Should My Building Have a Hydraulic Elevator

FAQs About Hydraulic Elevators

August 10, 2023

There are a few different types of elevators out there. If you’re looking to have one installed in your building, you might be considering a hydraulic elevator. They’re quite popular due to their safety and reliability, but as with any major renovation decision, it’s important to do your research. That’s why we’re here to answer a few frequently asked questions.

What Is a Hydraulic Elevator?

A hydraulic elevator is one of the most common types of elevators found in modern buildings. 

Their earliest iteration was invented by Sir Willian Armstrong in 1846, then known as the hydraulic crane. The system was supported by a heavy piston that moved in a cylinder and was powered by oil or water pressure inside the pump. These lifts began to replace steam-powered elevators by the 1870s.

How do Hydraulic Elevators Work?

Unlike traction elevators, hydraulic elevators don’t use belts or ropes. Instead, a hydraulic elevator works by using an electronic pump to push hydraulic fluid, like oil, into a cylinder, using pressure. The pressure created pushes a piston which smoothly lifts the elevator cab. To lower the elevator, electrical valves control the release of the oil, lowering the elevator cab.

This system is based on Pascal’s principle of transmission of fluid pressure. In a nutshell, the compression of fluids is used to generate control and power.

Is a Hydraulic Elevator Right for My Building?

Hydraulic elevators are typically best for low-rise buildings. This is because they require a piston to push them up from underneath, which limits the maximum height they can reach. So, if your building is less than 8 stories high, you’ll benefit the most from a hydraulic elevator.

You’ll also get the most out of a hydraulic elevator if you have a generally small building, as they’re very space-efficient. They’re often fast and safe to install, plus some designs don’t require machine rooms, saving time, money, and space during installations. 

On top of that, hydraulic elevators are generally a bit cheaper on average than traction elevators. They’re extremely energy-efficient, which saves money on utility bills, and the easy installation keeps remodeling and installation costs low.

Most importantly, if parts need repairs or replacements, Buckley Elevator has you covered. We can handle your piston replacement, in-house, from start to finish. Because we can do everything you need for hydraulic elevators without subcontractors, we can get the work done faster at competitive pricing. This streamlined process also allows us to get the job done with minimal disruption to the day-to-day workings of the building, so you won’t have to worry about losing out on business or inconveniencing tenants.

Basically, any low-rise building, whether residential or commercial, should consider going with a hydraulic elevator. It’s a safe, efficient elevator, and you’ll be able to count on us for repairs and maintenance.