Ignore elevator maintenance, and performance will decline rapidly. Response time will increase. Downtime will increase. Repair costs will increase. Service life will be shortened. Complaints will increase. Most importantly, safety will be compromised.
Maintenance is required to be performed by the ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators in addition to statutory requirements in many states.
The A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators has included the maintenance requirements into the A17.1 Code for Elevators and Escalators for many years. With each edition of this A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators the maintenance requirements have increased. This requirement for maintenance including the required periodic inspections and tests are intended to assure the level of safety is equal to what was required when the elevator equipment was installed and/or altered.
These maintenance requirements are detailed in Part 8.6 of the current A17.1 Code for Elevators and Escalators and are limited to maintaining equipment and components required by the A17.1 Code in compliance with the applicable requirements within that code. Performance issues (e.g., car start delay, door opening time, ride quality) are not addressed.
Maintenance intervals are not specified due to lack of engineering justification for universally applied intervals. Instead, a written Maintenance Control Program (MCP) is required that takes into account the diverse conditions listed in Part 8.6.1 of the A17.1 Code. The MCP is required to specify appropriate intervals for specific maintenance items.
An example of statutory requirements for elevator maintenance is in the State of Florida, where The Elevator Safety Act, Chapter 399.02 states the following:
"The elevator owner is responsible for the safe operation, proper maintenance, and inspection and correction of code deficiencies of the elevator after a certificate of operation has been issued by the department."
This if further elaborated in Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 61C-5 Florida Elevator Safety Code, and addresses service maintenance contracts in subpart 61C-5.013, including the minimum requirement and the inclusion of all code required testing.
Unfortunately for elevator owners, the statutory requirement for maintenance only requires a routine examination by registered elevator companies to be performed at least on a yearly basis. Additionally, the rule states that the elevator service maintenance company must make a written record indicating the date or dates of routine examinations and required testing and that this record must be maintained in the elevator machine room, available for review by the division or its contractual designees.