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Connecticut Mandates Design Changes

As Connecticut gets ready to adopt the 2013 code regulations on elevator pistons any building owner or overseer using systems dated before 1972 will be required to replace them. Earlier elevator designs used hydraulic cylinders containing single flat bottoms that are susceptible to causing safety hazards.

Why is it important now that I consider reviewing the status of my hydraulic piston?

Elevator codes require no-load hydraulic piston tests annually and full-load tests every five years. But it is impossible to know for sure what is going on under the surface, so there is no way to be sure if there is an oil leak. An elevator may pass the testing one day only to start leaking the next.

The cost of elevator repair to replace a below ground hydraulic jack can be substantial and leaks are always unexpected. If the jack moves a foot or more, and there is no visible signs of the displaced oil, chances are you have a leaker. But if the movement is several inches or less, more testing is still a lot cheaper than that complete jack replacement job.

Prior to 1972, in ground hydraulic jacks were made with flat bottoms with cylinder (standard pipe with a welded cap at the bottom) buried below. In 1972, the elevator code required that cylinders have a safety bulk head (double bottom). The bulk head provides protection against catastrophic failure from the whole bottom of the jack giving way, typically at the welded cap, due to deterioration of the weld and the pressure in the hydraulic system. But a double bottom doesn’t protect against the effects of electrolysis along the entire length of the buried jack. Most leaks these days occur somewhere along the length of the jack where is has been exposed to water or other unknown and unpredictable below ground conditions.

What are the consequences associated with hydraulic failure?

Any single bottom hydraulic cylinder has a greater potential to leak and, due to the system pressure, blow the end cap off the in ground cylinder. This would result in a rapid fall of the elevator potentially injuring any passengers, and causing hydraulic oil to leak into the ground.


  • As the in ground cylinder is not serviceable, it is excluded from elevator service agreements.
  • Catastrophic failures have caused sever injuries and deaths.
  • Typically owners are exposed to costly liability claims.
  • Repair or replacement in existing buildings is very disruptive and costly.
  • Any in ground leak can create environmental problems with escaping hydraulic oil contaminating ground water.

When the project begins what is the expected duration of elevator downtime?

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How long will the new hydraulic piston last after it is replaced?

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Working with Bay State Elevator to update codes...

Bay State Elevator will be providing service to the state of Connecticut helping in the conversion to the American Society of Engineers (ASME) Code A17.1 to ensure higher levels of safety both to the public and to maintenance technicians. Safety is not just an obligation but a requirement and adherence to the Code is also paramount in protecting yourself from potential liabilities. ASME A17.3 is set to be implemented December 2016 to provide assistance in retroactive conversion and will be achieved in accordance with regular inspections.

As an overseer this means that you need to determine if your systems are meeting current regulations and come up with a plan to act now. Bay State Elevator will ensure that you can move forward confidently by identifying outdated systems and installing the best system to meet your individual needs with our state of the art technology.

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Bay State Elevator's construction team is highly experienced in working with you and your business to install state of the art elevators. Every building and every elevator installation is unique. We have the experience and know how to make your project a success. We tailor the design and equipment directly to the needs and specifications of the project. We install all sizes and shapes of elevators, everything from a machine room less passenger elevator to heavy duty freight elevators. Our vast experience in maintenance allows us to make sure your elevator is installed correctly for your application and will stand the test of time. We stand behind all of our work, we offer some of the best warranties in the industry, and continuing maintenance for the life of your equipment. We are always ready to assist you at anytime during the life of your elevator and beyond!

Who should I call to schedule a survey today?

Contact us at: 105 W Dudley Town Rd.
Bloomfield, CT 06002
or call: (860) 243-9030

If you would prefer to send us an email with your question(s), please fill out the form below.


Any Connecticut building owner or facility manager with questions on the code regulations
or wishing to ensure their consistency with those regulations is encouraged to contact Bay State Elevator at
(860) 243-9030 or can message us at www.baystateelevator.us/contact-us