How to Choose a Dumbwaiter
5 Tips on Choosing a Dumbwaiter
- Will a dumbwaiter work in the home?
Before you choose a dumbwaiter, determine if is possible to install one in your home.
Will the dumbwaiter travel vertically through the floor to the correct landing? For example, if the dumbwaiter is installed in the garage to carry groceries, it must be able to travel vertically to the kitchen.
Are there any obstructions on or in the floor that may prevent the dumbwaiter from traveling straight up and down through the floors? Examples of obstructions may be toilets, bathtubs, plumbing lines, electrical wiring and weight-bearing floor joists.
Do you have enough space to build a hoist-way? The amount of space needed will depend on the model but be sure to leave room for the guide rail, cables and overhead. Generally, about 4 square feet is required. Having different door swings at different landings may increase the size of the hoist-way because of the interlocks.
- What is the dumbwaiter being used to lift?
Determine what the dumbwaiter is lifting. How large and heavy are the items that will be going into the dumbwaiter? Is it carrying large loads of laundry, groceries both or something else? A typical car is 20″w x 20″d x 30″h. Residential dumbwaiters generally have a weight capacity of 100 lb.–200 lb. One of our local pre-qualified dealers can help determine the size of car that will work for what the dumbwaiter will be lifting as well as the space that it is going into.
Most can travel up to 30ꞌ, but some will travel up to 50ꞌ. Travel is determined by measuring the floor of the car at the lowest landing to the floor of the car at the highest landing. Dumbwaiters are normally installed at 36″ from the floor which is “load level”—the height at which something is usually carried. This is also counter height.
- Number of stops
Decide how many stops the dumbwaiter should make. Most models allow up to three or four stops.
- Finishes and doors
- Car Finishes: Available in different finishes and materials. Usually powder-coated steel is offered as standard and stainless steel as an option.
- Cab gate: Important for keeping the load in when the car travels within the hoist-way. Available gates are roll top, bi-part and collapsible.
- Landing doors: Not included with the dumbwaiter, but the interlocks are so doors that match the home’s décor may be used.