Elevator Gore: A Sad Day for this Car Door (and Door Operator)

Damaged Elevator Car Door and Door Operator

That'll buff right out?

Elevator Company Blames: Physics, vandal trash bins

Real Cause: A disastrous cocktail of missing car door gibs and a homemade door restrictor (installed previously by the current elevator “maintenance” company).

We were called out to survey some damage done by, what the elevator contractor described as, vandalism by trash. According to the account, the building maintenance men STUFFED the elevator FULL of trash bins, got in the car with the trash, rode the car down, and (at some point) the trash bins forced the car door gibs out of the tracks and the door caught a landing sill which curled the car door up and over the door operator, destroying everything in the process.

Upon arrival, we located the missing car door gib in the pit lying under a few pieces of trash. There appeared to be no damage to the gib or the mounting bracket. The door (now located in the machine room) was lying helplessly on a pair of trash cans. Beside it was a piece of angle iron which served as the car door part of the car-door-vein-and-fascia-tab-type door restrictor. The holes where the gib mounting plate attached to the door looked perfect. There was no signs of pull or “volcano-ing” of the metal which would indicate a vandal trash can ripping the gibs off the car door with violent lateral force. This tell-tale sign was, however, on the holes connecting the door restrictor bracket to the door.

Our thoughts: The maintenance provider failed to maintain the car door gib until, one day, the thing just fell off. Or maybe it vibrated off. The door swung out during down travel, perhaps gently pushed by a trash can, and the restrictor (which had a right-angle corner and not an angle and which was also not retractable) hit the landing sill. Without the ability to “ramp away” from the landing sill and retract, the restrictor angle pushed the door up. The elevator stopped due to the gate switch being opened.

The response from the elevator company was entertaining. I was accused of “not understanding physics” by a sales guy. lol.

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