Hydraulic Elevators

Hydraulic Home ElevatorOne of the safer and popular systems for homes, hydraulic elevators have a basic design of a car attached to a lifting system. The car, inside the hoistway, is attached to guide rails or a rope. Motion for the car comes from the hydraulic ram, a fluid-driven piston mounted inside a cylinder, underneath. 

The cylinder for a hydraulic elevator is connected to a system of a tank, pump, and valve that pumps hydraulic oil. In this system, the pump moves hydraulic oil (or a similar fluid) from a tank to a pipe connected to the cylinder, where the valve is. When the valve opens, the fluid goes back into the tank. When the valve is closed, the fluid goes into the cylinder, where it builds up and pushes the piston – and the elevator car – up. Once the car is approaching a floor, the elevator system sends a signal to the pump. When the car goes down, this process reverses.

Hydraulic elevators need more than hoistways and cars, however. A full system built into your home includes a pit and machine room. Before the elevator is installed, contractors from an elevator company survey your home and put together drawings for each of these features.

Installation for hydraulic elevators may take a few days, as the hoistway and entrances need to be constructed. The first steps of installing a hydraulic elevator include creating, or plumbing, the hoistway inside your home, adding the guide rails and hydraulic cylinder, and wiring the power unit to the controller. After this, the framework for the car and entrances are installed.

Because the car is not suspended inside the hoistway, a hydraulic elevator is considered a safer design in the event of an earthquake. Nevertheless, hydraulic elevators have been considered less environmentally friendly, although today's designs are more energy efficient. Maintenance of a hydraulic elevator, additionally, involves regularly changing the hydraulic oil or fluid.

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