How Are Hydraulic Elevators Installed

Freedom Home ElevatorsNot all elevator installations are the same. The process can differ, depending on the size of the building, the size of the elevator, and, of course, the power source that drives the elevator. Having said this, installing hydraulic elevators is different than installing cable driven elevators or pneumatic elevators.

Here is the basic install process for a typical hydraulic elevator.

Pit and Landings – The first task of installing a hydraulic elevator is creating the pit and landings, so let's first talk about a pit. Like most common elevators, a pit must be dug a few feet below the foundation or ground floor of the building. After the pit is dug, an additional hole must be dug to house the piston cylinder. This can be a huge project, especially if the building has more than just a few floors. The piston is responsible for raising and lowering the elevator car, and since it must be retracted completely when the car is at ground level, the cylinder must be as long as the elevator shaft. For a 10-story building, a nine-story deep hole must be dug for the cylinder and piston. After the pit and cylinder hole have been dug and reinforced, usually with concrete, the landings can be assembled. Landings are created by cutting holes in the walls where the elevator will make each stop. The landings should be barricaded for safety reasons until installation is complete.

The Hoistway – Hoistways can be built one of two ways. The first is modularly. A modular hoistway is constructed off site and then brought in to be installed as one piece. This is the easiest and fastest way of erecting a hoistway, granted you have access to a crane. If you don't have access to a crane or if the location makes operating one difficult or dangerous, the second method is to stick build the hoistway. Stick building is done on site and takes longer to build; however, it is generally a good, solid way of constructing the shaft. After the hoistway is built, the cylinder, piston, and pump can be installed. The pump will either be installed in the pit itself or in a separate machine room. After it is assembled, it will be attached to the moveable piston.

Power and Safety – After the hoistway has been erected and the pump is attached to the piston, it is time to secure the elevator car and hook up the hydraulic power. In order to supply power, electrical disconnects must be installed. Also, hydraulic oil must be added to the fluid tank and piping must be installed between the elevator jack and the power unit. Once this is done and all systems have been checked, the elevator is ready to run. For safety reasons, self-closing and locking doors, climate control, emergency lights, emergency communication, and smoke detectors will be installed.

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