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  • Writer's pictureRyan Kraven

Act Now: Deadline Approaching for Elevator Code Changes

Updated: May 1

Free-falling elevators often serve as a dramatic element in Hollywood plots and cause fear in the riding public. However, the likelihood of an elevator dropping unexpectedly is minimal, thanks to the counterweight and multiple steel cables designed to prevent such incidents.

While a free-falling elevator is nearly impossible, an elevator can rise quickly when proper safety measures are not installed. The most common occurrence is the single brake failing and the elevator drifting up or down creating possible tripping hazards or worse.    

In response to accidents like these, the Elevator Industry updated code changes, mandating the installation of rope grippers on all newly installed or newly modernized traction elevators.

Additionally, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17.3 – 2002 code requires existing traction elevators to either have a rope gripper installed or modify single plunger assemblies to dual plunger types by January 1st, 2027 in New York City. Other jurisdictions around the country are considering this code mandate as well.

Elevator Code Changes: What’s the Difference Between a Dual Plunger Brake Assembly and Rope Gripper?

The dual plunger brake assembly physically stops the elevator car by engaging with the guide rails in the hoistway. It utilizes two plungers to create friction against the guide rails, bringing the elevator to a controlled stop. New gearless machines come equipped with dual brakes.

Rope gripper equipment by GAL manufacturing
Rope Gripper Equipment

Rope grippers, on the other hand, clamp onto the hoisting ropes. They engage when the elevator experiences unexpected movement, preventing it from falling or ascending too quickly. The design ensures that the clamp does not damage the ropes or stress the machine.

Either method will require additional modifications to the elevator system, as it involves making physical changes to the braking mechanism and guide rails. Installing a rope gripper is often considered a more straightforward and cost-effective alternative. It involves attaching clamps to the existing hoisting ropes and interfacing them with the elevator controller.

Most companies can install a rope gripper within 6 – 10 weeks from quote approval, depending on the type selected. Typically, the material lead time for these parts is four weeks, with a week long installation period for the mechanics.

Was Your Elevator Installed or Modernized Before 2005?

If you manage a property or own a building that is close to 20 years old, it may be more cost effective to modernize your elevator instead of installing a dual plunger brake assembly or rope gripper. Modernizing now:

  • Prevents unnecessary repair costs: While installing a dual plunger brake assembly or rope gripper addresses specific safety concerns, modernization provides a complete upgrade that addresses multiple aspects of the elevator system, reducing the likelihood of future repair costs. New gearless machines come equipped with a secondary brake.


  • Ensures your elevator meets the latest code requirements: Elevator safety codes and regulations are periodically updated to address emerging safety standards. Modernizing ensures that your elevator system aligns with the latest code requirements, promoting the safety of passengers and compliance with industry standards.


  • Enhances reliability and improves performance: Modernizing allows for the integration of the latest elevator technologies, improving overall system reliability and performance. Upgrading essential components during modernization enhances the reliability of the elevator, leading to reduced downtime and improved efficiency in daily operations.


  • Upgrades appearance, improves user experience, and increases building’s value: Older elevators may lack the modern design and appealing features found in newer models. Modernization offers an opportunity to upgrade the appearance of the elevator’s interior and exterior, providing a more visually appealing and contemporary look. This may include cab walls, flooring, lighting, buttons, and other fixtures.

Modernization provides long-term benefits and property owners and managers should consider the advantages of modernization when evaluating the best course of action for their elevator systems. It may save money in the long run instead of having to add a rope gripper now and then modernize in the near future. It’s important to develop a plan NOW before the January 1st, 2027 deadline.  

Unsure if Your Elevator Meets the Mandatory Code Requirements? 

Property managers or building owners facing uncertainty regarding their elevator system's compliance with the latest safety regulations can proactively reach out to Metro Elevator. Our team offers a free consultation to assess the current state of your elevator system and provide expert guidance on meeting mandatory code requirements.

During this consultation, Metro Elevator's experienced professionals will thoroughly examine your elevator's components, safety features, and overall compliance with the updated ANSE 2000 and ASME A.17.3 – 2002 codes.

Metro Elevator's consultation service extends beyond a simple compliance check. It serves as an opportunity for property managers and building owners to gain valuable insights into the condition of their elevator systems. Our experts can identify potential areas for improvement, recommend proper safety solutions, and outline the most cost-effective measures for achieving compliance.

Whether it involves the installation of rope grippers, dual plunger assemblies, or a complete elevator modernization, Metro Elevator aims to guide clients towards informed decisions that prioritize both safety and cost efficiency.

Don’t wait until the last minute! 

With the looming January 1st, 2027 deadline for NYC elevator code compliance, it is necessary for property managers and building owners to take proactive measures. Waiting until the last minute could lead to increased demand for services industry-wide, resulting in higher costs and longer lead times.

By starting the compliance evaluation process now, property owners can get ahead of the curve, avoiding potential delays and ensuring a smoother transition to updated safety standards. Metro Elevator encourages clients to act promptly, allowing plenty of time for a thorough assessment, proposal of optimal solutions, and seamless execution of any necessary upgrades. Taking early action not only promotes elevator safety but also helps reduce potential financial burdens associated with rushed service requests as the compliance deadline approaches.

Contact us today for a free consultation. If you own or manage a property in New York City, contact our New York Division directly.

Additional Code Requirements

Elevator code requirements through the ASME are updated every three years. Depending on where your building is located, your jurisdiction may adopt the current code or continue using previous codes. It can be a confusing and cumbersome landscape to determine if your elevators are following the correct code standards.

Metro Elevator has locations from coast-to-coast to help you evaluate your current elevator systems and determine next steps. With locations in New England, New York, Virginia, Raleigh, the Carolinas, Coastal Carolina, the Northwest, and NorCal, we are committed to elevating safety and reliability in the elevator industry.

Each Metro Elevator division is locally owned and operated, guaranteeing the highest level of service and attention. At Metro Elevator, you can expect clear contracts and transparent billing without hidden fees or confusing terms. We’ll work with you to develop a plan and budget that meets your needs, whether that includes adding a rope gripper or a full modernization, we’re with you every step of the way.    


Ryan Kraven has over 20 years of elevator industry experience and is currently President of Metro Elevator New York. Learn more about Ryan and his team.


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