No machine will function perfectly forever. Like any other tool, your home elevator will require assistance from time to time. But how do you gauge when it has a real problem and when it’s just settling or has a squeaky cable that needs oil?
Luckily, certain signs can indicate when you need a professional to step in with your elevator. If you notice any of them happening, it could be an indicator of a serious issue. Watch for the following three signs that a home elevator needs repair.
Signs Your Residential Elevator Needs Repair
1. Strange Sounds
Have you ever been in your elevator and heard a loud squealing sound, almost like a child yelling? This noise may indicate a serious problem with your machine. When an elevator runs like it’s supposed to, it’s almost silent. You may hear small mechanical noises, but they shouldn’t be loud. Strange sounds could be a sign of issues with:
A qualified elevator repair person can fix these issues by tightening or adjusting the appropriate parts. Remember that the faster the elevator operates, the more likely you’ll be to hear sounds. Motors also make a low buzzing noise. You’ll hear a sound when the brakes engage upon arriving at the correct floor. That should be the only sound you hear, as brakes operate separately from other parts of the elevator, and everything else falls silent when they begin to slow the cab down.
Vibration accounts for any other small noises you may hear. You’ll get used to the normal sounds of the elevator. What you need to listen for are the noises that don’t sound natural, with a high pitch or squeak. These sounds mark the time to call in a professional.
2. Uneven Stops
Uneven stops, also referred to as mid-leveling, occur when the elevator comes to a stop between floors instead of flush against the opening on the floor you get off on. Uneven stops indicate an issue with the brakes. Unfortunately, this problem also poses a hazard to people who use the elevator. If you aren’t careful, you may trip over the uneven surface getting on or off the elevator. People in wheelchairs or with limited mobility will have difficulty navigating an entrance or exit when the elevator stops between levels.
Just like anything used day in and day out, brakes can wear down over time. You may find that the same thing happens on your car brakes. The pads can become thin, at which point the system won’t function as effectively. Mid-leveling will get worse if you don’t get it looked at.
Left untreated, bad brakes can cause permanent damage to your elevator. You should contact an elevator repair company as soon as this problem happens. The faster you get it fixed, the less long-term damage your elevator will suffer.
3. Changes in Speed
You’re heading from the first floor to the second when suddenly the elevator jolts up quickly and you take off at a faster pace. On your return trip downstairs, you note the elevator slowing more than usual. These changes in speed indicate issues with the elevator that will require professional attention.
Changes in speed often mean an elevator is headed for a breakdown. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact problem with the equipment. The machine works hard every day and carries a lot of weight, so it should not be surprising that overuse and wear can build over time.
You can guard against some long-term issues by engaging in regular maintenance:
- Get your elevator inspected once a year to find and address any lingering issues.
- Perform regular self-maintenance, doing small things such as cleaning out debris from the motor area and oiling components that get squeaky or stiff.
- Visually inspect the elevator regularly to determine any changes in its physical presentation.
Each elevator functions well only with proper upkeep. When you do these things, you put off the development of problems. You can also feel confident that if a problem does arise, there was nothing extra you could have done to stave off the issue. If you notice changes in speed, call a repair person right away.
If your elevator has frequent breakdowns, you may need more than just periodic maintenance. The older your unit, the more likely it is to present problems. Those older than 20 years may need more expensive repairs. You would be better served financially by replacing an older unit with a new one, putting your money into something that can deliver a long-term return on your investment. Remember, home values rise when you have a residential elevator, and many people look for new units so they won’t have to worry about repairs.
Are you interested in replacing your residential elevator? If so, talk to our team to explore your options, which include customized aesthetics for your unique decor. Get in touch online or call us at 800-343-9007.