When you invest in a home elevator, you add value to your home. That also means you’ll want to be sure to protect that investment when Mother Nature wreaks havoc with either an icy blast of cold weather or a hurricane and flooding. Taking proactive steps can ensure your elevator’s continued, safe operation despite harsh weather conditions.
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Hurricane/Natural Disaster Preparations
Protecting your investment is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Take Elevator to the top floor.
- Pull the emergency stop button completely out or make sure it is in the STOP position (this will prevent the elevator from lowering in the event of loss of power or recovery of power).
- If the disconnects are accessible, turn them off.
*If you shut the power off to your elevator you should expect to hear a beeping sound. This sound is coming from the battery backup system and will continue until the batteries have fully drained. If you do not hear a beeping sound after shutting off the elevators main breaker your battery backup system may no longer be functioning properly and should be inspected or replaced.
Residential Elevators offers an Automatic Float Switch, which will automatically send your elevator up and park it on an upper floor should the elevator pit start to fill with water. This feature provides peace of mind in the event you have to vacate your property and forget to do the above or are unable to secure home prior to a storm.
Call RE at 800-832-2004 for more details and information.
Cold Weather Seasonal tips
Cold weather can affect us all in many ways. Freezing rain and snow can make driving treacherous for many areas of the country. While cold fronts in the south send farmers and citrus growers scurrying to protect their precious crops. Very few of us escape those high energy bills that often accompany frigid temperatures. Even a home elevator can be affected by cold weather. Here are some helpful tips and things to consider now that winter is upon us.
- Cold Hydraulic Oil – Probably the biggest issue attributed to cold weather are the effects of large fluctuations in the temperature of the hydraulic oil that lifts your hydraulic home elevator. The optimal temperature for the hydraulic system is between 85 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If your machine room containing your hydraulic equipment is located in a “climate controlled” room this probably is not an issue; however, if your equipment is in the garage, attic, or in any other area that is NOT “climate controlled” you may be experiencing sporadic leveling of the elevator if not a “shut down” in the system.
- Options – You have two options to try to eliminate this problem: one option is to control the temperature in the Machine Room/Area to keep the hydraulic oil from experiencing large temperature fluctuations. The other option is to install a “Tank Heater” in the hydraulic oil reservoir to control the temperature of the oil. A Tank Heater can be installed relatively quickly by a trained elevator technician and usually proves to be a much less costly avenue vs. controlling the temperature of the room itself.
- Dry Rails – If your elevator is making a funny noise from the elevator shaft and you can’t figure out what it isâ€¦.it might be that the main elevator steel guide rails need lubrication. The lubricant on these rails can sometimes dry out in cold weather causing the amount of friction between the guide rails and the moving elevator to increase thus causing a noise. Remember, an elevator shaft is a dangerous place to be and should only be entered by a trained elevator professional familiar with the safety features and the mechanical operation of an elevator.
- Temperature inside the elevator – If your elevator serves a level that is not “Climate Controlled” such as a garage or the ground level of a home on stilts, try parking your elevator on one of the floors that is “Climate Controlled” and even leave the swinging door open on one of these floors if you are not using the elevator. This will keep your next trip on the elevator from being a “chilling experience”!!! Also, consider installing a Parking or Homing feature to your elevator that can automatically be programmed to park at a “Climate Controlled” floor. This is a relatively inexpensive way to do this and ensures the elevator is always on the floor you expect it to be.
- Batteries – All REI home elevators come with a battery back up system to provide emergency lowering the event of power failure. Blizzards, freezing rain, ice storms, and even high energy demands on a grid can all cause a loss of power. ALWAYS make sure your back up system is in good shape, fully charged, and ready to go in that unlikely event that you are in the elevator when there is a loss of power.
- Consider a check-up or scheduled maintenance on your home elevator. We recommend at least once a year and perhaps more often depending on your use and need. We have several different maintenance programs for you to consider.