As a lift consultant, I cannot stress enough the importance of having a well-maintained lift on your premises. For both legal and functioning reasons, regularly maintaining your lift does not have to cost a fortune and can actually save you a substantial amount of money.
In order to show why lift maintenance is imperative, we had a discussion with David Pickering, ILECS’ Associate Director. Starting as an apprentice, David Pickering has over two decades of experience in this industry. He worked as a senior engineer in Dublin before getting into consultancy here in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and holds a Masters in Lift Engineering.
So, how vital is lift maintenance in ascertain reliability?
David Pickering sometimes uses the analogy of a taxi when explaining lifts to people. That’s because it is usually easier to explain the purpose of the different lift elements in a language that can be understood by many. Similar to a car, an elevator generally feature the following:
- The motor
- Electronic controller
- User controls
Some of these components are considered consumable as they need replacement several times during the life of the lift. Just like oil, filters and tyres in a car, the ropes, rollers and oil in a lift need regular changing.
As with cars, lifts also come in varying designs from different manufacturers with varying reputations and levels of quality. Just like you get into a car, you expect to get to your destination fast, quickly and reliably.
Maintaining this analogy, lift repairs require regular servicing and routine inspections throughout its life. There should also be a preventative maintenance program in place.
So, what’s the first thing to ensure a reliable lift?
Essentially, you should adopt an ongoing maintenance plan to ensure you have a reliable lift. However, a planned preventative maintenance programme does more than just ensure the lift functions properly at all times. It ideally covers crucial regulatory and safety issues that you need to comply with. This is meant to meet your legal responsibility as a property owner or operator.
Regulations that apply to both commercial and residential buildings include:
-Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
-Lift Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
-Health and Safety at Work Act
Ensuring your lift is in a safe and good working condition is also vital in ascertaining compliance.
How Much Maintenance Does a Lift Require?
Back to the car’s analogy, a lift’s extent of maintenance differs from one lift to the other. The scope of maintenance will depend on an array of factors including:
-Type of use
-Level of use
-Quality of the equipment
Also, a well-installed and heavily engineered lift will call for a lower scope of preventative maintenance compared to value-engineered installation because its components happen to be more robust in nature. As a lift becomes older and its components wear off, chances are it will need more attention than a new one for it to be as reliable.
A new electric traction lift lasts for about 2 decades. However, to ensure it stays reliable for that many years, an ideal preventative maintenance programme is required throughout its lifespan.
What are the Different Types of Lift Maintenance?
Reputable lift maintenance contractors will provide a wide array of maintenance programs. This is a good thing, but it also makes choosing an ideal plan a challenge. Also, there is the aspect of picking from the many contract types, each with its varying set of inclusions and sometimes, exclusions. It is rare to find two lift maintenance contractors providing similar packages. As such, it is important to have your needs in mind before settling on one.
Keep in mind that lift maintenance is vital and you need the best hands on the job. As such, take your time to pick the right people.