Elevators – 3 Major Types


With the rise in need for comfort, elevators have become quintessential even at places which barely have any storeys to climb. With this, there has been a rise in available options in elevators to fulfil customized needs. Any elevator has a wide range of uses and functions. The most common types are the commercial elevators used to transport people or solely used to move goods and freight. The commercial elevator can vary in proportion to the building size, design and structure. Certain buildings are required to have an elevator installed to ensure the premises are easily accessible to all. These premises can include government buildings, hospitals and office complexes. Plus, there are the smaller versions of the elevator that are practical to install in the home and help the disabled.

A primary difference of the type of elevators relates to the working of the operating mechanism. On the basis of the most major mechanism on which the elevators function, we can classify them into three main types –

1. Hydraulic elevator

The hydraulic elevator is a very safe and reliable design that is even effective in emergency situations. It is built to stand up to most situations, including fire and earthquakes. They are among the easiest to maintain. The installation process of the hydraulic elevator and related components is quite complicated and time-consuming. But, once the elevator is installed the ride up and down the building is extremely smooth.

The hydraulic elevator isn’t a self-contained unit and requires a separate machine room. It is located above or below the hoist way. This room is used to house the controller cabinet and the hydraulic pump. There are plenty of other elevator systems that aren’t dependent on a machine room. They are compact enough to accept all parts within the car or hoist way. Plus, there are modern electric lifts that only need a separate cabinet for its computer system. Hence the only major drawback of a hydraulic elevator is that it takes up space, which is the most costly element in buildings today.

2. Pneumatic elevator

The pneumatic elevator, which is also referred to as a vacuum elevator, is built with a hoist system that is self-contained and does not rely on a separate machine room. The elevator moves up and down via a pneumatic vacuum that produces a high volume of suction. This elevator isn’t built to accept the heaviest of loads. It is generally limited to a few people per trip. But, the installation process and cost are a lot more attractive compared to the hydraulic model because there is no need for the machine room, saving space and hence money.

3. Electric elevator

The electric elevator is one of the most used systems. It can rely on counterweights or ropes to keep it suspended in the shaft. A high-powered motor is connected to a pulley system to lower and raise the cab. Similar to any type of elevator, it is essential to provide ongoing maintenance to maintain its working performance.


Hence, depending on your building size, space and budget, one can choose any elevator. Please ensure you take the advice of experts and maintain safety with convenience and budget.

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