What is Elevator Sump Pump And How It Works?

I was fascinated by elevators in my early years. The idea of a small room that magically teleported people to different floors was beyond me. However, one day my dad got a call from his boss, who informed him of an urgent crisis at work and called him in instantly. My dad, a mechanic, took me with him to help him with his work. And that was the day I discovered that the elevators were not magic but had a reasonable and logical explanation for what they did and how they did it.

Elevator Sump Pump

Elevator Sump Pump

I was dumbfounded when my dad disengaged the elevator and lifted the carriage upwards to expose a small compartment half-filled with dank muddy water. He answered all my questions in detail, which was a pleasure to hear.

Growing up, I became a mechanic myself by soaking in all the information. What I learned from my father, coupled with years of practice with elevator sump pumps, is summarized below. Find out more by reading on!

Elevator Sump Pump Working Mechanism

Elevator Sump Pump

The Need of Elevator Sump Pump

All elevators have pits just below the last floor. This pit accommodates all the chains and pulleys that move the carriage up and down different building floors. Now, the thing is, this pit can accumulate flood/rainwater during a heavy downpour. You can not poke a bucket into the pit to get the water out. So a permanent solution to this problem comes in the form of a sump pump.

On the other hand, if the water is allowed to accumulate in the elevator pit for days, it will have disastrous impacts on the entire building. As you may already know, dark, damp places are an ideal situation for the growth of tiny microbes, which infect the foundations of the building, thus weakening it to the point that the entire structure of the building collapses in the worst-case scenario.

What Is The Purpose Of An Elevator Sump Pump?

An elevator system needs to have a sump pump as a safety measure. Installed in the shaft’s pit, this device is designed to collect and remove any water that may accumulate there, thus preventing flooding when auxiliary power supplies are unavailable or in an emergency.

How Does An Elevator Sump Pump Work?

The mechanical workings of a sump pump are quite simple. It has a sump pump basin just underneath the sump pump. This sump pump basin collects all the underground water that seeps through the soil under the building. The float switch is triggered when the water reaches a certain level, which starts the sump pump motor. As a result, water is pushed upwards towards the drainage pipe, which leads the water out of and away from the building. However, it does not lead directly to the sewage water system but indirectly.

Do Elevator Sump Pumps Need To Be On Emergency Power?

Elevator sump pumps should always be equipped with an emergency power source, such as a generator or battery backup. Even during a power outage, sump pumps should continue to function. Without this precaution, elevators can become quickly flooded and rendered unusable during a blackout.

Using an elevator without an emergency power source could put people in danger during a power outage. If stairs or another alternate evacuation route is available and people can safely exit the elevator, then utilizing a sump pump on emergency power may not be required.

Safety should always be the priority when addressing issues like these – particularly regarding elevators used by people who have difficulty using stairs. Thus, it’s important to ensure its use remains secure even during emergencies. Before engaging in any alteration of elevator structures, making sure to obtain the proper approval from local authorities is essential.

Elevator Sump Pump Discharge

High-rise buildings rely on elevator sump pumps to remove water from the base of an elevator shaft and protect against flooding. Though these pumps are often overlooked, they can be a major source of pollution if not properly managed – this is called Elevator Sump Pump Discharge (ESPD). To avoid environmental damage, proper ESPD management is essential.

FAQs about Elevator Sump Pumps

Why Does An Elevator Need A Sump Pump?

A hole in the ground can only do so much as collect water. The same goes for elevator pits, but the standing water in an elevator pit can be very harmful as it will weaken the foundation. So, to avoid all such problems, the Elevator Safety Orders require you to install a sump pump in the elevator pit. This sump pump will push the water into a drainage pipe when the water reaches a certain specified limit. However, the law clearly states that neither the sump pump nor the drainage pipe should be directly connected to the sewer.

Do All Elevators Need A Sump Pump?

As per the Elevator Safety Orders, it is stated that all the elevators that have a Firefighter Emergency Operation should have a drain or a sump pump. The sump pump will clear away all the accumulated water from the elevator pit. Thus, making it safer for the firefighters to cross through. Ideally, a sump pump should be capable of pumping at least three thousand gallons of water per hour in an elevator to work efficiently and effectively.

Do Lift Pits Need Drainage?

Yes, lift pits do need regular drainage. Otherwise, it may lead up to quite a lot of problems. An elevator pit is a compartment-like place just below the lowest floor of the elevator. This compartment is fitted with carriage slugs that hold the elevator in place and lets it slide up and down different floors of the building. Heavy rainwater can accumulate inside that pit, which, if allowed to stand longer, can spread water molds throughout the building. So, for the safety of the entire building and its foundation, the Elevator Safety Orders require sump pumps to be installed.

Where Do You Discharge An Elevator Sump Pump?

Like any other sump pump, an elevator sump pump discharges into the sanitary or storm drainage system. However, the major difference is that it does not directly drain into the sanitary drainage system but indirectly. It ensures the safe disposal of unsanitary water.

What Oil Goes In An Elevator Sump Pump?

The best oil for an elevator sump pump is ISO 30 Turbine oil because it is highly inexpensive and does a great job of lubricating the gears of the pump motor. As a result, the sump pump motor runs smoothly and efficiently without dissipating much-needed fuel. Moreover, a well-greased sump pump motor always exhibits a higher flow rate than the non-greased one.

Final Thoughts about Elevator Sump Pump

In conclusion, an elevator sump pump is not just necessary but also required by Elevator safety laws. It will keep the foundations of the building dry. But not all elevators are required to have a sump pump. Only the ones with Firefighter Emergency Operation must have a sump pump. If you decide to install a sump pump in your building’s elevator, you’d better keep it well-oiled and properly maintained.

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