Elevator Repair Cost

The cost of reparing an elevator is between $800 and $1,600.

In this guide

Things to consider
Safety inspection
Common elevator problems and repairs
Labor
Repair, replacement, and modernization
National Elevator Code
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and cost
FAQs

How much does it cost to repair an elevator?

All elevators need regular maintenance and an occasional repair to ensure smooth, safe and trouble-free operation. Generally, residential elevators have a long life span because they are not used very often, unlike elevators at workplaces. With proper care, you can expect your elevator equipment to last up to 20 to 30 years.

An emergency visit to repair a stuck elevator door can cost you around $1,450-$1,600.

Things to consider

Generally, a professional elevator repair contractor or technician may ask for the following information before accepting the job. This helps them understand the problem and determine a proper course of action.

  • Is the elevator still running?
  • Has anyone carried out the troubleshooting guidelines in the elevator manual?  
  • Are there any visible signs of damage to the elevator?
  • When was the elevator installed?

Safety inspection

Since home elevator inspection guidelines vary greatly from state to state, your local authorities will be able to guide you on the correct frequency for carrying out a safety inspection. You may be required to have a safety inspection after installation, any major upgrades or at six month or 12 month intervals, depending on where you live.

Even if there is no mandatory requirement for an inspection, a periodic annual inspection will help ensure that your unit is in top running condition. Typically, an elevator inspection will cost you between $200 and $500. The test should be carried out by a representative from your elevator service company in the presence of a licensed and certified elevator inspector.

Common elevator problems and repairs

Though most elevators are highly safe and reliable, they are still mechanical devices with a lot of moving parts and may develop some problems in normal operation. Some common types of elevator problems you may face are stuck elevator, slow operating speed, increased downtime, bumpy riding, weird operational noises, call box or control panel not working, increased power consumption, and malfunctioning elevator door (opens and closes at the wrong place or is unable to sense an obstruction). An emergency visit to fix a stuck elevator door can cost you as much as $1,450-$1,600. Standard traction steel elevator wire rope can cost between $1.5-$2.5 per feet.

Other elevator repairs you may run into are as given below.

Type of repairCost
Elevator door hardware (electrical)Up to $800
Elevator door hardware (mechanical)Up to $1,200
Landing entrance doorsUp to $2,785
Piston repairUp to $3,000
Cloth traveling cables (replacement)Up to $3,000
Cab operating panelsUp to $4,000
Elevator cab wiringUp to $4,000
Controller wiring (replacement)Up to $4,000
Piston gripper installationUp to $15,000
Motor replacementUp to 11,500


Labor

Your elevator repair contractor may charge you either per visit ($250-$300 per standard maintenance visit) or by hour ($38-$70 per hour for repairs or troubleshooting). The former generally involves oiling and greasing the moving parts of the elevator, replacing parts that are worn out, and making adjustments for optimal performance. While an elevator repairman may work on many projects in a day, if a person is stuck inside the elevator, they give that job the highest priority.

Repair, replacement, and modernization

While repair refers to overhauling or renewal of the elevator components to maintain operation in line with the general codes and standards, replacement means substituting an entire component of the device with a similar one for ensuring operation in line with the codes and standards. Modernization, on the other hand, refers to adding upgrades or new features to an existing elevator system.

Like any other mechanical device, all parts of the elevator have an expected lifespan. If the equipment has outrun its expected lifespan, then it would turn out to be cheaper to replace the equipment than repair it. On the other hand, if your elevator is more than 20 years old and you are observing many warning signs such as repetitive repairs and frequent shutdowns, it may be a good candidate for modernization. Common problems such as doors not closing or opening properly can be easily resolved with repairs.

National Elevator Code

Since an elevator is basically a complex machine that can cause a huge hazard if its operation is not governed by a standard code, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has put together uniform safety requirements for the design, testing, installation, operation, repairs and maintenance of elevators. This is commonly known as ASME A17.1 and can be a useful guide to determine if you need to repair, replace or modernize your elevator.

Enhancement and improvement costs

  • Regular maintenance of your home elevator will keep the unit running smoothly, ensure the safety of the people using it and also keep your repair costs down. A typical annual elevator maintenance contract is priced at $3,500-$5,000 per year with monthly or bi-monthly visits.

Additional considerations and cost

  • It is generally recommended that the same company, which did the elevator installation, also do the maintenance and repair. Another option is hiring a repair contractor who is factory-authorized and performs repairs using original parts from the manufacturer.
  • Generally, repair costs tend to be higher for elevators with longer tracks. This is because bigger elevators and longer tracks require longer chains and cables, which adds to the total cost of spare parts.
  • In some cases, you may need to upgrade the property's electrical capacity and wiring to operate the elevator, especially if it is a newer model and is very sensitive to voltage fluctuations.
  • You can cut down on elevator repair costs by taking proper care of your unit. Schedule regular maintenance visits and ask your contractor about installing protective circuitry to prevent damage due to voltage fluctuations.
  • Since ordinary home insurance may not cover your elevator, it is important to buy liability coverage for your home elevator against any accidents that can cause damage to person or property.
  • Though it is not required for an elevator contractor to be certified, certification from the The National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) can indicate competence and expertise in the niche.
  • The type and frequency of elevator inspection may vary from state to state. Some states require an annual inspection. Other states may mandate an inspection for residential elevators only in case of any installations/alterations.

FAQs

  • How much is an elevator for a house?

On an average, a hydraulic home elevator costs around $20,000 with an additional $10,000 or more for installation. A pneumatic elevator is less expensive and can be installed for a total cost of $10,000.

  • How much does it cost to put in an elevator?

Pneumatic elevators are comparatively cheaper than hydraulic elevators and can be installed in a home for a total cost of $10,000. Hydraulic elevators cost around $20,000 with installation costing an additional $10,000 (for one floor with standard cab).

  • How much is a chair lift?

A basic straight stair lift or chair lift covering 16 feet of rail, chair, chassis and remote controls will cost between $2,000 and $5,000.

  • How long an elevator will last?

Generally, a home elevator has a longer lifespan (20 to 30 years) than commercial elevators because they are used less often.

  • How do you become an elevator mechanic?

Elevator mechanics need a high school diploma or equivalent and have to undergo a 4 year apprenticeship before they can practice their trade. This includes at least 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-job training per year. 35 out of the 50 states in the US require elevator mechanics to be licensed.

  • What does an elevator constructor do?

Elevator constructors or elevator mechanics install, fix, repair, and maintain elevators, moving walkways, escalators, and stair lifts in buildings.     

  • How much does an elevator mechanic make a year?

The median annual wage for an elevator installer/repairer was $78,890 in 2016.

  • How do elevators work?

The elevator is essentially a pulley system driven by a powerful electric motor. Steel or metal cables may be used to connect the elevator car to the pulley system. Other important components include the counterweight, which helps the motor raise or lower the car, and the computer system, which works on the elevator algorithm.     

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Cost to repair an elevator varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Berkeley, CA
+39%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cape Coral, FL
-9%
Chandler, AZ
-2%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Columbia, MO
-19%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Easton, PA
+13%
Evansville, IN
+7%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Herndon, VA
+16%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntington Beach, CA
+24%
Jaffrey, NH
+6%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Kamuela, HI
+13%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Murfreesboro, TN
-7%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
New York, NY
+77%
Nokomis, FL
-11%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Port Saint Lucie, FL
-18%
Portland, OR
+11%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Francisco, CA
+53%
Santa Ana, CA
+20%
Seattle, WA
+9%
Skokie, IL
+40%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Stamford, CT
+47%
Tallahassee, FL
-14%
Tampa, FL
-2%

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources