Elevator Safety Code FAQs
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Q. Are all elevators affected by the adoption of the 2004 code in relation to jack replacements?
A. No. Only hydraulic elevators manufactured prior to 1975 that have not already had a jack replacement are affected.
Q. How do I know if my hydraulic elevator has a single bottom jack?
A. It may be difficult to make this determination; however, the elevator company you have a maintenance contract with may be able to make this determination.
Q. If my elevator has a single bottom jack what are my options to ensure compliance with the 2004 code and what might I expect to pay?
A. You have three options, each with an average estimated cost:
- Replace with double bottom jack - $35,000
- Install plunger grippers - $7,000
- Install care safety device(s) on elevator - $7,000
Q. If I select one of the options rather than replacing the single bottom jack will this prevent me from having to ever replace the single bottom jack?
A. No. Choosing to install the plunger grippers or the safety devices will not prevent the single bottom jack from eventually failing. The options are simply a temporary fix.
Q. Who can perform this work?
A. Any reputable elevator service company can perform this work.
Q. Why am I being required to comply with the 2004 code?
A. Nationally recognized codes are implemented to address safety issues and often are in response to accidents. Failure of a single bottom jack has the potential to allow the elevator car to suddenly drop to the bottom of the hoistway causing injury to the elevator rider(s) and cause considerable damage to the elevator/structure. Due to the age of single bottom jacks, the potential for failure is more evident.
Q. I have heard there may be potential of Environmental Protection Agency (EPS) regulations in connection with single bottom jacks?
A. Whether you have a single bottom jack or double bottom jack each contain hydraulic oil. leakage of oil into the soil is an EPA violation and becomes costly to clean up. Due to the age of single bottom jacks, the potential for leakage is greater.
Q. Why require the single bottom jack to be changed before a hydraulic oil leak occurs or the jack fails?
A. In addition to costs associated with changing the single bottom jack, you now have created additional costs to remove contaminated soil which can be expensive. As mentioned before, jack failure can result in the elevator car to suddenly drip risking injury to a rider(s) and cause additional damage to the elevator and structure. Civil litigation is sure to follow if a rider is injured.
Q. How much time will I be allowed to have before I must be in compliance?
A. The effective date of this amendment will be established via the promulgated rule process. If additional time is needed to achieve compliance, the Elevator Safety Board will review the circumstances on a case by case basis to establish a reasonable time frame for the owner to achieve compliance.