The section stipulating covered parts should clearly define the applicable components or even groupings of equipment. It would be expected that all items not specifically excluded from being covered under the elevator maintenance contract would be covered and while that may be true the elevator owner has to deal with the term obsolete.
Obsolete can be defined as:
- no longer in use or no longer useful
- of a kind or style no longer current
- old-fashioned or an obsolete technology
- outmoded in design, style, or construction
In an elevator maintenance contract it is not uncommon to see obsolete defined as parts, components or equipment either 20 or more years from original installation, or no longer available from the original equipment manufacturer or an industry parts supplier, replaceable only by refabrication. Many contracts include clauses and statements that allow the elevator contractor to determine when elevator parts are considered obsolete.
There are a number of elevator maintenance contractors stipulating that equipment over 15 years old is obsolete. From the perspective of the elevator maintenance contractor not being responsible for obsolete parts may be a beneficial method to have in the elevator maintenance contract. From the perspective of the elevator owner this is not so good since the elevator maintenance contractor is the party that makes the determination that the part is obsolete and the elevator owner is not in a position to controvert the decision of the elevator maintenance contractor.
Unfortunately, most elevator maintenance contractors' maintenance agreements go to great lengths to stipulate what is not covered with little description of services or components of the equipment which could be covered.