Volume 66  |  Winter 2011

“Elevator Inspection Report Deficiencies"

by Lindsey Mickelson Account Manager Service & Repair Sales for  ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas, Spokane Valley, WA

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in deficiencies noted during elevator inspections. Many of the “write-ups” are due to the adoption of more current code. The State of Washington has adopted ASME 17.1-2007 with the 2008 addendum. The City of Spokane has adopted ASME 17.1-2004, A17.1A-2005 and the 2009 International Fire Code. Washington State has more stringent requirements than ASME – this code is called WAC (Washington Administrative Code) and elevators fall under section 296.

What does all of this mean for you? The State of Washington and City of Spokane can now retroactively require that you add certain life/safety items to your elevator or require modifications to the hoistway, machine room, and pit to make sure that it is electrically compliant and meets current fire code. These items are usually not included under your elevator maintenance agreement since they are upgrades/modifications to the existing equipment. I thought it would be helpful to identify some of these items so that you can keep an eye out for them around your building or ask your service provider to provide you with budget pricing.

State of Washington
Minor improvements:
• Lockbox: City/State Approved Inspector lockbox with set of all elevator operating keys.
• Maintenance Control Programs: Your service provider should have a maintenance control program posted inside of the elevator machine room. Any time they complete maintenance tasks, required testing, respond to a service request, complete a repair, make a modification/alteration, or add oil to the elevator, this should be documented on the Maintenance Control Program. Inspectors are looking to see that the annual testing is up to date and that the completed tasks align with their inspection findings.

Major improvements:
• Anti-egress devices: Also known as door restrictors, these devices prevent passengers from opening the elevator doors if the elevator stops between floors. Accidents can occur when passengers attempt to exit the car and leap to the landing.
• Scavenger Pumps: Scavenger pumps return oil that leaks from the hydraulic jack to the tank. They are no longer accepted by the state. Scavenger pumps are usually seen on hydraulic jacks that constantly leak. In order to mitigate the leaking, you will either need to increase maintenance frequency, perform a packing replacement (which will normally prevent leaking temporarily) or do a complete jack replacement.

City of Spokane
Minor improvements:
• Lockbox: City/State Approved Inspector lockbox with set of all elevator operating keys.
• Signage: “In Case of Fire” signage, labeling the mainline disconnect in the machine room, labeling and assigning elevators designations in buildings with multiple elevators, labeling the door to the elevator machine room.
• Hoistway Venting: Hoistways of elevators shall be provided with means to prevent the accumulation of smoke and hot gases in case of fire as required by IBC 2009.
• Smoke detectors: Required at top of hoistway.
• Lighting: Increase pit lighting (min 5 foot-candle prior to 7/1/2004 install, min 10 foot-candle for installs after 7/1/2004), machine room lighting (min 10 foot-candle), add light switch that is accessible from the pit access door, and must have a permanent grounded outlet in pit.
• Pit Ladders: Access ladders must be installed in elevator pits 3 feet or deeper (if there is room). The pit ladder needs to be 16” wide and the top rung must extend 42” above the access level or landing.
• Electrical: All of your electrical needs to be in conduit or boxes.
• Wall Penetrations: Wall penetrations in the machine room, hoistway, or pit need to be fire caulked and sealed for fire and smoke rating.

Major improvements:
• Fire Service: Since Spokane has adopted 2009 International Fire Code, it requires that existing elevators with a travel of 25 feet or more be provided with emergency operation in accordance with ASME 17.3. If your elevator does not have this, it will either require a controller overlay or elevator modernization.
• Machine Guarding: Guards are required in machine room over sprockets and cable sheaves.
• Car Top Handrails: Per WAC 296, are required anywhere there is a gap of 12” or more between the elevator and hoistway wall, and where handrails will fit in overhead.
• Phones: Two-way communication devices are required in every elevator. A traveling cable may need to be added in order get power to the phone.
• Machine room shutoff valves: Manual shut off valves are required in the machine room and pit.

If you have any questions about code compliance, please feel free to contact your local ThyssenKrupp office at (509) 533-2701 or your local elevator inspector.

State of Washington Elevator Inspectors
Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Spokane, Whitman
• Joe McCann (509) 324-2567 or Terry Rozell (509) 334-5870
Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Okanogan, Yakima, Walla Walla
• Dennis Coleman (509) 454-3770 or (509) 764-6919

City of Spokane Elevator Inspector
• Duane Leopard or Tom Smith (509) 625-6129

Lindsey Mickelson
Account Manager, Service & Repair Sales
ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas
Spokane Valley, WA
[December 6, 2011]

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