I declare today: Stairs Day.

Another year, another January inspection trip to DMC land, Missouri. Only two days this year – it seems elevator inspect’ing has become a popular alternative to mechanic’ing when the bench gets full or retirement comes a-knocking.

At any rate, I rarely require the use of red tags in Missouri – mainly because I usually am seeing two-stop hydros and there’s not much that will make these units “unsafe” as defined by the State of Missu’reh. However, I ran across a little DMC-like unit (yeah, I’m not giving out company names) that served as the exception to this rule. Among the boring violations (like emergency lighting not working), a total of 5 safety switches simply… didn’t work. We started at the car top:

Top floor interlock – check.
Gate switch – check.
Car top stop switch…. no. ok, well, maybe that switch is bad. moving on.
Emergency exit switch – nada.

At this point, the top-of-car part of the inspection stops and we reconvene in the machine room searching for jumpers. Alas, nothing is jumping out at us (I promise, no more puns).

So we continue the inspection with the pit stop switch, the in car stop switch, the controller stop switch. None of them have any affect. At this point, the mechanic grabs his laptop, hooks it up to the controller, and runs into a brick wall when it asks for a password… which of course is not the default. *Obscenities*

I’ve got another mechanic up north waiting on me so I slap a red tag up and jet with promises of being available in a couple hours after these other inspections.

Eventually the mechanic figures it out, we re-check it, remove the red-tag, and when I ask him what was wrong I am told (from what I remember), “a couple wires were crossed and they were just jumping things out to get it to run.” Oh. Ok.

Now, from Tom Sybert – my friend at www.elevatorradioshow.com poses these questions: “Man how does this happen? Why would a mechanic not make sure all the stop switches are working correctly in the hoistway. This is where he’s working!”

To that, I’d say that I honestly don’t think this route mechanic permanently jumped these switches out. I know the guy, I’ve inspected with him, safety really is #1 to him. I believe it was a repair crew that MAYBE accidentally, permanently defeated these switches.. or.. something. Whatever it is, Tom has a point. These switches primarily serve to provide a safe environment for mechanics to service the elevator from the hoistway. Needless to say, the mechanic was more than understanding when the unit’s disconnect adorned this big red Missouri tag.

Missouri Elevator Red Tag

Just to stop the non-union hate at the pass (not that I endorse or condone it. I am completely neutral. Call me gray) – this was one of the majors.

1 comment

  1. Avinash - Anthony Charter says:

    Need to chat with you about something important. Could I get your personal email address.
    Will be waiting for your email.

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