Elevator load tests are a crucial part of your elevator service and maintenance routine. Without them your elevators would be deemed unsuitable for use in an inspection. Most elevator users don’t stop to think how much load differences put stress on hoisting mechanisms, pulleys, sheaves, and counterweights. But for facility managers, whose responsibility it is to ensure that building elevators pass the state construction code and continue to work smoothly and consistently, load testing is a critical requirement.
This article discusses what building maintenance personnel need to know about elevator load tests, their procedures, and requirements.
What are Elevator Load Tests?
An elevator load test determines whether an elevator system can transport the maximum load capacity it is rated for at the maximum speed specified during acquisition.
How are Elevator Load Tests Conducted?
Load tests are conducted by elevator engineers who will check the movement of the elevator car in either direction. The engineer inspects whether the ropes remain in the right position, the brakes step in when applied, and that the elevator is stopping at the correct distance as per the applied codes.
The load test involves full load tests at capacities that are 25% over the highest rated load capacity of the elevator system in question. For example if an elevator is rated to carry 4000 pounds as the maximum weight, the test will inspect capacity at 5000 pounds.
Tests will also be done when no load is placed on the elevator. The build and construction of the elevator plays an important part here. Elevator interiors built with reinforced steel or granite panels add their own weight to the system and this is to be considered when applying for load rating and performing the final load test.
How Often Should the Full Load Test be Conducted?
The standard for most states is 5 years for conducting a full load test.
Elevator Load Test Code Requirements
Each state has different elevator code requirements for conducting load tests. In Georgia, for example, the Safety Engineering department of the Fire Marshal’s office is the authority that approves the application and renewal of licenses, permits, and plans along with inspections.
Hydraulic elevators are required to pass elevator pressure testing every year. This is different from a load test.
Obtaining valid Certificates of Operation requires you to have a valid inspection report less than one year old which shows that no violations in the Annual Maintenance records have taken place from the appropriate regulating authority.
Elevators serve the vital function of vertical transport carrying people, cleaning dollies, ambulance stretchers, and several forms of heavy equipment. That they remain in top condition is crucial to attaining full functionality for hospitals, offices, factories, and commercial spaces.
Elevator services ensure that you don’t take on the headache of constantly changing building and maintenance codes and fall foul of regulations. You can make your job a lot easier and stop critical service disruptions by hiring a competent elevator maintenance and service company.
With elevator engineers primed and trained to prevent cost and time overruns, professional elevator load test services, such as Premier Elevators, can save you plenty of trouble. Call now for a free consultation.