LEAKING OTIS CYLINDER... Repair or replace?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Elevator Problem Discussion : One Thread

We are faced with a leaking cylinder in an only 51/2 year-old Otis Elevator. Because we didn't sign up for a long term Otis service contract when we purchased, they tell us the warranty expires in one year, even though the Otis rep claimed when we purchased their equipment that the cylinders would last "a lifetime" with their PVC cylinder protection. Otis is insisting that it has no responsibility but we are still faced with the first dilema of how to correct our problem and get the equipment back in service quickly. A very knowledgeable-appearing responder earlier today advised that we would be better off to Replace the cylinder, rather than to Remove and Repair it. The cost implications are $28,000 to replace, versus about $18,500 to repair and reinstall. Does anyone else have an opinion? How about some clue as to how we should go about getting Otis to act a little more responsibly, without having to go to court. Our state's Statute on Frauds and has a six-year requirement to file suit, and our in-house attornies tell us we have do not have long to spend on pre-filing negotiations. Although many big world-wide conglomerates like Otis tend to be pretty arrogant sometimes, there is often someone in such firms who cares more about good business principles than proving how tough she/he can be. Who knows anything about Otis in this regard? Thank you very much, anyone who can help! We own some elevators, but really know very little about the ins and outs of service. Any help will be much appreciated.

Bill Johnson

-- Bill Johnson (bill@cummings.com), June 10, 2002


Otis elevator problem

Otis will typically settle lawsuits when there are no injuries involved, but they like to try scaring you off first. Whatever you do, have good reliable witnesses, including some from outside our company when you get to court.... I can't help you with the repair or replacement question!

-- Bill Gordon (wfg999@yahoo.com), June 11, 2002.

Leaking Otis Cylinder Reply

Is the lift a side acting or dirrect acting ram(cylinder)? Does the ram have chains, ropes or sheaves attached ? Is the leak caused by a seal(packing)or stuctural ie. rust ? Most ram seals can be replaced with out removing the ram however some require extensive works to access. Cylinders,rams or jacks(what ever you wan't to call them)do last for the life time of most lifts, how ever the seals that keep the oil from getting out do not. If you over use/ over heat your lifts then the seals will not last as long. If the lift is poorly designed or installed then the seals will not last as long. All hydrolic lifts have a maximum starts per hour rating, under rated lifts can cause all sorts of problems for all concerned. Arcitechs oftern advise on poor choises to cut costs.(Not very smart) If I was in your position I would hire a lift consultant to deal with the lift contracts, it is a specialised field and customers could quite easily be ripped off. One years free comprehensive maintenance is the norm with new installations where i come from, if you don't sign a contact after that then your on your own.

-- Mal (iam@smokeybarrels.com), June 21, 2002.

If your problem is a bad packing, it can be replaced for a small some and comes with a guarantee. However, if your problem is a leaking cylinder,I would go back to the big "O" and tell them they did not do the job properly.

-- Ed Markham (ed.m@avlelevator.com), July 29, 2002.

The reason the Otis rep told you the cylinder would last a lifetime is because of the sealed PVC enclosure around the jack's cylinder protects it from water getting in and ruining the cylinder. (electrolysis) The reason Otis only puts this warranty in place on elevators with a long term service contract is because it is necessary to go in yearly and check to make sure no water has gotten into the sealed PVC liner. They have a method of pressurizing the PVC liner with air and a copper tube that goes all the way to the bottom (below the steel cylinder)that allows them to evacuate any liquids that may have gotten in. If this is not done then water could go in and ruin the cylinder just like any other type of jack. No company I know of warranties underground cylinders or piping. This only applies if unit is on service where it can be checked yearly.

-- Mont Anderson (eanders1386@earthlink.net), February 10, 2003.

Hi I work for a hydraulic company and we only fix hydraulic lifts, from rams to valve blocks and pumps. A leaking ram can be caused by a number of things ie: heat, brick dust, rust or sworf, this can scores the surface of the ram and cut the seal. To get round the problem we ( my company )can linnish the scores out of the ram and then replace the seal for a lot smaller cost of a new ram, only in some cases were the scores are to deep you have to replace the whole ram. Thanks Mick in the UK

-- Mick Langwade (mick@langwade.screaming.net), October 26, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ