Extremely problematic elevator continues to quit working

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In July I posted a question about a very problematic elevator, the issue was and still is: When someone holds the door open by placing a box in the doorway or just by standing in the doorway the elevator will soon hit a time limit that causes the elevator to shutdown completely and will not start again until a service technician comes in to reset a switch. There were a number of suggestions that it might have something to do with the "Nudging" or with a Faulty safety edge or photocell. At the time was unable to provide any details but I have them now

This is a six year old elevator that is a simplex system 1. It uses a Logic Control system manufactured by Virginia Controls using a GE Fanuc 90-30 programmable control system 2. The Motor Control is a Variable Voltage Variable Frequency product made by Baldor 3. The Door Operator is a Permanent Magnet Solid State medium duty product manufactured by Elevator Controls

If anyone has any suggestions as to why this problem seems to continue, please post them here

PS this is a cross post on the Elevtaor-World BBS


-- Darrell Uhearn (Darrell@themediaco.com), November 25, 2002


Problem elevator

Hi Darrell, Could be that your Virginia Controller has a parameter set to shut the car down after "X" amount of door recycles without breaking the door close limit. You could have your tech. change this parameter for more recycles but it could come back to haunt you if you have a legit bind on the door and you burn out the door motor. Where your problem actually lies is with people interfering with the normal operation of the elevator and not in the elevator itself. After all, can you blame Ford if your Taurus doesn't fly? Good luck.

-- Bob (Eleman1@aol.com), November 25, 2002.

virginia controls

What you are probably experiencing is some sort of motor limit timer to protect the door motor from burning up if an obstruction prevents the door from closing in a predetermined amount of time. This is a protection timer for your benefit. The answer to your problem is to keep people from blocking the door physically. I would suggest you have your service company install a key switch in the door open circuit that people could get from the manager or authorized person in the event they need to hold the elevator for an extended period of time. Physically blocking the elevator door from closing is a no, no. I suggest you make every attempt to find out who is doing it and tell them to quit.

-- tj (elevatetj@attbi.com), November 25, 2002.

People holding door

What sort of time frame should the motor limit timer be working on? i.e. How long would you think would be normal for this function to cause the elevator to shut down completely. Right know I believe that if someone holds the door for more than 1-2 minutes it will shutdown

-- Darrell Uhearn (Darrell@themediaco.com), November 26, 2002.

People holding door


There are many ways to change your systems design, but which will be the right one. Have you consulted the manufacturer? Or just the service company and message boards? The system is designed to protect the system. If you change the design of the system what are you making the weakest link in the chain to? My question to you is would you consider trying to cure the trouble at the source! My recommendation is to post a sign not to block the doors. Mount a hidden camera in the car facing the doors. Now you will know who is causing the problem and have a way to correct the action of the person or people involved. If you are driven by cost, look at what you have spent in service calls for your elevator.

Best wishes,


-- Jon (jkh824@aol.com), November 26, 2002.

Time out problem

I Have just forwarded an email message to Virginia Controls asking them what the normal operating staus should be for their control including what if anything can be done to rectify a problem like this But to remark on your advice don't you think that during normal operation an elevator shutting down completely if a person holds the door open for less than two minutes would be the correct operation of the elevator

-- Darrell Uhearn (darrell@themediaco.com), November 26, 2002.

Time out problem


I agree something is wrong from what info you are providing, but from my computer I can only see a small portion of the whole picture.

From your previous postings I was under the impression you were have a vandle problem? Now I'm not sure where the problem lies!

What has your service provider been doing to try and correct this problem?

How long has it been happening?

Do you feel your service provider is committed in reaching a solution to this challenge?

Are you paying for each time the service provider sends someone to reset the equipment?

Maybe it is time to bring in a second service company to evaluate and to present you with a clear plan to correct this problem!

Best wishes,


-- Jon (jkh824@aol.com), November 27, 2002.

Time out problem

Jon thank you for your advice to date,

To answer your questions

No it is not a vandal problem unfortunately otherwise we could catch them on tape and prevent it from happening again.

This time out and service shutdown problem has been plaguing this building for a few years now.

We changed Elevator service companies about 2 years ago. We have a service/maintenance contract with an Elevator company they do not charge us to come out to reset the elevator but they just don't seem to be able to come up with an answer to this problem

We had an outside consultant come by to look at the elevator he was the one that I got the information on the component parts of the elevator from

Unfortunately he does not have an answer so I thought I would reach out to see if other Elevator Professionals might have come across this type of problem before and give us some advice so that we might be able to point the Elevator Maintenance company in a direction that could solve the problem

Thank you

-- Darrell Uhearn (Darrell@themediaco.com), November 29, 2002.

Time out problem

3 attempts to close doors then shutdown/transfer landing calls (in a group system). Modify door control circuit to permit restart after 10 mins? Your service contractor should provide you with the answers, if not then change your service contractor.

-- liftinspector (liftinspector@hotmail.com), November 29, 2002.

Darrell, if there is no "vandal" to be caught on tape blocking the doors, then no one is blocking them. If that is so, why is there a problem to begin with?

liftinspector is right - your service company should be able to deal with this and if they can't, get one that can.

Did you get a reply from Virginia controls?

-- John Brannon (akaelevman@aol.com), November 29, 2002.

Just to qualify why we are frustrated, this continues to happen from normal use. People might hold the door for a neighbor or to finish a conversation. I am sure that it isn't because someone is trying to do this deliberately

What I am trying to do is gather some more information so that I can ask the Elevator Maintenance company some informed questions that might lead to a solution

What are the most likely components that might cause problems like this?

If it ends up that we would have to replace parts one by one, where would one start? What would be the most likely component and what would be the least likely part that would cause this type of problem

Just to restate what our elevator is made up of:

This is a six year old elevator that is a simplex system 1. It uses a Logic Control system manufactured by Virginia Controls using a GE Fanuc 90-30 programmable control system 2. The Motor Control is a Variable Voltage Variable Frequency product made by Baldor 3. The Door Operator is a Permanent Magnet Solid State medium duty product manufactured by Elevator Controls

If anyone needs more info I get it

Thanks darrell

-- Darrell Uhearn (Darrell@themediaco.com), November 29, 2002.


Some controlers have a counter which keeps track of the amount of times a elevator tries to start (the counter is resetted after a succesful start). A start should occur within f.i. 5 seconds after the doors start to close. If the photocel is blocked, and the controler reopens the door, this is usually not counted as a start.

What might happen is that due to some tchnical reason (relais contact, door locking contact.??) the elevator cannot start after it has started closing its doors. After the start control time the elevator reopens its doors, increments ist start counter and tries to start again. If the start counter has reached its limit, it wil block the elevator.

Dalldos controlers f.i. block the elevator after 20 attempts to start.

So from the outside it looks like there is a door problem because the door reopens time after time or the controller indicates there is a door problem.

Your service company should check the start cirquit of the elevator, if they can't find anything, they should replace all relais, switches and/or contacts which are in the start cirquit.

Marcel Palmen

-- Marcel palmen (ncc1502@yahoo.co.uk), January 01, 2003.


Darrell, I suspect the reason you can't solve the problem is because it is in the G.E. Fanuc programming. The Fanuc is an industrial control that has been programmed to be an elevator. They are very reliable. (I have adjusted several) All it would take is an error in the program ladder to cause the problem you are experienceing. The only solution is to have your service company call Virginia Controls, describe the problem and let them go through thier program files and send a replacement PROM. The PROM takes about 15 minutes to change in the field. It will take several hours to set up and burn in their factory. You might want to call Virginia Controls and see if there is anyone in your area that does a lot of work on thier equipment. Good Luck. Fred

-- Fred Baltes (Elman101@pacbell.net), December 02, 2002.

It is still not clear whether you have a combination of electric eyes and a safty edge, or a door screen. If it has electric eyes there is a posibility that the eye has a time out feature on it. Suggestion, replace with one that doesn't time out.If it is the 90-30 electric eye input timing out, jump the electric eye input through a fire service contact to the door open button input. The output to the fire service warning lite could pick a relay that opens the jumper between the two inputs to provide normal fire service operation. If the problem still exisists then you have a defective door open limit switch on the operator causing a stall protection timer to shut the car down.

-- Chills (Chills@mac.com), January 01, 2003.

start chargin them..or maybe they need a gorrilla to stand gaurd to keep the door clear arent people grand

-- jag (gipp01@yahoo.com), January 04, 2003.

start chargin them..or maybe they need a gorrilla to stand guard to keep the door clear arent people grand

-- jag (gipp01@yahoo.com), January 04, 2003.

put a camera in the car to catch the @$%%^#$%^&&** blocking the edge PAX!

-- tone steroc (tonesteroc@hotmail.com), June 10, 2003.

make sure your door gate lock switch is making contact you can look on your input module to see if dgl is lit when the doors are closed.also make sure the contacts on the cam are making when the door is closed. the photo eyes need to be clean and in line with the reflector if you have that type.if it goes into nudging and the door doesnt close it will time out and must be reset manualy.you could install a relay to cycle control power after a time out but if the door is blocked you will soon burn up your door operator.

-- james r townsley (townsley1@charter.net), November 25, 2003.

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