How to Educate Yourself About Elevator Maintenance

Understanding home elevator maintenance basics can be very helpful when seeking an elevator maintenance provider. Since elevator maintenance contracts are complex, these tips can help educate yourself on the basics of elevator maintenance.

Why You Need a Maintenance Plan

Elevator maintenance plans ensure:  

  • All maintenance performed will ensure the elevator operates in accordance with applicable codes
  • Repairs and maintenance conducted ensures the elevator will pass required local inspections
  • Maintenance inspections will ensure passengers are safe
  • Service is designed to reduce and/or avoid costly repairs

With the right plan in place, you can feel confident your elevators operate at optimum performance.

Two Types of Maintenance

There are generally two types of elevator maintenance contracts:

1. Full Maintenance: This provides both routine maintenance and service calls between scheduled maintenance visits. In this case, you get more bang for your buck as usually more is covered under your contract fixed cost.

2. Examination and Lubrication (Oil and Grease). In this case you get the basics required to keep your elevator operational. You do get service calls, but you are billed for these based on what is required. The fixed price is lower, but the risk is higher as you have to pay for additional calls.

Each elevator service company will use their own terms for the contracts, but these are generally the two types or levels of maintenance packages you will find.

Understanding Should Be Covered in Elevator Maintenance Contracts

When considering the maintenance coverage these are the most important details to review:

  • Inspections: How many inspections are included and what intervals are they scheduled? Ideally, maintenance checks should be made monthly.
  • Maintenance Hours: How many “preventative maintenance hours” are included in the contract monthly? While these special calls might be included in the contract, you need to know if there is an hour limit as you might not get as much coverage as you need.
  • Emergency Service: Do they offer 24/7 emergency service and support? If not, this is not the contract for you. As well, if you do make an emergency call how long does it take them to arrive? You really want a guarantee of response times. If they can’t reach you within an hour, this is also not the contract for you.
  • Equipment Coverage: Watch for exemptions of elevator equipment. It is not uncommon for elevator service agreements to exclude certain items, often on older models where parts are harder to find.
  • Logging/Monitoring: Make sure they provide a log of all service calls so you can monitor performance and watch for signs upgrades or replacements that might be required.  
  • Safety Factors: At the least safety inspections must include:
    • Safety circuits
    • Foot pound pressure for door closure
    • Door protection
    • Oil levels
    • Signals
    • Light bulbs
    • Ride safety and comfort
    • Levelling

These contract basics should help ensure you get the best terms. By creating a checklist of key contract elements, you can compare the checks from provider to provider and choose the company that meets all of your needs.