'Homemade' Elevator in residence.

tony41January 10, 2007

Please don't shoot the messenger!

Friend has added a "Homemade" elevator in his home. He made a small car out of steel, without door & a electric winch (3200lb cap, 110v, purchased new just for this job) to drive it.

Winch is secured to basement wall & cable is routed through pulleys to top of car. Top pulley is secured using heavy piece of steel atop of ceiling joists of top floor.

Winch (Warn) a rectifier converts the 110 to I' guessing 12v DC for winch motor. Controller is hand held with momentary switches.

He wants to convert momentary switches to something else so he doesn't have to hold down the button.

As off now this set up doesn't have any safety stops.

I'm thinking a contactor (Double Pole) with DC coil. Run the 110 volt through contactor & continue to use handheld controller to energize coil. Auxiliary contacts in series with limit lever switches would allow elevator to go UP & Down without holding the Control button down & limit lever switches would shut winch down.

But where does Limit switches (LS) need to be. I haven't seen this Master Piece But I'm thinking the Car wobbels going in either direction to much for LS to trip correctly. A split bolt attached to cable could be attached at point that limit LS could stop Up motion. Because there is a length of cable that never winds through pulley or winch drum. And I'm thinking a 2nd LS would also trip for Downward motion.

This is out in county no inspector & homeowner will making connections.

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cuffs054

No, really, you're kiddin' right!?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 8:49PM
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doc8404

Tony - buy a high face value term life insurance policy on him and make yourself the beneficiary. You won't be sorry.

Doc

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 9:25PM
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Pooh Bear

Been a long time since I drew electronic symbols by hand.
But I think you will get the idea I'm trying to illustrate.

A = 3 position toggle switch. on-off-on
B = NC switch (limit switch for going up)
C = NC switch (limit switch for going down)
D = elevator
E = NO SPST relay (controls Up for winch)
F = NO SPST relay (controls Down for winch)
G = Winch

Flip toggle switch up to go up.
When elevator gets to top it opens the limit switch
and cuts power to the relay that controls Up on Winch.
Relay switch opens and winch stops.
When elevator stops flip toggle switch to center off position.
Flip toggle switch down to go down.
When elevator gets to bottom it opens the limit switch
and cuts power to the relay that controls Down on Winch.
Relay switch opens and winch stops.
When elevator stops flip toggle switch to center off position.

Load ratings of winches are often stated using
single line pull, single turn on winch drum,
and with a rolling load. (makes the winch sound stronger).
Use 1/2 to 1/3 of that number to get lifting capacity.
A winch may be able to pull a 12000 pound truck on wheels
but it may only be able to lift 4000 pounds straight up.

Should have went with a hydraulic system.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:56PM
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kudzu9

...and let's hope he doesn't have kids...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 1:50AM
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tony41

Thanks for your drawing Poohbear :) I have no idea how to post a drwaing.
This morning part of your theory circuit came to my mind also.
Could B & C switches handle the control load by them selves? This would eliminate E & F relays?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 12:05PM
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Pooh Bear

The relays control the high amperage circuit for the winch.
The controls don't need that many amps.
So you save money on running wire to the controls.

You could probably get switches rated for that much power.
But you will pay a lot of $$$$ for them.
Using the relays would be cheaper in the long run.

Pooh Bear

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 12:24PM
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tom418

Why not hire an old, unemployed elevator operator (like they had in the 60's)?!?!?

I remember a multi-story department store, Wertheimer's, in Upper Manhattan (NY) while I was growing up. They could have easily "automated" their elevator, ala Macy's downtown...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:14PM
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cuffs054

Ah, Tom they had those in the 40's and 50's. Not that I actually saw them...but I've heard rumors!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:53PM
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tony41

Would Automotive Supply House have suitable relays?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 9:58PM
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tony41

I forgot to mention the OEM controls originate from circuit board on winch. I'm thinking the Momentary Switches within the Hand Control Unit must operate relays on the Circuit Board. Thereby limit switches could handle the amperage load of winch.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Pooh Bear

In that case you may be able to omit the relays. (Disclaimer)
Just make sure the components you use are rated for the power required.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 11:34PM
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rjoh878646

I just hope this guy never has his insurance agent come to his house and see this thing. If he sees it he can say "bye-bye" to his insurance coverage.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:50AM
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mike_73

Haveing an elivator in your home would be cool but a homemade sounds dangerious. hopefully its not large enough to lift people. I can see how insurance would have some trouble with it then. but for freight or a dumb waiter I don't see much trouble.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 10:45AM
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rjoh878646

The ones that don't move people are dumbwaiters and you don't need a winch capable of handling 3200 lbs

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 10:59AM
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tony41

This is diffently being used to move adults & small children up & down. My friend said his grandson wasn't strong enough to hold down the existing momentary switches located on Hand Control Unit! ___ Here would be great spot for Flaming Red Flag Symbol!!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 5:36PM
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jason1083

Your fried does realize that winches are NOT rated/designed for vertical usage?

Also what kinds of safety measures are there on this 'elevator'?

My last point, anyone not strong enough to use the manufactures control should NOT being using the winch. ESPECIALLY NOT KIDS! I cannot help but wonder where your friend's brains are.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:31PM
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rar1

Your friend is insane! Jason is correct that most winches are not rated for vertical lifting, but some are. Even if your friend used one rated for vert. lifting, if the clutches or winch brake ever wear out , the elevator will free fall causing serious injury or death! I doubt this unit has any type of aux. safety braking to prevent a free fall in the event of winch or cable failure.

Dumbwaiters and elevators not only have upper and lower limit switches, they also have door interlock safeties that will not allow the car to move if the doors are not fully closed.

To tell you haw serious this is...there was a doctor, at a major hospital in Texas, that leaned into an elevator as the doors were closing, the car started to move and he was decapitated with his head landing the car full of people.
The investigation determined an employee with the elevator service comapny had by-passed the door interlocks so he work on the car.

One other thing, I doubt this arrangement would meet any firecode. Can you say open chimney for fire to spread from floor to floor.

If you can not convince your friend to stop this, walk away and save your self a lot of greif and guilt. You and others who have made suggestions here are not doing your friend any favors. Elevators and dumdwaiters should never rely on "backwoods" engineering.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 9:52AM
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jason1083

Anything rated for vertical lifting will be marketed as a "hoist"

Here is a link that might be useful: electric hoist

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 12:47PM
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kudzu9

I keep hoping to find out that this is a very clever spoof, but I'm getting the idea that it's not...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 2:26PM
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rar1

Spoof or not I can't beleive that people are actually trying to help such an idiot.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 4:39PM
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doc8404

Tony - my last thought on this whole matter - If your buddy ever says "Watch this, hold my beer." no matter where you two are and what you are doing, run like hell. Maybe you won't be killed along with him.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 5:59PM
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pjb999

I agree, there's no amount of spin you can put on this to suggest it's anything but a BAD idea, and Tony ought to consider, if he helps his 'friend' build this thing, I wonder if he could be held liable when the inevitable 'accident' happens.

As for "no permits/no inspectors" because it's out in the country, that's bs - all provinces and states have regulations and permits, although some may be enforced less heavily in some areas.

The insurance angle is a good point - if there was ever a fire or anything, when they spot the 'elevator' in the wreckage, I wouldn't be surprised when the insurance co declines to pay out, even if the fire or other incident's not related to the 'elevator' - read the fine print on the policy - if the house is not up to whatever code or regs, and this elevator isn't by any stretch of the imagination, it probably automatically makes the policy null and void. "Friend" may as well save the policy money.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 12:44PM
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saltcedar

pjb wrote"

"all provinces and states have regulations and permits"

Not Texas, most unincorporated areas have little to no
over site. Sewer and water do have permits/inspections.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 1:02PM
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davidandkasie

As for "no permits/no inspectors" because it's out in the country, that's bs - all provinces and states have regulations and permits, although some may be enforced less heavily in some areas.

no they do not. the state of MS has no statewide building code, and most counties do not currently have one either. the ONLY thing that has to follow a code statewide is the septic system. only people in cities over about 12k pop have codes, but most of the smaller cities don't even have an inspector. officially my county setup a building inspector dept last fall, but no codes have been adopted and they can't even begiin to find money to fund the employees that they still have not hired. so effectively we are codeless right now as well. hard ot pull a permit when the permit office does not exist!

if i wanted to wire my entire house with uninsulated wire tacked across the sheetrock, the state could say nothing to me. my insurance could, but no enforcement agency could do a thing.

i agree with you 10000% on all other areas of your post.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 1:03PM
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stickman_47

Wow, I didn't know there were so many "arm chair" elevator operators out there. You don't have to ride his elevator or pay his insurance bills. I too, have a homemade elevator that has an electric hoist with a worm gear drive, brake and it won't move with the power off. I also have a counter weight to offset the weight of the car. Poohbear was right on with the switch...I have the same switch on mine, and will install relays when I get the time.
The only thing about the other mans elevator is the winch...I wouldn't like that, or having it attached to a wall. My hoist is mounted on top of the frame, with the rigging running to the center of the shaft for a straight pull. The counter weight is a little off center, but it works well. I have the counter weight over weighted right now, and the car won't come down without my additional weight. And of course the grandkids do not play on it at all.
So, mine works well, and I like it, and being and old army paratrooper...if I can't fall 12 feet and walk away...I don't need to be upstairs.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 5:51PM
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sniffdog

tony - can you possibly get a picture of this contraption and post it?

I believe that we have a potential future darwin award winner here.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 7:58AM
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DavidR

Folks, note that Stickman dredged up an ancient thread from back in January. Tony's probably long gone. I mean from this forum, but who knows, he may be, uh, in the sub-basement by now.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 8:32PM
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