“Call the elevator technician; the elevator’s stopped. Again.” This is possible an elevator owner’s worst nightmare: frequent stoppages and seemingly endless service calls. While it’s an inconvenience to constantly have to put up the “Out of Service” banner, more importantly, it’s a problem to pay frequently for unexpected — and sometimes preventable — repairs. Thankfully for elevator owners, there are ways to prevent these costly and troublesome issues. Here are three tips to help elevators owners save money on elevator maintenance.
1. Verify What the Technician is Doing and Why
There are, unfortunately, companies and technicians who will not actually carry out the maintenance they are scheduled to perform, despite the fact that it is a poor and unsafe business practice. Instead of completing the work to fix the issue, if no one is there to hold them accountable, some technicians will leave the building knowing the issue is unresolved. This means the elevator owner is stuck with a bill and still has a malfunctioning elevator.
This is untrustworthy and unacceptable. Unresolved issues lead to an increase in elevator maintenance callouts. If the problem is not fixed correctly the first time, it will either keep happening or snowball into a larger issue. Not only could this lead to even higher elevator maintenance costs for the elevator’s owner, but it could also lead to elevator service interruption, or, in a worst-case scenario, passenger injury.
Be aware of and understand the work the technician carries out. This is the elevator owner’s best safeguard against potential service issues. The more familiar a customer is with their elevator and its maintenance needs, the easier it is to verify that the technician is performing the appropriate maintenance.
Additionally, customers should schedule and perform the routine maintenance and cleaning they can do in an effort to reduce technician callouts. For instance, vacuuming the elevator’s door tracks weekly will save the customer money over time, as it means the elevator technician will not have to spend time cleaning the tracks on each floor, further to this regularly cleaning of tracts will stop obstructions from occurring within the track causing an unwanted and avoidable cost burden.
An elevator technician should be knowledgeable and eager to share these tips and insights with customers, as well as be able to give an explanation of what maintenance they are carrying out and why it benefits both the elevator and the customer.
2. Spend Money to Save Money: How Modernization Can Reduce Call-backs
Elevator owners should know their elevators’ maintenance schedules, and keep a record of the frequency of service calls. A proper maintenance schedule means technicians are more likely to catch these problems before they grow into larger issues, saving the customer money on repairs, parts, and labour.
If an elevator owners notices an increase in elevator malfunctions over a period of time, it could be an indication that the elevator is in need of modernization or a system upgrade. Investing in modernization now can help to save the costs of frequent service calls of an outdated elevator.
There are two types of elevator modernization: internal, (which the customer and public don’t see), and external, (which the customer and public do see). Since the mechanisms of the elevator are related to internal systems, it is often these repairs and modernizations that are most important. While aesthetics are also important to many customers, performing external modernization rarely resolves internal issues. If an owner would like to reduce the costs of maintenance, then it’s worthwhile to invest in modernizing the mechanics of the elevator.
3. Pay Attention to What the Elevator is Saying
The best elevator technicians supply their customers with information about key maintenance practices. When the customer and the elevator service company work together, this can help to reduce maintenance costs.
Technicians can explain what the customer should pay attention to in order to ensure issues do not snowball. Elevators require regular greasing and lubrication, and technicians can alert customers to sounds, sights, and smells that are indicative of problems. Noisy rides or grinding sounds can be an indicator that rails, guides, chains, bearings, rollers and various parts are in need of attention and possible lubricating and greasing. If an owner responds to this need in a timely manner, this can prevent equipment damage which may be a costly repair.
Another common elevator issue that can easily be prevented is that of misaligned doors. Doors fall out of alignment after frequent use, being held open by passengers, bumped into, or pried open. During routine maintenance checks, a technician will ensure doors are aligned, which prevents the issue from escalating. This can save the customer the potential costs of repairing door scratches or damage, a service which is often not covered under regular maintenance contracts.
Elevator technicians offer expert advice and consultations when modernization is an option, and brief customers on what can be done between routine maintenance visits to ensure surprise stoppages or malfunctions are reduced. Proper care and preventative maintenance – addressing small issues before they lead to larger problems – keeps the elevator functioning efficiently and safely. All this contributes to greater savings for the elevator owner.