Elevator shuts down completely after holding door open

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I am on the strata council of a condominium that has a troublesome elevator. The issue is: When someone holds the door open by placing a box in the doorway or just by standing in the doorway the elevator will soon hit a time limit that causes the elevator to shutdown completely and will not start again until a service technician comes in to reset a switch. Is this normal operation? Obviously we have asked people to not hold the door open but it happens all the time. Does anyone know what switch / sensor this might be and is it normal operation to shutdown the elevator completely when it does stay open for a certain time period?

I am just trying to educate myself on the operations of the elevator so that I can work with my elevator maintenance company in helping to solve this problem if there is a problem at all

I realize I have not given you much information on the elevator (model type etc) but I can if anyone has any ideas on what might be happening

I can tell you right now that this is a passenger elevator that is about 5 - 6 years old. It was installed new when the building was converted from a warehouse to condominiums

Thank you in advance

-- Darrell (darrell@the*mediaco.com), July 04, 2002


Most elevators have a photo electric sensorand/or a mechanical "safety edge" on the leading edge of the car door which prevent closure if the path of the doors is obstructed. Shutting down after the door is blocked is not a standard operation. However, your elevator may be equipped with a feature that counts malfunctions and removes the car from service after some certain number as a safety precaution.Continued failure of the door to close after multiple attempts could be construed as a malfunction.

The key is HOW LONG the doors are being blocked.

As you indicate, the root of your problem is MISUSE by the tenants. A possible means of controlling this is to have a key operated switch installed which will hold the door open and issuing that key only in situations where such operation is legitimately required (e.g., move ins/outs). This still requires cooperation of the tenants. If your building has only one elevator this will still be a problem, showing the folly of such an arrangement in a building of any significant size/height.

-- John Brannon (akaelevman@aol.com), July 04, 2002.

Thank you for your quick response. To answer you question on the length of time the door is held open. There is a warning buzzer that sounds about 3-4 minutes after the door has been held open, if you do not release the door immediately after hearing the alarm the elevator will shutdown.

You are saying that there might be a mechanism / feature that counts failures of malfunctions ( one failure for every time the door bounces open from an obstruction ) that could shut the elevator down . This would be a safety feature of the elevator but do you think that

1. the number could be set higher so that this type of incidence happens less frequently 2. it isn't working correctly in the first place

Unfortunately when the building was renovated they only put in one elevator so that one is used for both passengers and moving

-- Darrell (darrell@the*mediaco.com), July 05, 2002.

that would be your nudging timer if the doors are held open for a set amount of time they go into nudging this is to keep the talkers from holding the door open

my suggestion is to see if they can increase your nudging time do your doors close when the obstruction is removed? sounds like if it quits working you may be tripping a watchdog device or a timeout feture to prevent the door motor circiutry harm.

certain elevators may have the option of a load button that holds the door open longer depending on the unit you have

-- jag (gipp01@yahoo.com), July 05, 2002.

First, check the length of time the door stands open before the warning buzzer sounds with a watch. 3-4 minutes is much too long. If this is a "nudging" buzzer, it should sound after about thirty seconds and the door should then close at reduced speed, with the reopening devices deactivated.

If this is a signal for override of the photo electric detector it should activate after about sixty seconds but can be reset by stepping in and out of the path.

When the doors are being held open, do they "pulse," that is keep trying to close, or just stay open?

Parameters for fault detectors are usually programmable, but it depends on the design. Who made the elevator? Who is servicing it?

-- John Brannon (akaelevman@aol.com), July 06, 2002.

A less than amusing situation to say the least. But...What do you expect/want to happen if you block the door open? If it keeps trying to close indefinitly it will be annoying and cause undo wear. If it closes forcibly with a warning signal someone can get hurt or damage the mechanism. If you take it out of service w/ a key switch, then others get p----d when they can't use the car. If you don't hold the car while trying to load/unload it, the process is delayed while other passengers find out that the car is full.

You can't win with a single car!

You are not alone here. One of the tower buildings in Toronto had a repeated stalled elevator problem that only occurred in the middle of the night. The cuprit was the night cleaning crew that put a bucket in the entrance so the car door wouldn't close.

-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), July 08, 2002.

Most of us would like to know what brand controller is on this piece of equipment.

-- Ed Markham (ed.m@avlelevator.com), July 29, 2002.

Sometimes it is not the time but the attemps of the doors to close. There is a parameter set on some control systems that takes the doors out of service, which will take the elevator out of service. What you do in this situation is to push and hold a call button and at the same time hold the door close button. Some systems will close the doors at a reduced speed with the buzzer sounding. Once the door closes, the elevator will go back into service. You could check this before placing a service call.

-- John (j.bukenas@verizon.net), April 19, 2003.

My guess is that it is people who are moving in or out of the apartment bldg. Install a minature in car elevator camera to assist you find out what action is causing the problem.

-- Richard Marion (richard_marion@gov.nt.ca), June 01, 2004.

question is does this unit employ a lambda or panacombi system or a safety egde with a standard photo eye?panacombie for instance could be problem with transmitter or in control box or line of sight.i had an old armor that was modded and had this application with no problem for 7 years then all of a sudden acts up in a similar way. solution was I changed sensitivity from high to low .photo eye could be photo cell line of sight.depending on door -op type and how far door closes before reopen could be open limit or something else that simple. by the way dump the contractor your using first!

-- (zimmerman@yahoo.com), June 04, 2004.

You need to see if your out of service timer is shorter than your nudging timer and this will require a controller reset.

-- Kevin Frawley (LFRAW82893@aol.com), November 16, 2004.

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