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Next to a residential elevator, a dumbwaiter is one of the most convenient items you can add to your home. These small freight elevators carry objects instead of people, so they can be incredibly useful for transporting groceries, laundry, and other items from one floor of your home to the next. 

When George W. Cannon invented the dumbwaiter in the 1840s, they were usually referred to as a serving tray. Back then, they were usually operated with a rope and pulley system and eventually got their name because they could “silently” deliver food from one floor to the next. Today, they operate with much more modern technology. 

Now, they’re operated with guide rails with electric motors governors, and guide rollers which make for much smoother and quieter travel throughout your home. You often won’t even hear when your dumbwaiter is operating! 

If you’d like to learn more about the inventor who created the dumbwaiter, click here. 

There are a variety of uses for residential dumbwaiters, but at their simplest, they carry heavy things so homeowners don’t have to! Many people have them installed over their laundry room. In addition to laundry dumbwaiters, there are also firewood dumbwaiters, dog dumbwaiters, garage dumbwaiters, and many other uses. 

Now that you know more about the history and uses of dumbwaiters, let’s talk about how to use a dumbwaiter safely.

How to Use a Dumbwaiter Safely

Before you use your dumbwaiter for the first time, make sure you’ve read the entire owner’s manual before doing anything else. When Rise Above Elevator is at your home to install the dumbwaiter, be sure to ask us any questions that you have as well — we’re always happy to help our customers learn about their new equipment and we always explain how to use them properly before we pack up and head out. 

Once you’ve read the owner’s manual, you can begin to use your dumbwaiter, but here are some tips for doing so safely.

  • Adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule. There are many benefits of ongoing dumbwaiter maintenance including economical, safety, and sustainability. Learn more about our dumbwaiter services here 
  • Your dumbwaiter should be inspected at least once a year to ensure it’s operating safely and effectively
  • Don’t put items in that are too big or not intended for dumbwaiter use. For example, many dumbwaiters have a 200-pound weight capacity and adding any extra weight is not a safe practice.
  • Wait until the doors open fully before reaching inside of the dumbwaiter
  • Never allow children to play with the dumbwaiter and make sure to teach them not to get inside of the cab
  • Whenever possible, give the dumbwaiter a break before going floor to floor so it can cool down. Do not overuse it. 
  • Use a wet cloth to clean the interior of your dumbwaiter, and call a professional for yearly cleaning to ensure only the correct cleaning agents are used
  • Don’t use the dumbwaiter during a storm or when a power outage is expected
  • Be careful placing hot food or drinks in the dumbwaiter and use caution when removing them as well

Now that we’ve covered some tips for using your dumbwaiter safely, let’s explore some more information about dumbwaiter installation, repair, and maintenance. 

Dumbwaiter Installation

When you choose Rise Above Elevator to install your dumbwaiter, it generally only takes a few days to install a unit. Our dumbwaiters come in a variety of car sizes to choose from, and we also offer upgraded wood species and food-grade plastic. Cars come equipped with center parting doors to keep your cargo secure during transport. The Rise Above dumbwaiters are installed for up to 50′ of travel, and the cars are on for roller guides and have a chain of safety meant to keep your cargo safe during travel.

Dumbwaiter Maintenance

We stand by our full, two-year warranty to ensure quality of service. Be sure to follow our recommended maintenance guide, which includes keeping the tracks and pulleys lubricated as needed, as well as yearly inspections. We believe in the concept of doing routine maintenance on all dumbwaiter equipment to ensure quality, safety, and efficiency. 

Maintenance is important not only for the proper function of your residential dumbwaiter, but also for making sure it operates safely.

While we’re on the topic of maintenance, be sure to have a look at our elevator maintenance guide as well. 

Dumbwaiter Repair

If you do experience an issue with your dumbwaiter, give us a call and a State Certified Technician will visit your home and inspect the entire system to find the exact problem and what may have caused the malfunction and will promptly repair it .

Routine preventative maintenance can, in a lot of cases, prevent issues from occurring in the first place. But if proper maintenance is neglected and your dumbwaiter breaks down, we’re here to help.

Usually, your equipment will give you signs your dumbwaiter is not running efficiently. If you notice it’s making noises, cease operating it until you’ve had it serviced. Otherwise it could shut down and cause even more damage. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve had routine maintenance done for your dumbwaiter, give us a call! One of our state certified technicians will arrive for their appointment and perform maintenance on your equipment and look for any potential problems in a fast, friendly, and professional manner.