3 FM quick reads on elevator maintenance
1. Get the Elevator Maintenance You Pay For
Most Class A offices have full maintenance elevator contracts. In theory, that means that the elevator maintenance contractor is supposed to maintain the elevator according to it's original specifications throughout the life of the contract. The only thing that should be a problem is parts obsolescence.
In reality, elevator maintenance contractors can often be stretched for time. When searching for a maintenance contractor, make sure to do due diligence. Among the questions to ask: How long as the contractor been in your market? How many other elevators does he service? How many staff are in the market to handle the elevators?
The number of staff and elevators a contractor is responsible for can tell you whether you're going to have a potential problem with making sure your own units are properly maintained.
2. Elevator Wait Times Getting You Down?
I'm Brandon Lorenz, senior editor for Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip: Elevator wait times.
Long wait times are an inconvenience for building occupants. But to facility managers, they should be taken as a warning sign that the elevator control system is developing problems.
Wait times and elevator speed should be checked on a regular basis. Time how long it takes to go from the bottom floor to the top floor. Measure the time spent waiting for an elevator during peak and off-peak periods. Record the times and compare them to a baseline for the elevator, or to the manufacturer’s specifications for that type of application.
Long wait times and slow performance may be caused by a malfunction as simple as a defective relay, or problems may be caused by the age and overall condition of the elevator. While repairs can improve performance in some cases, elevators that use old mechanical relay control systems may simply need a new control system. Upgrading to a new microprocessor-based control system reduces average wait time by 50 percent.
Though budgets are tight, here's a final factor to consider: If system performance is already a problem, it is far better to plan for replacement now rather than have your hand forced some time in the future.
3. Is Your Elevator Getting Clean Backup Power?
I'm Brandon Lorenz, senior editor for Building Operating Management magazine.
There's one way to know if an elevator system is headed down. Increasing service calls or callbacks and increasing downtime are critical indicators of potential problems.
One way to be proactive with elevator maintenance is to do periodic traffic analyses. Elevator maintenance technicians can attach a system analyzer to the elevator group control panel to evaluate the current traffic patterns of the existing building population as it relates to the original group performance criteria. This will provide an indication of how adequately the system is meeting occupants’ needs.
If wait times exceed 25 to 35 seconds, a modernization may be in order. Or a maintenance audit may determine ways wait times can be reduced without a full modernization.
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