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Elevator and Escalator Consultants

Code Corner

Code Corner 2006.1

Code Corner by Patrick J. WelchMaintenance Requirements in Section 8.6 of ASME A17.1 dramatically affect existing installations.

Many building owners and operators are under the mistaken impression that the A17.1 Code governs new installations only. That is no longer completely correct. In fact, there are dramatic impacts on existing installations that may require retroactive upgrades that every owner should know. Some of the many requirements are simple to accomplish as long as the responsible party for maintenance is held accountable:

  • Maintenance records must be kept, precisely and specifically describing work performed. These records must be kept in a central location and be made available to elevator personnel. Owners should consider how to keep those records if they decide to change maintenance contractors so that the new contractor has access to the records that A17.1 requires.
  • Up-to-date wiring diagrams are required in the machine rooms. The key point to understand is "up to date" means that updates, changes must be marked on the diagrams.
  • Hydraulic elevators require an oil usage log to track oil used against oil recovered in the pit can or in spills.

There are many more requirements from describing alterations and parameters for repairs and replacements to methods and replacement part requirements. However, the most significant retroactive obligation is with requirement 8.6.8.3, the Escalator Step/Skirt index. Make no mistake; A17.1 requires certain performance requirements for all escalators. This is not a rule for new escalators only.

Many owners will find that their older escalators will fail this new test and will have to make significant investments to meet this retroactive requirement.

Code Step/Skirt Performance Index Lubrication Allowed Loaded Gap Required
< A17.1d-2000 and A17.3 ≤ 0.15 Skirt deflector not required
> 0.15 to 0.4 Skirt deflector required
> 0.4 Not in compliance
Yes Indirectly
A17.1d-2000 ≤ 0.15 Skirt deflector not required
> 0.15 to 0.4 Skirt deflector required
> 0.4 Not in compliance
No Yes, 5 mm
A17.1-2000 ≤ 0.15 Skirt deflector not required
> 0.15 to 0.25 Skirt deflector required
> 0.25 Not in compliance
>No Yes, 5 mm

If you have an escalator and do not meet the requirements in this table, you may have a significant investment to make in your equipment. If you have any questions regarding your equipment, please email meVTX

We at VTX® deal with code issues on a regular basis. It is very likely that your question is not new to us, and we can help quickly. It is not uncommon for us to bring a request for interpretation for our clients before A17.1. Just remember that ASME wants the requirements to be clearly understood, so get it clarified, it could dramatically affect your project or operation!