Repair / location stories : LUSENET : Elevator Problem Discussion : One Thread

Hello all,

I came across this site while searching for information on the Otis setup in my apartment building. I've been reading through all the old stories in here - fascinating stuff! A while back (years ago) I came across a site where technicians were posting their repair stories (not necessarily seeking advice, like this board). I read some pretty creative improvisations on there -- the one that stands out the most was using a power drill to automatically adjust the brakes on an ancient elevator every time a particularly heavy tenant boarded. The bookmark was lost several operating systems ago, and I've had no luck finding it - I don't even remember how I found it in the first place. Does anyone know this (or any similar) site?

Also, I would love to move into the servicing and repair business. I have absolutely no idea where to start -- do I apprentice? Do I go to a tech school? Can anyone point me in a vague starting direction? This sort of thing (especially rehabbing old buildings) has always fascinated me. TIA for any info.

As for my building, I have no detailed information on the elevators themselves. The 15- landing building opened in '66, and I've been told by the previous owners that (1) these are the original elevators, and (2) the original elevators were removed in '70 and replaced with the ones we have now. Who knows which is true, but #2 sounds a little unbelievable. The cabs themselves comfortably only fit 2 people, they're about half as deep as a "regular" cab. The buttons are the old-style non-moving type where a ring lights up around the button as you touch it (and in the winter, moving your within 10" of the panel will light it up like a Christmas tree) that I thought were outlawed due to fire code compliance years ago. The system has a tendency to abandon a cab every now and then, where it will stop on a floor and become unresponsive - even under heavy load on the other 2. And in hot (90+), humid weather, the elevators will skip landings and the call light will go out. They also exhibit an interesting pattern where, during low/no usage periods, they will respond to a down-call with the "up" light in the cab illuminated; pressing any button in the cab causes the cab to rise one floor and stop, doors closed, until the stop button is pulled and pushed. If you allow the doors to close instead of pushing a button, they will re-open with the correct travel indicator lit and everything is fine. And the single weirdest thing is the tendency of all 3 elevators to arrive in the basement and open up just as I'm walking up to them (either our tech does a damn good job tuning for traffic, or the building is posessed).

The parking garage has a hydraulic elevator servicing four landings. Every (yes, really EVERY) morning when I exit to the garage, I observe both the up and down call lights lit. If I walk down to the basement, I see the elevator sunk about 4" below the landing, slightly crooked, door open. In my younger, less intelligent days, I found that I could re-start the elevator by pulling the door shut by hand (yes, not wise, I know). Every day when I return, the elevator is working fine. My solution? I park one story above ground -- I take the stairs.

I wish I had more technical information for you, but I'm just a tenant. Thought I'd post my quirks in case anyone else had the same interest. And before the flames start, yes I am well aware of the dangers in dabbling with this stuff. I've no intention of mucking around in the machine room or anything like that, this is just my own curiosity. I've been lurking here for about a year, so I figured I'd find out if anyone had any interesting stories or creative engineering feats.

Thanks. Cheers!

-- Brian (, June 15, 2004


your sinking hydraulic may have a tank room a long way away and as the fluid cools the lift will settle and should try re levelling but this may be disabled allowing it to sit on the buffers this may also explain why the car seems to be slightly crooked there is a lift In Bradford England which does exactly the same the pump unit on that installation is over 100ft away and it is a design feature that it does not relevel at the lowest floor this has caught out a few engineers as they have reconnected the system and left the machine trying to level all night long

-- geoff judge (, June 16, 2004.

I believe the website you are referring to was called Roland Harrison's elevator site, but that has unfortunately disappeared into the far reaches of the internet graveyard.

-- John (, June 19, 2004.

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