This article was updated on Jan. 13, 2014.
How often should elevator maintenance inspections be undertaken?
There is no perfect answer to determine elevator maintenance inspection frequency, as no two elevators or escalators are the same or have the same maintenance requirements.
Property owners and managers should not rely on age or warning signs as possible indications of problems, or as catalysts to call in an inspector. There are many significant issues — performance, rope life, leaking bearings and machines, leaking packing or Victaulic couplings, drive issues and damaged resistors bands — that would not be visible to facility staff, but would be noted by a professional.
Different contractors will have different methods for benchmarking elevator maintenance; the key is to establish a baseline and apply a method consistently.
As a rule of thumb, annual inspections can be used to maintain a baseline with which to judge whether the maintenance is slipping or improving. If the maintenance results are well above the industry average (75 per cent or better), then scaling back on the inspection frequency or perhaps inspecting these devices every three years would be suitable.
If the results are within industry average (60 to 70 per cent), an annual inspection program without a follow-up inspection would be reasonable.
If the results are below industry average (score less than 60 per cent), then annual inspections with verification that the deficiency work is being addressed and completed within the set time frame are the best way to go.
Good consistent service and maintenance of elevating devices is important for the longevity and reliability of the equipment.
Ray Eleid, P.Eng., is the founding principal of Solucore Inc. Eleid has more than 24 years of elevator-related experience, including working for Canada’s largest elevator consulting firm. He can be reached at email@example.com or 416-260-0555.