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When Should you Modernize your Lift?

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Generally any reputed vendor manufactured to last about 25 Years before a full replacement but this elevator will require modernisation, sometime twice.

Depending on the Elevator installed at your premises you may consider Modernizing your Elevator based on the following points listed out for you below.

  1. Age of the Lift
  2. Lift Installed but not used for long time
  3. Change in the Lift Code or Standards
  4. Breakdown and increase downtime.
  5. Safety Concerns
  6. Modernize the Elevator before you are forced to do so.

Let us explain the above points individually

Age of the Lift

When I mention the age of the lift, what I am referring to is the wear and tear of the equipment that goes along with use of any equipment. Some lifts are used more than the others and hence age faster and some take a longer.

The Age of the lift means nothing if there is no wear and tear on the equipment. So if the equipment is 8 Years old but has no sign of wear and tear then it does not need any modernization unless it satisfies other points in the list.

As a Thumb rule and industry experience for a Lift with average use needs modernization between 8 to 10 years from the date of installation. This may vary for other Elevators like Goods elevators in Industrial Setup where there is heavy duty and continuous use at high loads. However, more or less the thumb rule remains the same.

At about 8 to 10 Years most of the movable Parts wear out or start wearing out and needs overhaul or replacement, electric cables and wires start hardening and lose flexibility or the strands inside start breaking from continuously flexing, the Switch gear in the control panel has been used enough times and worn out, the Wire Ropes will show some strands broken or damaged, the cabin Flooring is Worn out and the Lighting and Fans is not functioning and overall cabin looks old.

This seems like the Perfect time as there are not many breakdowns upto now and the modernisation happens before facing the major breakdowns, this helps the elevator company as well as the owner as they have time at hand to decide the modernization details and not rushing up the whole process because of failed components.

Lift Installed but not used for long time

The Lift once installed must be used atleast a few times a day atleast for the sake of maintaining . If it is not used and also not maintained the equipment will automatically deteriorate. This is true for any equipment.

When the lift is not used for a prolonged duration few things happen like the Wire Ropes will Slowly lose the lubrication on the out side and start rusting. There are a lot many Bearings in the Elevator and as the Oil in the Bearings do not move due to no use, Part of the Bearings may be Oiled and protected but one part will lose the lubrication and hence start rusting. Rail Guides have machined Finishes that begin rusting as there is no lubrication or movement on them. The Cable will start hardening and lose the flexibility as it is flexed on a single point for far too long.

All this will add up fast and will lead to situation where the lift practically becomes unusable and the owner might have to go for a modernization which is near equivalent of replacement.

Change in Lift Codes and Standards

The Lift Codes are regularly amended, generally, to include better safety for the passengers. The Amendments made generally state the date within which the necessary changes have to made by the owners.

The Lift company maintaining the Elevator will generally bring this to your notice the change in the rules and costs associated with this.

If the existing system is able to be modified or has a provision to include the changes required this becomes a simple modernization activity to include and integrate a new device to the existing system or sometimes even a simple software update to the existing controller will do the job.

However, if the existing system is unable to integrate the new device or feature required by the law, in that case the owner has to go for a modernization which ensure that all the lift codes are conformed to. This may entail a large cost to the owner but there is no way the owner can ignore the requirements which may lead to penalties.

Frequent Breakdowns or Increase in Downtime

This is fairly simple, the lift is not old but has frequent breakdowns and increase down time. There can be only two reasons for such event, the maintenance activity is not carried out diligently or the Quality of the lift Components or the Workmanship is poor.

In the first case the Owner has the option to look for a different company which might attend to the Elevator diligently. However, in the second case the owner has no option but to look for a different vendor who will find the problems in the elevator and work to ensure that it has the right Quality parts or make necessary changes to make good the poor workmanship.

Safety Concerns

Safety concerns not only include the safety of the passengers in the Elevator but also others. For Example, Safety Concerns with the Use of Manual grill type doors will require a modernization for the lift to have a fully closed type Door, Automatic or Manual, as a precaution.

Safety concerns may include getting stuck in the elevator in the event of power failure and modernization is required for addition of Auto Rescue device which in the event of power outage use a battery source to drive the elevator to the nearest floor for the passengers to alight.

Safety concerns may include the safety of the elevator in use which might become unsafe for reasons whatsoever. All such situations drive the need for modernization of the elevator and has to be done at the earliest.

Modernize the Elevator before you are forced to Modernize

Finally, I strongly believe that any equipment has to be maintained and modernized timely so that it lasts a long time and provides the expected service with little or no downtime.

If you are forced to Modernize urgently only means the elevator already has too many issues and too many components have started failing often. In this case the basic modernization mostly will not help and a major overhaul might be required. This means additional costs, additional time, etc.


Some or all the Points mentioned above may fit your situation and appropriate timely action is best for all the owners and the users for saving downtime and costs.

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