How long should an elevator last?

Young teen pushing elevator control

Elevators with regular maintenance should have a life expectancy of  20-30 years. However, factors such as design, usage, environmental, and maintenance frequency will increase or decrease lifecycle. Lift cables last between 10-15 years based on use, load capacity, and use frequency.

How do I know if it’s time to replace?

Each manufacturer designates a life expectancy on the individual components of their system. Once the components exceed the manufacturers determined life expectancy, the component needs to be replaced.

Elevators can typically be upgraded or “modernized” when components reach their designated lifecycle. instead of replacing the unit, sometimes you can overhaul or rebuild an elevator from the ground up. Complete rebuilding designates new construction.

If a unit outlives its life expectancy, and parts are no longer available to modernize, then it’s time for a new elevator.

elevator component lifecycle chart

American National Standards Institute Safety Standards

The American National Standards Institute standardizes codes and safety regulations across the US. According to ANSI, safety standards and codes vary from state to state and different jurisdictions. The application of these codes will help users comply with applicable regulations within their jurisdiction.

For new installs, safety and standards information with detailed information regarding new elevator code standards is available by ANSI for purchase and download here. ASME A17.1-2016.

In addition, existing elevators minimum safety requirement information can also be found by The ANSI for purchase and download here. ASME A17.3-2017.


What is the standard timing of maintenance and testing?

elevator maintenance contractorTesting should be yearly and certified by your local government. Elevators should have an annual inspection, and for optimal performance receive regular maintenance. Regular monthly maintenance will extend your elevators life expectancy. Always have a professional perform any maintenance and inspections.

Regular maintenance with planned upgrades will extend the life of your lift, and allow a commercial property owner to plan the capital expense of a full renovation or new system install.


Maintenance Contract Tips.

  • When contracting a maintenance provider, make sure that the company will be able to deliver spare parts for at least 10 years.
  • Most importantly, make sure you only hire licensed and insured technicians.
  • Keep accurate records of your elevators use.
  • Pay close attention to your performance metrics in your service contract to ensure you get the best service for your system.
  • Download and review the “Maintenance Evaluation Checklist Electric Elevators” PDF for an objective appraisal of the condition of your elevator.


Fun Fact

claustrophobic woman on elevatorAccording to the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation, over 210 billion passengers use elevators in the U.S. and Canada each year. Many people suffer from claustrophobia and agoraphobia (the fear of panicking). According to ABC news, there are 20 exercises you can do to overcome your fear. You can do this!