The Elevator Doctor® tells about the Secret Life of Maintenance Contracts and Other things.

Do you know whether your association has an elevator maintenance contract? Depending on what kind of contract and how old your elevator is, it might be time to review it.

There are two main kinds of contract

The Oil and Grease Contract –
The elevator contractor covers lubing the elevator some small parts and keeping the elevator and machine rooms equipment clean. For everything else the building owners pick up the bill. (This means that the elevator owner picks up all major repairs and materials.

Full Maintenance –

The elevator contractor covers everything.

Somewhere between the above two contracts will fall most maintenance contracts

Please be aware, if you have a contract stating that you are responsible for time and material then you as the customer pay for everything.

All elevator contracts written by the elevator contractor are written for the benefit of the elevator company not the client. Generally in order to have contracts written the right way an association should work with an independent third party that works for you not the elevator company. The use of an independent advisor will explain to the association what is best and why, they will also negotiate the contract.

The cost for this is relatively inexpensive compared to the total cost of maintenance. He will show the client what the elevator really costs to maintain with the end result being better reserves, and better management of the client’s vertical transportation. All maintenance contracts are not alike. Many have special circumstances surrounding their operations. Please remember, elevators have the same problems as your heating and air-conditioning systems, they need to be cared for on a regular basis. The difference is that the elevators move people and that involved many extra safety codes that come into play. Always keep your machine room clean and unobstructed. This will help with the way your elevator is maintained.

Does your elevator contractor maintain a log of service calls?

It is very important that a log is kept on the maintenance of each elevator, the log tells the history of what kind of work has been done on the machines, what has been replaced, and how many service calls have been required. This also gives you and your consultant a good idea of the value and real cost of maintenance and when it might be time to either modernize or replace older parts.

What is the lifespan of various elevator components?

All of the following is an approximation; the real life depends on many things from usage to environment.

Ropes (Cables)- 5 to 10 years and if they are installed and maintained correctly could last up to 20 years.

Controllers- 10 to 15 years

Sheaves(What the cables wrap around)- 20 to 30 years

Pumps (Hydraulic Elevators) –20 years

Door Operators- 10 to 15 years


These are general guidelines, however, with new and more efficient equipment comes cost savings that are substantial. Just by converting from analog controllers to digital ones, service calls on electrical problems could be cut as much as 80%. Most elevator companies do not carry replacement parts for more than 10-15 years. Therefore, parts become very expensive. Elevator technology has advanced so greatly in the past few years that many problems are solved with modernization. This is a reason to have a professional elevator consultant working for your association. They will more than pay for his/herself by representing the association not the elevator company.

Have you ever been in an elevator where some prankster pushes all the buttons for every floor?

Most elevator companies can now install or offer in their controllers, load-weighting cancel and too much weight- microprocessors. These processors take into account the real weight of the car including its occupants vs. the amount of floor buttons pushed. They will also tell the elevator if there is too much weight in the car and the car will not move until someone gets out. Pretty smart, eh? They can be retrofitted into older controllers, but this process may be expensive. Just thought you’d like to know.

Bayline Lift Technologies is a Lift Management company specializing in assisting architects, engineers, elevator and escalator owners, and maintenance personnel, and the federal government as an independent third party expert in installation, improvement, and code compliance.

Why Us?

In using our combined services, Bayline's objective is to save you 10% - 30%*

*after fees