New building codes went into effect on July 1, 2008 that have completely revamped the inspection and testing procedures for elevators, escalators and other vertical transportation equipment in buildings. The new and more stringent elevator/escalator code brings with it more—and more costly—requirements for building owners and managers in the form of more frequently mandated contractor tests and the requirement of third-party witnessing.
General Info & Extra Responsibilities
During 2008, the existing inspection and test procedures remain in effect. A Local Law 10/81 inspection is due to be filed for all elevators before September 30, 2008, and any two- or five-year tests due this year must be still be performed
Beginning January 1, 2009 however, the old system of annual Local Law 10/81 inspections and two-year tests will end. They are being replaced with a combined annual inspection and test for all elevators and escalators which must be performed (now known as a periodic inspection and Category One test) every year.
This inspection/test will now have to be performed by one company, and witnessed by another. The typical way this will work is that the building’s usual maintenance contractor will perform the test, with a third-party private inspection agency hired by the owner to witness the test. The witnessing company cannot be affiliated with the maintenance contractor performing the test. When a five-year test is due on a roped elevator, a combined periodic inspection and Category Five test must be performed and witnessed by a third party. The Category Five test and periodic inspection in specific years when due, must be performed prior to the expiration date of the previously performed test. However, the Category One test and periodic inspection for all other years can be performed at any time during the calendar year.
Increased Costs for 2009
Customarily, elevator maintenance contracts cover two-year tests and five-year tests (which would be three total tests during each five-year period). This means that within a five-year period, there will now be two additional annual tests for roped elevators and three additional annual tests for hydraulic elevators to be performed by the maintenance contractor. Building owners/managers should expect the maintenance contractor to charge between $700 and $1,000 dollars per additional elevator annual test and twice that amount ($1,400 to $2,000 dollars) per elevator for the five-year test. The five-year test takes twice as long as the annual test as it requires a weight test procedure. Weights equal to the total weight capacity for which the elevator is rated must be placed in the cab, and the elevator must run at full speed to each floor.