Imagine this: you ride a 50-year-old elevator with a few other passengers already in it. The lift haltingly moves down. When it arrives on the ground floor, the cab just suddenly shakes and drops abruptly an inch lower than the floor. Also, the doors just wouldn’t open all the way and it looks scary how it might not even open for you.

Scenarios such as this threatens the safety of the passengers. With all the problems, a simple repair seems not enough to answer all the elevator problems mentioned; it sounds like a full upgrade is necessary.

An elevator upgrade involves replacing dated mechanical equipment that have been subject to much wear and tear over the years. Given the extensive upgrade needed to make the lift safe to use again, an estimate of four to five weeks is needed, meaning that the elevator would have to be out-of-service to the building occupants.


Understanding the mechanism that makes an elevator work is essential in determining which basic components need an upgrade. In the situation above, it sounds like the controller is old enough to be replaced. The elevator controlling system is the main electronic component of an elevator that directs the motors, and therefore directs the movement of the elevator. Controllers may actually last as long as 25 years, but shows signs of wear when the movement becomes halting and stops are abrupt.

Variable frequency drives or VFDs on newer controllers ensure that the ride is smooth and that stop is gradual. Old controllers do not have this system, so it would be a possible addition to the upgrade. Also, an elevator’s collective system can be upgraded. This is the elevator’s response to direction requests. Old elevators mostly use the down collective system, wherein it responds to all the down requests before answering to going up commands.


The issue with the cab door might be addressed by fully upgrading the cab to fit safe building codes and also ensure that no door jams take place. Door hardware might need replacement, which includes the motor door operator, the track, hanger and the door levers. The elevator motor, sheaves and cables, machine break and elevator shaft may all need to be refurbished as well.

An upgrade could also be done aesthetically, to improve the elevator’s interior. A remodelling of the car’s indoor environment that is both visually pleasing and up to code might be necessary. This can include panel replacement, LED light fixing, hand rail fittings, stainless steel trim, base and reveals fittings, among others.


Tenants and building occupants will be concerned about the downtime an elevator upgrade entail. Coordinating with the residents about the update and scheduling it on the most convenient time for them is a primary concern. It is critical to give regular updates on the elevator’s upgrade status so they can adjust accordingly.

As said, an elevator upgrade may take up to a month and half, which is a considerably long time for residents to take stairs even after a long day at work. It would also be a big issue for elderly occupants. These things should factor in the allotted schedule for elevator upgrading. You can suggest having longer working hours with the contractors so they can finish the job faster, and if they are amenable, would spell convenience for your residents.

Elevator upgrades are sometimes a necessary action to take especially for old cabs. If you are looking for an elevator installation company who can do the necessary upgrades for you lift, check out, servicing anywhere in Connecticut. They provide cost-effective Otis elevator upgrade for when you need it the most. Have questions?

If you are interested in this article you can find more about Otis Elevator Upgrades.

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