There are several factors to consider before deciding whether to modernize an elevator. Many options are available out there that have to be weighed and evaluated carefully. Because elevators are associated with so many building services, every choice and decision can have an effect on other aspects of a building facility. But how do the building owners or facility managers make a choice then? How would they know if the elevator needs a simple repair or complete modernization? The first thing they need to consider is why exactly the elevator might need a modernization or only a partial repair and upgrade.
Inspection and maintenance of Hydraulic elevator are something that most people don’t give much importance to, but ensuring that the elevators in your building or house are working properly is necessary and cannot be overlooked. If an issue in your elevator is revealed, you will have to decide the best solution to go with, which can involve simple repairs or more extensive modernization. and before any action is taken, you must have a plan in hand, since any change in the service may affect the entire building and its residents.
Here are a few important things to consider step-by-step when choosing between repair and modernization of elevators:
Find out which version of safety code is being used in your country. It is because you may be using a code what is out-of-date. This can have an effect on the modernization process and dramatically increase the overall project costs, since the elevator manufacturers mostly build the elevators to the current code. So basically, there are two main things to keep in mind regarding the code. First, check which version of code is currently in effect. Because there are a few jurisdictions that operate under safety codes that are 10 or even more years old. Second, makes sure that the correct code is being used in the design. Because if incorrect version is used, it may lead to considerable cost impacts.
Understand that in the elevator industry, modernization basically means “alteration” to the elevator code. Whenever you change a portion of the code, it is quite possible that you’ll also have to upgrade the entire system to bring it up to the current standards. This can cost you thousands of dollars, especially if the calculations and planning are not done correctly. Most alterations require the entire elevator system to be upgraded to the current code edition. At this point, it is critical to assess if your elevator really needs a complete modernization or a simple repair with lead to an improvement in its operation.
The ASME explains various issues related to elevator operation. It refers to alteration in an elevator as any change in the equipment, including its subsystems, components, or parts, other than repair, maintenance or replacement.
You have to understand the exact meaning of each of those things. The ASME has defined them as follows:
- Repair: Renewal or reconditioning of subsystems, components, or parts essential to keep the elevator equipment in compliance with relevant code requirements.
- Maintenance: A regular examination including cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment of components, parts, and subsystems to ensure that the performance of the elevator is in accordance with the relevant code requirements.
- Replacement: Substituting a subsystem, device or component entirely with a unit that is same as the original to ensure that the performance of the elevator is in accordance with the relevant code requirements.
The professional who designs the building (the engineer or architect) usually doesn’t design elevator modernizations. This may lead you to several problems during the modernization process if you have not done proper planning prior to beginning of the project. Elevator code usually requires more work (including electrical, structural, HVAC) than most of the general contractors are able to do.
Make sure to check that any contractor’s proposal doesn’t include anything that is already covered in the existing elevator maintenance agreement.
Lastly, you must consider and check all the other systems operating in the building before beginning, during, and after the completion of repair or modernization process.
Here are a few areas of concern you should keep in mind:
- Emergency power changes (upgraded elevators might not work properly on some generators).
- Integration of smoke and fire alarm system.
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) in machine room of elevator.
- Main line upgrades including amperage, sensors, rating, and composition.
After considering all these things, you will be able to decide if you have sufficient time and budget to do a complete modernization or if simple repairs will be appropriate to bring the equipment of elevator up to code and guarantee the safety of residents of the building who use that elevator.