The first step in understanding how to apply the code is to recognize the difference between a repair and a modernization or alteration as defined by ASME Section 1.3:
Elevator Repair: Reconditioning or renewal of parts, components, and/or subsystems necessary to keep equipment in compliance with applicable code requirements.
Elevator Modernization: Any change to equipment, including its parts, components, and/or subsystems, other than maintenance, repair, or replacement. For this article, “modernization” shall be used in lieu of “alteration”.
Examples of both conditions are presented in the following table:
As you can see from this concise list, elevator modernization projects can quickly become complicated.
Careful coordination of your building outside the elevator equipment itself is required. Therefore, before any elevator modernization, you must consider the following questions:
- Why are you thinking about modernizing your elevator?
- Do you only need partial upgrades and repairs?
- Is this all you need to update/repair?
Unlike a new construction project, elevator modernizations aren’t typically designed by an architect or engineer. Elevator modernization often causes problems for owners during the project and occasionally after the elevator portion of the project is completed because the elevator code requires more work than a typical elevator contractor is trained to do. Therefore, it’s critical to consult a vertical transportation subject matter expert. Continue reading to discover the common code issues likely to be encountered.