Many elevators are heavier than indicated in their documentation

by Richard Blaska

As elevator systems age, the need for modernization becomes compelling for a host of reasons, including system performance, reliability, safety, energy efficiency and aesthetics. The common solution to system- aging issues is the upgrading and replacement of various system components in lieu of complete elevator replacement. An alteration is defined by ASME A17.1-2016/CSA B44-16 as “any change to equipment, including its parts, components and/or subsystems, other than maintenance, repair or replacement.” Section 8.7 of that code provides the criteria for alterations. This article focuses on the issue of system weights when performing alterations, with respect to the code, elevator operation and safety. There is a sizable percentage of elevators in current operation with car deadweights heavier than indicated in their original installation documentation and AHJ files, and on their crosshead data plates.