Thursday, June 26, 2014

Elevators in State of Illinois in "open territories"

If you are an owner or property management of a building in an “open territory” i.e. Winnetka, Hinsdale, Roselle, etc it is up to ownership to have the elevators inspected with a 3rd party inspection firm.  How do you find out if your municipality has an agreement with a 3rd party inspection firm?  You can call the building department, look in the elevator and see who inspected the elevator or you can go to



If you go in the elevator and your certificate is issued by the City of Des Plaines that means that the City of Des Plaines is handling the elevator inspections.  If you go into the elevator and see you have a certificate from the State of Illinois that means that you will most probably need to look into getting a 3rd party inspection firm to do a annual inspection on the elevator system.  If you need information on elevator inspectors feel free to call Colley and ask and we can forward inspection companies information. 


Before making an inspection appointment touch base with the elevator maintenance provider and make sure your testing is up to date.  You don’t want to call for an inspection if you are 3 years behind completing annual testing of the elevator system.


If you have an questions or would like information from Colley Elevator you can go to, email or call 630-766-7230.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Intermittent power problems & intermittent elevator issues

Each year when the weather starts changing and getting warmer we see more intermittent issues with elevator system.  Some of these issues are typical elevator issues which do take time to resolve.  Other issues are from a safety device which is found on your elevator system which we call a phase monitor, if the voltage is not within range it will not allow the elevator to run.  There are different symptoms to this, some are the elevator just does not take a call, 5 minutes later it may take a call.  Sometimes the elevator will give a sensation it is bouncing up the hoistway, which is  startling.  A low voltage situation may be unbeknownst to the building owners because their lights are working just fine.  The elevator runs off a three phase power supply which is different than the power that runs the lights and outlets in the building.  An example is a building has 230VAC power, the power goes down to 200VAC, the phase monitor is set for 210VAC, the elevator will not run.  If the power comes to 210VAC on the same elevator and someone tries to run on the elevator it may give a “bouncing” sensation as the elevator is trying to run, the start on the elevator motor may bring the voltage down and then it will shut off again.  Depending on the elevator system and the phase protection, you may get different symptoms.  When you call in these issues to the elevator service company, please be very descriptive, it helps the elevator mechanic resolve the issues.  Many times voltage situations are frustrating because by the time the elevator mechanic gets to the building, the elevator is working normally.


Items to take note of if you are having irregular elevator issues during the summer months.


  1. Is the elevator only having issues in the morning or in the evening – both times are when there is heavy electrical usage[i.e. air conditioning goes on]
  2. Are the buttons lighting?  Are the buttons lighting and not staying lit?
  3. Elevator doors open or closed and where is the elevator?  Lowest landing, top floor, etc…
  4. Is the same person who leaves at the same time finding the elevator not working, if so the times are important so we can start broadening our trouble shooting.
    The more information you can share with the elevator company, the better we can go to the building and attempt to resolve the problems.  Colley Elevator does have a voltage monitor that we can plug into the system and supply the results so you can talk with COM ED and show them you are getting a low voltage situation.  We have also found that at times it is a buildings wiring having a loose connection in the vault which can simulate these issues.  The important part is communication and moving forward with a plan of action with Building owners, elevator company and the electrician[if they are involved] if intermittent power issues are causing reliability issues or damage to the elevator equipment. 
    If you have an questions or would like information from Colley Elevator you can go to, email or call 630-766-7230.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Monthly Fireman's Service testing/exercising

The elevator code indicates that elevators with Fireman’s service phase I & II need to be tested month and a log to be kept in the elevator machine room.  The elevator maintenance company should do this for the buildings during their visits.  If you do not have a contract that has a elevator person at the building monthly or have a contract that indicates “as needed” service, you may not be getting the elevator service exercised or tested each month.  In the event that the elevator contractor is not exercising the fireman’s service the building can complete the exercise if instructed on how to do it properly.  If you are interested in how this work we recommend contacting the elevator service provider you are working with and having them show you how to operate fireman’s service phase I & II.  While most of the time fireman’s service works as it should, it can lock the elevators up if there is an issue with fireman’s service or the testing is not completed properly.
If you have an questions or would like information from Colley Elevator you can go to, email or call 630-766-7230.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Elevator pit ladder requirements by 1/1/15

Please note that in the State of Illinois every elevator’s pit ladder must comply with the current code requirements by 1/1/15.  Every elevator must #1, have an elevator pit ladder and it will need to meet all of the requirements spelled out in the code.  Many pit ladders that are existing do not meet the new requirements which include being 4 ½” from the pit wall to the center rung of the ladder, rough surface on the rungs to prevent slipping and coming up to 48” above the 1st landing and not further than 39” away from the unlocking device.  Please find other OSHA rules below



What this all means for building owners is that they need to review their current pit ladder to see if it is within the range of the code.  Many building owners have put a aluminum ladder in the pit instead of a proper pit ladder made for elevator pits, these most likely will not meet the code requirements.   Ask your elevator company or elevator inspector to walk you through the requirements.


If you have an questions or would like information from Colley Elevator you can go to, email or call 630-766-7230.