Why Your Fire Service Access Elevator Needs A Sump Pump

We explain the purpose of your sump pump, what qualifies an elevator for fire service access, and why a fire service elevator needs a tested sump pump.

Why does one elevator require a sump pump while another does not? We will explain the purpose of your elevator’s sump pump, what qualifies an elevator for fire service access, why every fire service access elevator requires a sump pump, and why it is critical to regularly prime and test your sump pump.

What Is The Purpose Of The Elevator Sump Pump?

The elevator pit is located at the bottom of your elevator shaft. The elevator pit houses vital wiring and pulleys required for your elevator to function properly. The bottom of your elevator shaft is frequently the lowest spot in the building where any running water from damaged pipes, floods, or groundwater would flow and accumulate. In addition, the pit collects oil and other fluids that seep from your elevator system. If not managed appropriately, these liquids will cause damage to your elevator.

Elevator sump pumps are used to drain water from elevator sump pits and transformer vaults. Many feature an oil detector that detects whether oil is present, so the pump only functions while water is present and stops when oil is detected. This prevents the discharge of oil into groundwater or sewage systems. These technologies aid in preventing elevator damage.

What Qualifies An Elevator For Fire Service Access?

Not every elevator must have fire service access. If your elevator travels 25 feet or more above or below the level that best serves the needs of emergency personnel for firefighting or rescue purposes, it is required by the Texas Administrative Code and the National Fire Protection Association 101 to comply with the Fire Fighters' Service Requirements of ASME/ANSI A17.1, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.

Why Every Fire Service Access Elevator Needs A Sump Pump

According to the regulation, elevators used as service access elevators or occupant evacuation elevators must have a drain or sump pump installed. This sump pump or drain can remove a minimum of three thousand gallons of water per hour per elevator. Sumps and sump pumps in pits, where available, are also covered with a covering that is secure and level with the pit floor.

In the case of a fire, these sump pumps serve to alleviate difficulties within your elevator and elevator pit. Depending on the technology placed in your elevator pit, a system may need to be manually activated or may activate automatically in conjunction with the fire sprinkler system, assisting in the prevention of potential elevator malfunctions during a crisis situation.

Prime And Test Your Sump Pump Regularly

It is critical that you, as a building owner, ensure that your elevator sump pumps are regularly primed and tested. Having a consistently dry sump pit can be just as harmful to your pump as having an overwhelming, continuous flow of water. While you do not want water flooding your elevator pit, a dry sump pump can cause the pump's components to wear out prematurely and seize. This means that you'll need to repair or replace the sump pump much sooner than you otherwise would. It may also mean that the sump pump will fail when you need it the most. Biannual maintenance will keep your sump pump lubricated, exercised, and ready for action.


If you are located in the Austin, Texas area or Hill Country, we would love to help you service your elevator sump pumps. Please call us at (737) 296-8617, drop us a line, or message us on Facebook.

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