Symmetry Elevators Blog: Articles About Home Elevators & Lifts

Elevator Control System Operations & Codes

While you may be familiar with the way that a commercial elevator works, there are actually a number of control systems available for residential and light commercial elevators and lifts, and each functions in a slightly different manner. Prior to installation, it is important that you understand what type of control system your elevator or lift utilizes.

The 4 Main Types of Elevator & Lift Controls

  1. Selective Collective Operation – When you go to use a standard commercial elevator, you know what to expect. You press the button in the hall, indicating you want to travel to the floors above or the floors below, the elevator door opens, you and others board the elevator. You want to go to floor 2, but someone else wants to go to floor 5, so one passenger presses the 5 button, and you press the 2 button.  The elevator doors close and starts going up in this instance.  The elevator then stops at floor 2, the doors open, and you exit the elevator.  The doors close again, and the elevator proceeds to floor 5.  This type of operation is called Selective Collective operation.  This is a standard operating system for most commercial, and Limited Use/Limited Application (LULA) elevators.
  2. Constant Pressure – Constant Pressure control systems act exactly as they are described. In order for the machine to move, the button must have pressure maintained, thus the term,  constant pressure.  Once the pressure is removed from the button, the machine will stop.  This type of operation allows the user to stop mid-travel or even change direction prior to arriving at a floor. This is the only system allowed by code for wheelchair lifts.
  3. Nonselective Collective – Nonselective Collective controls are frequently used in residential elevator applications. This type of operation is task-oriented, in that the elevator will sequentially respond to a call.  This means that when you are at floor 2 and push the button, the elevator will come to you, when you enter the car and press floor 1, the car will travel to floor 1.  The elevator will respond in the order the call was received, so if you were to press the buttons for floors 1,6,2,5, and 4 it will go to the floors in that order.
  4. Single Automatic – Single automatic operation indicates that there is no collective function to the control system. It is a task-oriented system that has a momentary push button contact.  You will push the button once, the elevator will go to the floor requested, and then wait for its next command.  This type of control is most frequently used for vertical reciprocating conveyor applications.

Next Steps

As you begin to determine the most appropriate control system for your lift or elevator, contact a local home elevator company. They will make sure that you understand the options available and how the controls to your elevator will work.

If you would like to learn more on how elevators work check out our post, How Do Residential Elevators Work?

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