A dumbwaiter is a, generally, small scale elevator used to move freight and materials between floors. They have been around for centuries and were incredibly popular in the Victorian era. Dumbwaiters have been extensively used in the food industry which may be where the word dumbwaiter comes from. In addition to being found in the food industry, they are heavily used in hotels, hospitals, and large office buildings. Residential dumbwaiters have always been prevalent in our society, but because of the cost and expense of constructing one, where only found in larger homes. In recent years the price of dumbwaiters has been dramatically reduced and they can be commonly found without having to have one custom built by a contractor.
In previous eras, most dumbwaiters were manually operated. They utilized a series of pulleys, ropes, and weights to lift or lower the devices. While the amount of work was significantly reduced by using the pulleys and weights, it could still be quite cumbersome to operate. Modern dumbwaiters typically use an electric motor to do the actual lifting which makes it much easier and does not put any undo stress on the owner.
Modern dumbwaiters use a series of call-send controls to send the dumbwaiter between floors. A simple push of the button is all that is required to send the unit to the next floor and it will automatically stop flush with the door. Most modern dumbwaiters use bi-parting doors that open vertically. They open in a manner that is similar to how an elevator door opens, but instead of going from side to side, open upwards. As a safety feature, a quality dumbwaiter will not open unless the doors are closed and it is important to not try to bypass this safety feature. The doors should also not open unless the car is present at the opening, so if the door is open and the car is not present it is important to immediately contact the dealer.
How to use Dumbwaiters?
While generally, the track system will remain free from obstructions, it is possible that something may obstruct the path of the car. A quality dumbwaiter utilizes a series of safety sensors and will stop if it encounters anything on the track. This is to prevent damage to the car and the track. Even with this safeguard, it is important to not drop anything down the shaft. If something does fall contact a qualified serviceman to have the object removed. There is a wide host of safety features present in modern dumbwaiters that are intended to help prevent accidents and improper usage of the device.
With the drop in price that dumbwaiters have undergone in the past few years has greatly increased their popularity in residential settings. Their popularity is not unfounded and is not based solely on the price, however. They add a whole degree of functionality to your home and are responsible for adding value to your home. If you have ever struggled taking clothes, floor, or other household objects up or down your stairs then a dumbwaiter may be for you.