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LIFTs


howto replace your lift


In thesecondofour series on complexmaintenance projects, Gareth Lomax


offers some expert advice


compromised. The balancing act is to pre- empt this beforemajorcomponent failure, resultinginaliftbeing outofservice fora prolongedperiod. Forexample,acontroller failurecan leavealiftout of servicefrom 8-12 weeks on average. Somemodern lift equipmenthasadesign


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life of 15-18years,providedthemaintenance andtechnical supportistoagood standard. Equipmentfrom the1970s generallyhad alife spanof25-30 yearsand liftsfrom the60s even longer. Lift replacement/refurbishment


workscan be costly,withthe averagelift replacementcostingaround£65,000 andafull refurbishmentcostinganaverage of £55,000 (based on a four-floor traction lift). Inmany cases refurbishmentisabetter


option than replacement; notonlyisitthe cheaperoptioninmost cases,but it also gives the lift a longer life expectancy. The refurbishment of a robust liftmay even give you25-30 years’ servicewiththe potentialto refurbishagain after that time. With anycapital expenditureinshared


accommodation (flat roof repair,boiler renewal, etc.), thecorrect levelofplanning is critical to ensuring theworks will be completedtothe required standard,while enabling fundstobecollected over aprolonged period – particularly if there are notmany flats to share the cost. There is no doubt that a lift replacementorrefurbishment is apotentially complexand disruptive project, so here are somepointers on howbest to plan forand carry outmajor works to any lift(s) youmay have in your property.


step


Knowyourlift It pays for propertymanagers and anyone else whoisresponsible forthemaintenanceofyour blocktoget to knowthelift. Inmost instances, theliftisgenerally of thesameage as the property.There areexceptionswhenlifts have beenadded to the building, but these are rare. With 20 years a good rule of thumb for the life spanofmanycomponents, checkwhether the


1 Flat Living Issue 16


aswithaLLelectro/mechanical equipment, liftsreach apoint when partsbegin to fail and the reliability of service is


Gettoknow your lift


lift hasundergonemajor refurbishmentworks. Reviewcomments fromthe service provider andinsurance inspector(LOLERreports)to ensure theliftisingood condition. Somesimple things forpropertymanagers


andRMCstolookout for,whichoften indicate otherunderlying issues, are as follows: n Increasednumberofbreakdowns/lift failures


refurbishment is a better option than replacement


Inmany cases


n Poor levellingofthe lift or erratic movement in starting/stopping n Unusualnoisesemanating fromthelift shaft,motor roomor lift car n Increasing repair costs fromthe maintenancecompany n Doors reopening or not closing correctly first time n Problemshighlightedininsurance inspector’s report Remember,itisbettertoplanformajorworks to thelift, rather than firefightascomponents fail. Lift equipment cannot be bought off the shelfinmanycases,asmostmanufacturers onlymake to order. Forexample,ifamachine seizes, themanufacture of a newmachine maytakefourtofive weeks; factor in delivery andinstallationand aliftcan be outofservice


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CutoutandKeep


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