Elevator Not Working - Common Elevator Breakdowns
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Elevator Not Working | Common Elevator Breakdowns

If you are searching for content related to “Elevator Not Working” or “Common Elevator Breakdowns“, this post should help! Here we list the most common elevator breakdowns and reasons why your commercial elevator isn’t working.

There are various reasons elevators might malfunction, from warn sheaves to old operating systems. At Renown Electric our team is always ready to assist.

There are often ways to prevent equipment failure with the proper inspections and preventative maintenance. Not only will productivity be increased with regular maintenance routines, as it avoids extended downtime, it has shown to lower overall energy computation up to 15%.

A clear sign of wear includes inconvenient, frequent breakdowns and longer wait times. Issues that are less obvious include low power, higher energy use and overheating, but these increase hidden expenses. By implementing an easy elevator motor maintenance routine, you can reduce the downtime and expenses in the long-term.

Common Elevator Breakdowns That Leave Elevators Not Working

The following are some of the common issues with elevators, and methods for preventing downtime:

Worn Sheaves

Additional wear is placed on ropes due to worn sheaves, this will raise the amount of wear on sheaves as well. Therefore, causing damage to both parts, instead of just one part.

Depending on the damage done, sheaves can be regrooved, otherwise replacing them will assist in preventing early failure of the hoist rope. You should ensure the grove profiles are checked, verifying the fit between sheave and ropes are proper. There are tools that have magnetic standards with straight edges for visually checking the sheave grooves, ensuring they are wearing evenly.

Solution – Regrooving the sheave

Power failure

An elevator requires a good amount of energy, usually obtained from a commercial building utility system. This means that an update of the system voltage is able to impact the motor operation, and has the potential of damaging the elevator system. Therefore, a power quality survey is recommended on any elevator that has history of operation problems or motor failure.

A drastic change in temperature can be determined using infrared thermography equipment, which is used for identifying potential issues prior to becoming expensive system failures. Some of the more common issues include under/over voltage, which can be spotted easily using power quality surveys, along with fuses which run hot that infrared imaging equipment can detect prior to motor failure.

Solution – Infrared inspections


As things wear down, other parts can become contaminated form small metal particles that get released within the oils, potentially interfering with the elevator system functioning properly. In a similar manner, worn seals or improper lubrication is able to result in contamination issues. To avoid contamination becoming a larger issue, an oil analysis should be conducted to determine if there are any signs of wear or contamination within the motor.

Premature wear of the crown gear (found on geared elevators), along with higher concentrations of aluminum within the hydraulic tank can be detected from the analysis, including a high amount of bronze within the gear case oil, all indicating issues.

Solution – Lubrication and oil analysis

Noisy bearings or bearing malfunction

More than half of all elevator motor failures occur due to bearing malfunctions. It is common for noisy bearings to be caused from motor vibrations. Although variable frequency drives can assist with lowering the energy use of the motor, it introduces common mode current, which increases the vibrations and becomes a dangerous byproduct resulting in potential premature bearing wear. This can become high risk.

As a way to address this issue early, an inductive absorber should be considered for absorbing the stray currents while protecting the elevator system from the chance of breakdowns. In addition, make sure ground are all securely connected, minimizing issues from electrical noise from the ground which could trip the system, or result in false system counts.

Solution – Inductive absorbers

Misaligned motor drive

When electric motors are coupled with other equipment, it is important the shaft alignment is correct. If the alignment is not correct, motor bearings will wear quicker. To detect shaft misalignment, there are a couple methods. First, is a straight edge and string can be employed. Another is using advanced laser measuring equipment.

Additionally, the purchase of geared machines equipped with flange mounted motors can be considered, as they do not require the alignment corrections if the machine has to be disassembled.

Solution – Motor alignment

Elevator Repair, Maintenance, Upgrades & Modernization In Colorado

If you do business in the Colorado area and need a professional to take a look, Colorado Elevator Solutions can help! Colorado Elevator Solutions offers experienced elevator repair & maintenance in Denver, Lakewood, Colorado Springs and more. Furthermore, we also offer elevator upgrades and elevator modernization to keep you with current elevator codes.

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