A Guide To Dumbwaiter Maintenance


Dumbwaiters are commonly found in commercial units, multi-storey homes, hospitals and medical centres, and schools. While dumbwaiters are known for being reliable and durable, like all mechanical devices, even the most sophisticated models require regular maintenance. 

Here’s a closer look at how to maintain your dumbwaiter, some common issues that may arise, and how to avoid these issues through regular upkeep.

What Is A Dumbwaiter?

Dumbwaiters are small freight lifts often found in hotels and kitchen restaurants to transport food, laundry, pet supplies, tools, goods, and kitchen supplies between floors. Thanks to their compact and easy-to-use design, they’re especially popular in the service industry, offering a convenient and safe way of moving goods.  

1. Dumbwaiter Maintenance

To keep your dumbwaiter lift running properly, it’s recommended to have it inspected by a trained professional at least once a year. In between those inspections, keep an eye out for these three common issues.

2. General Wear & Tear

Dumbwaiters are often used in commercial spaces such as busy kitchens or hotels, where they’re being used hundreds of times a day. This constant use can lead to damage to the motor, pull rope, or guide rails. By checking for wear and tear regularly and repairing issues as they arise, you can prolong the life of your dumbwaiter lift. For example, regularly lubricating the guide rails can help to keep your dumbwaiter in tip-top condition. 

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3. Stiff Or Rusty Doors

Dumbwaiter lifts require regular servicing of the doors which can become rusty or stiff over time. Aside from the motor, the doors need the most regular maintenance checks because without working doors the dumbwaiter isn’t usable. Luckily, it’s super easy to maintain dumbwaiter doors with regular inspections. If you spot any signs of damage, stiffness, or rust, get in contact with your provider or a servicing expert and get it sorted out immediately.

4. Grime, Dirt, & Other Residues

Keeping your dumbwaiter lift clean and free of dirt or grime will vastly increase its lifespan. When dirt and grime is left to build up, it can cause damage to the motor, doors, transportation beams, and internal components. Regular cleaning can prevent this and keep your dumbwaiter running smoothly.

Now that you know what the three main causes of problems are, let’s see how a few regular maintenance procedures can save your device from major problems. 

Maintenance Procedures: A Checklist

Here’s a checklist of maintenance procedures recommended by service professionals to carry out regularly on your dumbwaiter lift. 

  • Inspect Safety Features On A Regular Basis

Most dumbwaiter lifts are fitted with extra safety features to ensure that the doors only open when the cab has reached a floor and stopped safely. These safety locks are incredibly important to prevent accidents such as people falling into the empty hoistway. Inspecting safety locks and other safety features should be a top priority and done on a regular basis to ensure the utmost safety when using the dumbwaiter. If you notice any issues with the safety locks, consult with a maintenance professional immediately and don’t try to fix them yourself.

  • Lubricate Regularly

As we saw above, a lot of general wear and tear can be avoided with regular lubrication. Check and lubricate the tracks, guide rails, and door hinges regularly. By reducing friction, not only do you prevent wear and tear but you prevent the dumbwaiter from making annoying squeaking noises when in use.

  • Have Your Dumbwaiter Cleaned With Professional-grade Solvents

Grime buildup can wreak havoc on your dumbwaiter, as we learned earlier in this article. The best way to reduce grime, dirt, or moisture buildup is to clean the dumbwaiter regularly with professional-grade solvents. When you notice grime buildup, it’s recommended that you contact a maintenance technician to clean your dumbwaiter using these professional-grade solvents. In between professional cleans, you can prevent buildup by cleaning with conventional cleaning products. Regular cleans will keep your dumbwaiter working properly and reduce the chances of having stiff doors.

  • Carry Out Regular Checks For Worn Out Components

While regular lubrication will extend the time it takes for moving parts to wear down, over time these components will need to be replaced. You may be unable to spot worn components yourself, which is important to have your dumbwaiter serviced by a trained professional. Replacing components when needed will reduce the possibility of needing larger repairs down the line.

  • Have Your Dumbwaiter Electrical Wiring Inspected By A Professional 

Another important area to inspect regularly is the electrical wiring in your dumbwaiter. This should be done regularly and by a professional technician. Faulty wiring is a huge safety hazard and can lead to fires. Ask the technician to also check the dumbwaiter insulation too. If you’re unsure of the regulations surrounding electrical wiring or insulation, check with the local building authority. The owner of the dumbwaiter is responsible for ensuring its safety and that it complies with local regulations.

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Key Takeaways

Dumbwaiter lifts are an excellent addition to any commercial space or home and with regular maintenance, they can last a long time. If you have a dumbwaiter lift on your property or are thinking of installing one, keep these maintenance tips in mind and carry out repairs in between yearly inspections to ensure your dumbwaiter works without a hitch for years to come. Failure to maintain your dumbwaiter lift properly could result in fire risks, breakdowns, irritating noises, and high costs to fix larger issues that have been left for too long.