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Are all elevator companies equally bad

Admiral Beez

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#16
Indeed... I wish someone had given me a classless talking to about skilled trades when I was a lad, especially the union or guild roles.

I'm in construction products marketing today, and I see the average 20'something commercial drywall framer making $100K when it took me 15 years of working and two degrees to make that. The lost income of those 15 years ($100K x 15 = $1.5 million) reminds me that it's important to start making good money when you're young. One of my best mates is a tower crane operator. Out of high school he took a subsidized heavy equipment course through the Ontario government and then continuously upgraded his tickets through gov't sponsored courses as he worked, eventually becoming an apprentice tower crown operator, and then a full operator before he was 30. Now he's making great money because he has a skill that is both in extremely high demand and hard to acquire in a heavily regulated industry.

Here's the pay for an elevator mechanic. With the overtime needed in the GTA you're clearing $100K http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Elevator_Mechanic/Hourly_Rate
 
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TOcritic

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#17
ThyssenKrupp = the worst.
Our condo either has bad mechanical problems or not enough servicing. Either way, we see a lot of downtime. One of our elevators (3 in total) was recently down for 8 WEEKS! September until mid-November. Our building is only 5 years old and there's not that many floors P5 to 15. Another one just went down this week and it'll probably take weeks to fix that one as well.

Almost one is down every single week and we've had times were 2 were down for a week at a time.
 

TheKingEast

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#18
Reliable elevator operation will be even more important with all of these 40+ storey condos going up. Imagine being on the 40th floor and the elevators are "down"? Yikes.
 
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#19
I'll chip in on this thread, I likewise find the parts issue particularly frustrating. Living in a mid-rise with 2 elevators, its a challenge when one is down; and another building in our complex had both its elevators down for 4 days recently.

To hear that that some part needs to come from Europe or Australia and it'll be a few days.........is painfully absurd, I could order the damn thing through Amazon faster!

I fail to understand why repair companies and/or landlords don't stockpile parts.

As someone who is still able bodied and not on that high a floor it doesn't usually present an undue burden; but there are elderly and disabled residents who absolutely NEED the elevator.

No elevator equals no Wheel Trans, no access to medial appointments, homecare workers may refuse to make the climb and 911....how do the paramedics manage if they have to get someone down more than a dozen flights of stairs?

Its potentially a life and death issue!

I'm increasingly of the feeling that a landlord or repair company will need to face a charge of criminal negligence causing death, when the absence of a working elevator clearly contributes to someone dying.

That's sad though. People and businesses ought to do the right then w/out coercion.
 

tripwire

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#20
What I don't understand is that elevators have been around for a LONG time, are they really that complicated that they break down that often? Over engineered? Engineered for obsolescence? :(
 
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#22
I live in a new downtown condo, won't mention the name at the moment so as not to stigmatize it. It's a small building about a dozen floors. It's been occupied for about 18 months. The elevators, ThyssenKrupp are awful in terms of reliability. Perhaps not the elevator per se but when they break they are down for days. Parts need to be flown in, perhaps from Germany. Our condo board tells us that only TK can fix their elevators, that they don't supply parts to third part elevator companies, they keep it all in-house to create a monopoly.

Last year sbortly after the building opened, one car was down for 2 weeks. We only have 2 cars. With our new-buikding move-ins, life was hell.

Now a year later, since Thursday, none of the buttons on the floors work, you press the button and light goes on, you take your finger off and light goes off. So to get by they put it on automatic service opening on every floor 24/7 until it's fixed. Usualy wait is about 7 minutes. TK seems either unable to fix it or in no big hurry.

On one of the cars we've had the door close button not functioning. They have been in several times. Unable to fix it. It's been broken for 6 months.

Wondering if people here have similar experiences and have found a way not to be held hostage by these elevator companies?
Harry...my opinion of ThyssenKrupp is that they have both good and bad elevators. Quite frankly, some of them are VERY well made. Others, not so much. It's the same with pretty well all the others - KONE, Schindler, Fujitec, and smaller local brands such as Delta and Selco.

Unfortunately, condo elevators seem to be made VERY cheaply. Likewise, where I used to live (a rental building near Dixon and Islington in Etobicoke), they had 70's Armor elevators that were modernized AND maintained by ThyssenKrupp. One of the three would frequently break down, and there was one occasion (the day before I moved out) where the whole system failed altogether, meaning I had to walk up all the way to the penthouse (22nd floor) - what a nightmare! I would not be surprised if building management had to deal with a few T6 applications as a result of all these elevator problems.

Now...what are the most reliable? I'd say older Otis and Dover elevators are the most reliable (of note ThyssenKrupp bought Dover's elevator division), and of the ones being installed these days here in Canada, Otis elevators are probably the most reliable (although people were complaining about the ones in Aura) Sadly, Mitsubishi elevators don't seem to be in Canada, and they seem to be VERY reliable, VERY smooth, and VERY well made.

Of note, not all ThyssenKrupp parts come from Germany - ThyssenKrupp also bought Northern Elevator, which was a local brand and thus some ThyssenKrupp elevators are based on what Northern was installing, and the parts for those are manufactured here. These elevators go by different brand names across Canada, such as Dominion (Western Ontario), Exel (Manitoba), Niagara (mostly the Niagara area but some have been spotted as far east as Mississauga), Elcor (BC), Nova (Quebec), and North Eastern (Maritime provinces)
 

Bayer

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#23
Harry...my opinion of ThyssenKrupp is that they have both good and bad elevators. Quite frankly, some of them are VERY well made. Others, not so much.
I think the ones we have at ROCP I are in the "bad" category. One elevator was taken out of service by the TSSA due to worn-out cables. After a 4-month wait, they installed new carbon-fibre cables that were supposed to be much more durable. Unfortunately, the elevator went out of service soon after. It turns out those cables are sensitive to humidity and they actually shrank. That was the most stupid thing I had ever heard.

I will be moving out of my apartment next winter. No more high floors for me if I can help it.
 

dguderian

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#24
There are technically non-union elevator repairworkers, but if you use them, then the TSSA will never certify your elevator for service. The regulator (TSSA) will not allow anyone except certified technicians to install or repair elevators (same goes for escalators). You cannot undertake the training or testing required to receive your CofQ without becoming an apprentice first, which forces you to go through the Union of Elevator Constructors, whose training program is overseen by the TSSA.

All the elevator companies (KONE, ThyseenKrupp, Otis, and Schindler) are part of a national association, which has a collective agreement with the elevator constructor's union.
Wop Chop, you are wrong on this. Approximately half of the approximately 3600 TSSA licenced elevator technicians in Ontario are non-union and work for non-union companies. The non-union apprentices go to school at Durham college and receive exactly the same certification (an EDM-A licence) as the union mechanics. The top rated companies with TSSA are non-union. Our company often has the top TSSA rating in recent years. Unfortunately for most of the readers of this forum, we do not service down-town Toronto, but there are some quality independent companies that do. We only come as far south as Highway 7.

The breakdown of elevators has more to do with the level of preventative maintenance than the manufacturer of the equipment. The 800+ elevators in our portfolio experience an average of approximately 1 elevator breakdown per year and the average down time for these breakdowns is significantly less than one day. Here is a link if you want some more information: Elevator One Inc. There are some helpful articles on choosing an elevator maintenance company and what to watch out for in elevator service contracts.

Doug
 

dguderian

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#25
Not to my knowledge. The major companies (TK, Otis, Kone) are, I believe, all beholden to the same union for their workforce. That union went on strike about two years ago if I recall correctly and to call it chaotic would be a vast understatement. Saw many ugly scenes walking by the downtown towers they picketed. I used to know someone in that union (regular at one of my bars and always have to avoid him) and if he's representative of that workforce, well, my advice is to live on a floor that you can, in a pinch, walk up and down to.
Yes there are many smaller independently owned elevator companies that do excellent work. Many of them are non-union. Many of them, like our company can successfully maintain most brands of elevators. If no one but the manufacturer can maintain them, the owners always have the option to modernize them with non-proprietary controls and then any elevator service company can maintain them.
 

wopchop

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#26
Wop Chop, you are wrong on this. Approximately half of the approximately 3600 TSSA licenced elevator technicians in Ontario are non-union and work for non-union companies. The non-union apprentices go to school at Durham college and receive exactly the same certification (an EDM-A licence) as the union mechanics. The top rated companies with TSSA are non-union. Our company often has the top TSSA rating in recent years. Unfortunately for most of the readers of this forum, we do not service down-town Toronto, but there are some quality independent companies that do. We only come as far south as Highway 7.
Thanks. I did not know that.
 
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#27
I live in a new downtown condo, won't mention the name at the moment so as not to stigmatize it. It's a small building about a dozen floors. It's been occupied for about 18 months. The elevators, ThyssenKrupp are awful in terms of reliability. Perhaps not the elevator per se but when they break they are down for days. Parts need to be flown in, perhaps from Germany. Our condo board tells us that only TK can fix their elevators, that they don't supply parts to third part elevator companies, they keep it all in-house to create a monopoly.

Last year sbortly after the building opened, one car was down for 2 weeks. We only have 2 cars. With our new-buikding move-ins, life was hell.

Now a year later, since Thursday, none of the buttons on the floors work, you press the button and light goes on, you take your finger off and light goes off. So to get by they put it on automatic service opening on every floor 24/7 until it's fixed. Usualy wait is about 7 minutes. TK seems either unable to fix it or in no big hurry.

On one of the cars we've had the door close button not functioning. They have been in several times. Unable to fix it. It's been broken for 6 months.

Wondering if people here have similar experiences and have found a way not to be held hostage by these elevator companies?

There is way too much misunderstanding and consequently miss information regarding elevators in Ontario.
lets go through the facts first.
 
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#28
I live in a new downtown condo, won't mention the name at the moment so as not to stigmatize it. It's a small building about a dozen floors. It's been occupied for about 18 months. The elevators, ThyssenKrupp are awful in terms of reliability. Perhaps not the elevator per se but when they break they are down for days. Parts need to be flown in, perhaps from Germany. Our condo board tells us that only TK can fix their elevators, that they don't supply parts to third part elevator companies, they keep it all in-house to create a monopoly.

Last year sbortly after the building opened, one car was down for 2 weeks. We only have 2 cars. With our new-buikding move-ins, life was hell.

Now a year later, since Thursday, none of the buttons on the floors work, you press the button and light goes on, you take your finger off and light goes off. So to get by they put it on automatic service opening on every floor 24/7 until it's fixed. Usualy wait is about 7 minutes. TK seems either unable to fix it or in no big hurry.

On one of the cars we've had the door close button not functioning. They have been in several times. Unable to fix it. It's been broken for 6 months.

Wondering if people here have similar experiences and have found a way not to be held hostage by these elevator companies?
Saw this horror story and posted a blog on the root cause. In all honesty there is little that can be done in the circumstances described, but everyone needs to be warned about how problems like this begin. Here's the post https://easyupblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/are-all-elevator-companies-equally-bad/
 

DSC

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#29
Interesting post, there is at least one company in Toronto ( http://www.fshaw.ca/ ) who act as a 'middle-man' between building managers and elevator companies. We hired them in our condo a year or so ago and they have certainly managed to get our elevator company to improve their service. They carry out an annual inspection, far tougher than TSSA I would say, gave us a report and then got the elevator company here to deal with the (many) deficiencies.. Worked for us!
 
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#30
Interesting post, there is at least one company in Toronto ( http://www.fshaw.ca/ ) who act as a 'middle-man' between building managers and elevator companies. We hired them in our condo a year or so ago and they have certainly managed to get our elevator company to improve their service. They carry out an annual inspection, far tougher than TSSA I would say, gave us a report and then got the elevator company here to deal with the (many) deficiencies.. Worked for us!
Good plan of action. I made that point in another blog post I won't bore you with, but a good elevator consultant is just about all you can do, if the condo board is willing. It is shame that you have to go to that much trouble but proprietary parts are a license to print money for elevator companies. If you ever have just any general questions about elevators always eel free to ask any time. Been in the business a while and have seen just about everything.
 

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