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Common Reasons for Elevator Malfunction: Improper Rope Maintenance

When it comes to roped elevators, the ropes and the hoist cables are very important. Ropes are one aspect of an elevator that need to be constantly checked and frequently replaced. If they are not, they can break and cause issues to elevator cars and passengers inside of them. On this page, I will discuss ropes on roped elevators in greater detail, in addition to necessary hoist cable maintenance to prevent accidents.

Wire Ropes

Ropes in the hoist cable system are very complex devices. These ropes are made of wire or steel, and they have a lot of moving parts involved. There are dozens of wires and strands on each piece of rope that need to be working properly and in unison to ensure that the elevator works as it is supposed to. Wire rope is strong, but it is also designed to be flexible. The strands and wires have to constantly adjust in order to move over a sheave and then straighten themselves back out. Because of all of this movement, the wire ropes eventually wear out. They lose their strength over time, some strands might break, and this can cause problems with an elevator.

It is commonly known within the elevator manufacturing and maintenance community that wire ropes do not last as long today as they used to. Because of this, they should be constantly monitored to make sure that they work properly and do not create problems.

Making Wire Ropes Last

There are a few ways that manufacturers can improve the longevity of ropes within the hydraulic system. The first way is by lubricating the ropes. Lubrication should be applied to the ropes every 250,000 starts. Alternatively, if the ropes ever feel dry to the touch, they should be lubricated. Of course, to know the state of the ropes, a close eye should be kept on them. Failure to lubricate the ropes can reduce the life of wire ropes by more than 50%! Lubricating and re-lubricating ropes can be an easy way to make sure that they are functioning properly.

Another thing to check with ropes is the tension in them. Tension equalization is something that is commonly overlooked when it comes to hydraulic system maintenance. Tension in ropes should always be at plus or minus 10%. The tension equalization should be checked when the elevator is installed. After that, it should be checked twice a year. Failure to do this could result in accidents and injuries.

Checking sheaves once a year is also an important part of hydraulic system maintenance. Sheaves work with the ropes to push and pull the elevator. Making sure that the ropes fit in the sheaves properly and that the sheaves are working correctly can also avoid injuries.

Identifying a Problem

If you are injured as a result of an elevator accident, faulty hydraulic system maintenance could be the cause. If you think that this is the case, you can contact an attorney to help you determine the problem and prove it in court. Doing this can help you get compensation for your injuries. For more information, feel free to contact my office.