As we welcome fall and with winter just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about getting your elevators and machine rooms in tip-top shape. Extreme heat and extreme cold temperatures outside have an effect on the way your elevator runs, so it is important to stay on top of maintenance to ensure your elevator runs smoothly with minimal error.
Seasonal Risks to Elevators
Winter preparation for elevators in cold temperatures is just as important for building owners as it is for the servicemen. As we enter the snowy months, make sure to keep an eye on door sills, as rock salt and ice coming off shoes can jam the sills and inhibit door operation.
When the heating system in the building is on during cold days, the shaft can act as a chimney and force warm air through the hoistway doors and up the shaft. The problem with hot air rising up the shaft is that it causes an increase in hoistway pressure and forces the hall doors to part a little bit, which could shut down the elevator. If you notice this problem, we can adjust door spring pressure to reduce this effect.
The machine room should be kept between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder temperatures for hydraulic elevators can cause hydraulic oil viscosity changes and cause speed and leveling problems. If this is a concern, tank heaters are a good investment to minimize the effect of low oil temperatures. This problem will normally be seen in the morning after periods of low elevator use.
For traction elevators, cold weather can have an impact on the machine’s mechanical parts, including dry rails. The elevator may start to make a funny noise due to the lack of lubrication on the steel guide rails. When the weather gets colder, the lubricant dries out, causing friction between the moving elevator and the guide rails. Preventive maintenance and evaluation for adequate lubrication can help prevent this problem.
Covid-19 Elevator Safety Precautions
Covid-19 is also on the rise again and may not be going anywhere in the near future, so normal procedures for elevators will be a little bit different this winter. Be sure to add some safety precautions to minimize the risk of illness for everyone using your elevators.
It is recommended to wipe down the elevator buttons frequently with Lysol Disinfectant sprayed onto a clean, lint-free rag. (Do not directly spray the buttons with the antibacterial solution, make sure it goes on to the rag first.) Also, remember to wipe down any handrails and walls in your elevator to kill germs spread by coughing and in case anyone has touched them. This is a good reminder to also sweep the sills of dust and debris that can hoard germs or even give your elevator doors some trouble. Remember to keep your hands away from your face and wash your hands thoroughly and wipe down other surfaces that may be used daily where germs can live.
Preventive Maintenance and Winter Repairs
Pincus Elevator Company can provide a pre-winter assessment of your elevator and provide preventive maintenance to ensure your equipment runs smoothly throughout the colder seasons. We can also assist with regular alarm tests with your alarm company to ensure that testing goes smoothly and any issues can be addressed right away.
And, of course, if you run into any problems with your elevator this coming fall or winter and need a reliable repair team to fix the problem, we are available to help. Call Pincus Elevator Company at 610-738-4350, or contact Tom Gibson, Sales Representative or Tony Belluscio, Vice President and General Manager at TGibson@PincusElevator.com or TBelluscio@PincusElevator.com to discuss your elevator system needs. Work with us to create the most convenient and safe experience for your visitors!