From our experience as professional lift consultants, we cannot overemphasize how important it is to maintain your lift regularly.
A good maintenance plan preserves the lift's functionality and may be required for legal compliance intentions. The good thing is that lift maintenance does not have to an expensive affair; on the contrary, it may prove cost-saving in the long run to the homeowner.
To discuss lift maintenance's importance, we engaged David Pickering, the Associate Director at ILECS and a trained professional in the lift maintenance industry. Like most experts, David started as an apprentice to accumulate over 20 years of experience in designing, installing, and maintaining lifts.
Previously, David has worked in Dublin as a senior engineer before making a career switch to consultancy in the United Kingdom in 2002. He has undertaken a Master's training in Lift Engineering from the University of Northampton and is an active member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).
How vital is lifted maintenance for safeguarding reliability is a lift?
I have learned to draw comparisons from a car or a taxi when explaining a lift's functionality to my clients. People understand the functions of various lift components better when the explanation is made in a relatable language to most audiences.
Like the design of a car, a lift will generally feature the following components:
A Motor Machine
Electronic Control System
User Controls, and
Some of the lift's design features are consumable items that need periodic replacement all through the lift's operating life. Replaceable items in a lift are such as oil and ropes. Comparatively, we need to replace tyres, oil, and filters for the car regularly.
Like cars, lifts come in different designs; a variety makes lifts of manufacturers with varying quality and industrial reputation. The individual functions of a car and a lift are similar. Both the car and the lift should accommodate the user and immediately carry them to their destination.
Still, on the car analogy, a lift also needs routine inspection and servicing according to a planned, preventive maintenance programme. Lift inspection and servicing may be as a result of statutory requirements or for other objectives.
So, the first port of call for having a reliable lift is to adopt an ongoing maintenance plan?
Simultaneously, a planned preventative maintenance programme for a lift ensures that a lift functions properly and reliably and includes a set of essential safety and regulatory standards for compliance by the building owner/operator.
A lift's planned preventative maintenance programme enables the building owner or operator to meet the necessary legal obligations.
The safety and regulatory laws may apply to residential houses and commercial buildings such as office blocks. The laws may include:
The Lift Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations
The Health and Safety at Work Act
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
The building owner/operator must ensure the lift is safe and in good working order as an essential part of legal compliance.
How much will maintenance of my lift require?
Like in a car, the cost and scope of lift maintenance works vary from one lift to another depending on factors such that include:
The age of the lift
The level of operability of the lift
The type of use for the lift
The wholesome quality of the original lift
Illustratively, for a well-installed lift with heavy engineering and a value-engineered lift in the same operating environments, the former generally requires a lower-level preventative maintenance programme. The robust nature of lift components in the well-installed, heavily engineered equipment provides extra durability compared to the value-engineered lift.
Also, an old lift will require extra attention compared to a new lift to avert operational failure and reliability concerns; age and heavy-usage expose the lift's equipment and components to agents of wear and tear.
A new electric traction lift has a useful life of about twenty years. However, The lift can only guarantee reliability through a suitable maintenance schedule during the equipment's economic life.
What types of lift maintenance are there?
It cannot be easy selecting the ideal maintenance package for your lift because various lift maintenance contractors in the market offer different maintenance plans.
When selecting a maintenance plan that works for you, you will have to consider different types of contracts with a varying set of inclusions and, sometimes, exclusions. It is rare to source for two contractors with similar proposals for lift maintenance plans.