Written by 

Dumbwaiters are a practical, time-saving appliance and are used in today’s residential and commercial buildings to facilitate the transportation of goods from one floor to another. Goods may include firewood, food, laundry, documents, equipment, books and mail, among others. The first known use of a dumbwaiter dates back to the Roman Empire; dumbwaiters were still in common use and assisting servants at Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello, Virginia.

Dumbwaiters, while similar to elevators, are not intended to carry people. Depending on the manufacturer and type, they can lift loads that range from 50 to 1000 lbs. They can be manually operated with a rope on a pulley, or have a more sophisticated operation type, such as a hydraulic system or an electrically operated system with motors and controls. The physical components of a dumbwaiter include an enclosed shaft, suspended movable frame, operation mechanics, and rails. The devices are typically made of elements which are similar to those used in commercial elevators, including the safety features, which include, for example, a magnetic door switch to prevent the system from running with open doors. Dumbwaiter cabs are available in stainless steel and also in high quality wood finishes. Door options include single, double or gated entries.

When selecting a dumbwaiter for home or office use, considerations should include: what you will be hauling, how heavy a load you will be lifting, how much space is available, operation type, style, manufacturer’s warranty and whether it is for new construction or for a retrofit. Manual dumbwaiters are less expensive than electric, motor driven models, although electrically operated dumbwaiters are far more convenient.

ASME A17.1-2000, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers code governs construction and/or operation of Dumbwaiters.

Last modified on Mon, Jul 12, 2010
Buildipedia Staff

The Buildipedia research and writing staff consists of dozens of experienced professionals from many sectors of the industry, including architects, designers, contractors, and engineers.

Website: buildipedia.com/
blog comments powered by Disqus