Solder Slingin’ Elevator Motor

On an earlier blog post, I hinted at an update about an elevator spewing molten metal. This is it. This unit belongs in the same elevator group as the one pictured in the “More Elevator Ropes” post. This guy has been out of service for a while and the mechanic said something about the motor overheating. I was inspecting one of the other two units, so I didn’t really listen to what he was saying until I took a look at the wall behind the defunct motor…

Wall behind an elevator motorJust a dirty wall? Nay, my friend. ENHANCE, ENHANCE

Elevator motor solder splatterThat is solder. Solder that has been flung from the motor after being heated up. The mechanic describes the events that lead up to this spattering of liquid metal. The generator was shorting out intermittently and would supply a steady amount of power to the elevator motor during leveling but not enough to actually move the car. This created overheating which liquefied the motor winding connections. When the elevator was called to another level, the (now liquid) solder was flung onto the walls.

As one might expect, liquefying parts of an elevator motor and flinging them across the machine room could present some future problems. The elevator was shut off until a new mg-set came in and the motor could be looked at by a… motor specialist.

Elevator motor with solder missing

Special shout out to my pal Tom Sybert over at Elevator Radio Show! Pingbacks are awesome. He also has a caption contest zip tie vid up. Don’t ask, just go watch.

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