The decision to repair or replace an elevator is a critical one for commercial property managers and industrial facility owners. An elevator is a vital component of any multi-story building, and its proper functioning is essential for the safety and convenience of tenants and visitors.

However, like any mechanical system, elevators are subject to wear and tear over time, and eventually, they may require significant repairs or even replacement. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when deciding between elevator repair and replacement, so you can make an informed decision that best suits your building’s needs.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of regular maintenance, common elevator problems, and how to choose between repair and replacement.

Key Takeaways

  • Regular elevator maintenance can lead to significant cost savings, prolong equipment lifespan, ensure passenger safety, and prevent unexpected breakdowns. Common elevator problems include worn sheaves, power failures, bearing malfunctions, contamination, and misaligned motor drives.
  • Key factors to consider when deciding between elevator repair and replacement are the age of the equipment (typical lifespan is 20-30 years), availability of replacement parts, potential to upgrade to new technology, and compliance with permits and regulations.
  • A thorough cost comparison between repair and replacement should evaluate initial costs, future expenses, lifespan considerations, and long-term savings. The extent of repairs needed, based on an assessment by elevator experts, is crucial in determining the most cost-effective solution between repair and replacement.
  • Consulting with experienced elevator service providers like Murphy Elevator Company can provide valuable insights and recommendations to make an informed decision, taking into account factors such as equipment condition, budget, and specific property needs. Their expertise and commitment to integrity ensure building owners receive honest, accurate advice.

Benefits of Regular Elevator Maintenance

Elevator Repair Vs. Replacement: What You Need To Know

Regular elevator maintenance can save you a significant amount of money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and replacements. Scheduling routine checkups and servicing prolongs the lifespan of your elevator, ensuring the safety of passengers and preventing unexpected breakdowns that can disrupt your business operations.

Cost savings

Regular elevator maintenance can lead to significant cost savings for commercial property managers and industrial facility owners. By addressing minor issues before they escalate into major problems, you can avoid costly repairs or even premature replacement of the entire elevator system.

Investing in preventive maintenance helps minimize unexpected breakdowns, reducing the need for emergency repairs and the associated expenses. Proactive care also extends the lifespan of your elevator, maximizing your return on investment and saving you money in the long run.

Next, let’s explore the benefits of prolonging the lifespan of your elevator through regular maintenance.

Prolongs lifespan

Regular elevator maintenance is crucial for extending the lifespan of your elevator system. By investing in timely repairs and upkeep, you can ensure that your elevators continue to function smoothly and efficiently for many years.

Proactive maintenance helps to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs.

Elevator components, such as cables, motors, and control systems, undergo wear and tear over time. With consistent maintenance, these components can be inspected, lubricated, and replaced as needed, minimizing the impact of normal wear and tear.

Ensures safety

Ensuring the safety of passengers is a top priority for any property manager or facility owner. Elevators that are not properly maintained pose a significant risk of accidents and injuries.

Regular inspections and maintenance can identify potential hazards such as worn cables, faulty brakes, or malfunctioning doors before they lead to serious incidents. By addressing these issues promptly, you can provide a safe and reliable elevator experience for your building’s occupants and visitors.

Investing in regular elevator maintenance not only protects the well-being of those who use the elevators but also safeguards your property from potential legal liabilities. In the event of an elevator accident, property managers and facility owners may be held responsible for any resulting injuries or damages if it is determined that proper maintenance was not performed.

Prevents unexpected breakdowns

Unexpected elevator breakdowns can cause significant disruptions and inconvenience for building occupants, leading to lost productivity and potential safety hazards. By investing in regular elevator maintenance, property managers and facility owners can minimize the risk of sudden malfunctions that may require costly emergency repairs or even complete replacements.

Proactive maintenance allows trained technicians to identify and address potential issues before they escalate into major problems. They can replace worn-out components, lubricate moving parts, and adjust settings to ensure smooth and reliable operation.

This preventive approach helps extend the lifespan of elevator systems, saving money in the long run while providing a safer and more comfortable experience for users.

Common Elevator Problems

Elevators face numerous problems that can disrupt their smooth operation and cause inconvenience to users. From worn sheaves and power failures to bearing malfunctions, contamination, and misaligned motor drives, these issues can lead to unexpected breakdowns and safety concerns.

Keep reading to learn more about common elevator problems and how to address them effectively.

Worn sheaves

Worn sheaves are a common problem that can significantly impact the smooth operation and safety of elevators. These sheaves, which are essentially pulleys that guide the elevator ropes, can deteriorate over time due to constant friction and heavy loads.

As the grooves on the sheaves become worn and uneven, the ropes may not sit properly, leading to increased rope wear, vibrations, and potential malfunctions.

Neglecting worn sheaves can have serious consequences, such as uneven rope tension, reduced elevator speed, and even complete breakdowns. In extreme cases, worn sheaves may cause the ropes to slip or jump out of the grooves, posing a significant safety risk to passengers.

To prevent these issues, it is crucial to conduct regular inspections and replace worn sheaves as part of a comprehensive elevator maintenance program. Addressing this problem promptly can help ensure the reliability and longevity of your elevator system, ultimately saving you from costly repairs and downtime.

Power failure

Power failures in elevators can cause significant inconvenience and safety concerns for building occupants. Electrical issues, mechanical malfunctions, or power surges are common culprits behind elevator power failures.

Identifying the root cause is crucial for determining the appropriate course of action, whether it involves repairing or replacing specific components such as the control panel, wiring, or motor.

In severe cases where the elevator system has sustained extensive damage or become obsolete, a complete replacement may be necessary to restore reliable operation. Property managers and facility owners should consult with experienced elevator technicians to assess the situation and make an informed decision based on factors such as the age of the equipment, availability of replacement parts, and compliance with current safety regulations.

Bearing malfunction

Bearing malfunction is one of the most common problems that can cause elevator breakdowns and safety hazards. Bearings are critical components that support the elevator’s movement and allow it to operate smoothly.

Over time, bearings can wear out, become contaminated, or suffer from inadequate lubrication, leading to increased friction, noise, and vibration. If left unaddressed, a bearing malfunction can cause the elevator to stop working altogether, potentially trapping passengers inside and requiring costly emergency repairs.

To prevent bearing malfunctions, regular maintenance is essential. This includes inspecting and replacing worn bearings, ensuring proper lubrication, and keeping the elevator shaft clean and free of debris.

If a bearing malfunction is detected early, it may be possible to repair the issue without requiring a complete elevator replacement. However, in some cases, particularly with older elevators or those with extensive damage, replacement may be the safer and more cost-effective option in the long run.


Contamination in elevators can pose significant health risks to passengers if not addressed promptly. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in various parts of the elevator system, such as the pit, hoistway, and cab, leading to potential mechanical issues and unhygienic conditions.

Bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens may also thrive on frequently touched surfaces like buttons and handrails, increasing the likelihood of illness transmission among users.

Implementing a regular cleaning and disinfection schedule is crucial for maintaining a safe and hygienic elevator environment. This involves using appropriate cleaning agents to wipe down high-touch areas, as well as employing proper ventilation and air filtration systems to improve indoor air quality.

Misaligned motor drive

A misaligned motor drive can lead to significant performance and efficiency issues with elevators. This problem often causes the elevator to vibrate excessively, operate at reduced speeds, or even stop functioning altogether.

In some cases, elevator repair may be sufficient to address a misaligned motor drive, especially if caught early and the underlying cause is identified and corrected promptly.

However, a misaligned motor drive may also indicate more serious underlying issues that require elevator replacement. Consulting with a professional elevator service provider is essential to determine the best course of action.

They can assess the extent of the misalignment, identify any contributing factors, and provide expert recommendations on whether repair or replacement is the most appropriate solution for ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the elevator.

Factors to Consider for Elevator Replacement

Factors like the age of the equipment, availability of replacement parts, life expectancy, new technology, and permits and regulations play a crucial role in determining whether an elevator should be repaired or replaced.

Keep reading to learn more about making the right decision for your commercial property or industrial facility.

Age of equipment

The age of your elevator equipment plays a crucial role in determining whether repair or replacement is the most suitable option. As elevators age, they may require more frequent repairs and maintenance, leading to increased downtime and higher costs.

Older elevators may also lack the latest safety features and technology, which can impact the overall user experience and building value.

Elevator manufacturers typically provide a recommended lifespan for their equipment, which can range from 20 to 30 years, depending on factors such as usage, environment, and maintenance history.

Availability of replacement parts

Accessibility to replacement parts is a crucial factor when deciding between elevator repair and replacement. As elevators age, finding compatible components can become increasingly difficult, leading to extended downtime and higher costs.

Murphy Elevator Company recognizes this challenge and maintains a well-stocked inventory of replacement parts for various brands and models, regardless of the elevator’s age. Their commitment to having a reliable supply of parts enables them to provide efficient repairs and minimize disruptions to your building’s operations.

Murphy Elevator Company’s fourth-generation, family-owned business has established strong relationships with suppliers, ensuring a steady flow of replacement parts. This long-standing dedication to customer satisfaction is evident in their ability to quickly source and install necessary components, reducing the need for complete elevator replacements.

Life expectancy

The expected lifespan of an elevator is another crucial factor to consider. Most elevators have a life expectancy of around 20 to 30 years, depending on the level of usage, maintenance, and environmental conditions.

As the elevator ages, its components and systems may become outdated, less efficient, and more prone to breakdowns. This can lead to increased maintenance costs and potential safety hazards.

Modernizing an aging elevator by updating its components and systems to meet current standards and technologies can extend its life expectancy and improve its overall performance.

New technology

Advances in elevator technology offer improved safety features, enhanced performance, and increased energy efficiency. Modern elevator systems incorporate intelligent controls, real-time monitoring, and predictive maintenance capabilities, reducing downtime and optimizing operation.

Upgrading to the latest elevator technology can provide a superior user experience, with smoother rides, faster travel times, and intuitive interfaces. These technological advancements also contribute to lower maintenance costs and extended equipment lifespan, making elevator replacement an attractive option for property managers and facility owners looking to modernize their vertical transportation systems.

Permits and regulations

Permits and regulations play a crucial role in elevator replacement projects. Building owners must obtain the necessary permits from local authorities and ensure compliance with current safety codes and regulations.

Failure to do so can result in costly fines and delays in the replacement process.

Consulting with a qualified elevator contractor is essential to navigate the complex landscape of permits and regulations. They can guide building owners through the requirements, including structural modifications, electrical upgrades, and environmental considerations.

Choosing Between Repair or Replacement

Choosing between elevator repair or replacement can be a difficult decision. Weigh the cost comparison, extent of repairs needed, and long-term benefits before making a choice. Consult with elevator experts to determine the best course of action for your commercial property or industrial facility.

Keep reading to learn more about the factors to consider when deciding between elevator repair and replacement.

Cost comparison

Deciding between elevator repair and replacement requires a careful consideration of costs. Repairing an elevator might seem more budget-friendly initially, but future expenses and the system’s lifespan are crucial to consider. Conversely, elevator replacement comes with a higher initial investment but may offer savings by minimizing frequent repair and maintenance costs. Below is a detailed cost comparison to guide commercial property managers and industrial facility owners in making an informed decision.

Initial CostLowerHigher
Future ExpensesPotentially High (depending on damage extent, part availability, and labor fees)Reduced (due to fewer repairs and maintenance needs)
Lifespan ConsiderationMay extend current elevator lifespan but with limitationsIncreases lifespan significantly with new equipment
Long-term SavingsVaries based on frequency and severity of future repairsPotential for significant savings on repairs and maintenance

Evaluating these factors ensures that building owners can lean on a more strategic approach, considering both immediate and anticipated costs. Consulting with elevator experts becomes pivotal in dissecting these expenses accurately, ensuring that the decision aligns with the building’s long-term financial and operational goals.

Extent of repairs needed

The extent of repairs needed is a crucial factor when deciding between elevator repair and replacement. A thorough assessment by experienced elevator technicians can determine the scope of the required repairs.

Minor issues like worn-out buttons or faulty door sensors can often be fixed through simple repairs, while more severe problems such as damaged sheaves or outdated control systems may necessitate extensive repairs or even replacement.

Evaluating the extent of repairs helps property managers and facility owners make informed decisions about the most cost-effective solution. If the repairs are extensive and the elevator’s overall condition is poor, replacement might be the more economical choice in the long run.

Long-term benefits

Repairing or replacing an elevator offers various long-term benefits for commercial property managers and industrial facility owners. Elevators that receive regular maintenance and timely repairs can experience an extended lifespan, improved safety, and enhanced performance.

Upgrading older elevators with modern technology can also lead to increased energy efficiency and reduced operating costs over time.

Consulting with experienced elevator experts can help determine whether repair or replacement is the most cost-effective solution for your specific situation. They can assess the age of the equipment, the availability of replacement parts, and the extent of repairs needed to provide a comprehensive recommendation.

Consultation with elevator experts

[Blog Topic]: Elevator Repair Vs. Replacement: What You Need To Know.

Consulting with a reputable elevator service company like Murphy Elevator is crucial in making an informed decision between repair and replacement. Their team of experienced technicians can assess the condition of your elevator system, identify potential issues, and provide expert recommendations based on your specific needs and budget.

By working closely with these professionals, you can gain valuable insights into the most cost-effective and efficient solution for your property, ensuring the safety and reliability of your elevators for years to come.

Murphy Elevator’s commitment to integrity and transparent communication ensures that you receive honest and accurate advice throughout the consultation process. Their knowledgeable staff will take the time to explain the pros and cons of repair versus replacement, helping you understand the long-term implications of each option.

Elevator Repair Vs. Replacement: Conclusion

Elevator maintenance, repair, and replacement are critical aspects of building management. Regular upkeep can save costs, prolong equipment lifespan, and ensure occupant safety. Common issues like worn sheaves, power failures, and misaligned motor drives should be addressed promptly.

Factors such as equipment age, part availability, and compliance with regulations guide the decision between repair and replacement. A thorough cost comparison and expert consultation can help determine the most suitable course of action.

Ultimately, prioritizing elevator maintenance and making informed repair or replacement decisions contribute to the smooth operation and tenant satisfaction of any commercial or industrial property.

Elevator Repair Vs. Replacement (FAQs)

1. How do I know if my elevator needs repair or replacement?

If your elevator is experiencing frequent breakdowns, slow operation, or is more than 20 years old, it may be time to consider repair or replacement.

2. What factors should I consider when deciding between elevator repair and replacement?

When deciding between elevator repair and replacement, consider factors such as the age of the elevator, the cost of repairs, and the long-term reliability and safety of the unit.

3. How much does it cost to repair an elevator?

The cost of repairing an elevator can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the parts needed, but it typically ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

4. How long does it take to replace an elevator?

The time it takes to replace an elevator depends on the complexity of the installation and the size of the building, but it can typically take several weeks to a few months.

5. Can I continue using my elevator while it is being repaired or replaced?

No, for safety reasons, the elevator will need to be taken out of service during repairs or replacement.

Contact Us