-fall trip hazards, particularly to elderly passengers and those with mobility disabilities who may find it extremely difficult to negotiate level differences. These elevators are now obsolete and no longer made or installed. 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, that these elevators, because of their poor leveling ability, should be upgraded.

SSAC elevator hazard

Due to the imprecise braking on this SSAC elevator, it has stopped well above the code-mandated tolerance of ½-inch above or below the floor, which can cause a hazard to passengers and the risk of trip-and-fall litigation

SSAC elevators relied on brakes to stop the car in properly level position, which often proved imprecise and inaccurate. Conversely, today’s elevators have abandoned the use of brakes to stop the car, instead employing 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.

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