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  #1  
Old 06 April 2007, 11:48 PM
Beastly Despot
 
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Default "Door close" fake elevator button

A friend told me he "knew a guy" who used to work at an elevator factory (Otis elevator is, indeed, located here in Bloomington). He said the story he heard was that the elevator company added the "door close" button when people got frustrated waiting for the door to close. The catch is, the button is not connected to anything, it's just so people feel better.

I thought that was a funny story, if nothing else. Anyone have a clue if its true?
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  #2  
Old 07 April 2007, 12:03 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
 
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I believe the "close door" button is an artifact of the switch from elevators with manually-operated gates/doors to ones with electronically-operated doors (and from attendant-operated elevators to passenger-operated ones). The modern sensors/timers that automatically regulate the opening and closing of elevator doors came later.

- snopes
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  #3  
Old 07 April 2007, 12:07 AM
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lynnejanet lynnejanet is offline
 
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I don't think it's true. Most elevator doors actually close immediately after you hit the close-door button. Who knoes, though: maybe it's a coincidence.
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  #4  
Old 07 April 2007, 12:09 AM
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chillas chillas is offline
 
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I can tell you with absolute certainty, from riding the elevators at work from 6 to 8 times a day, the close door button does, in fact, function.
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  #5  
Old 07 April 2007, 12:25 AM
tribrats tribrats is offline
 
 
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Glasses

I don't have anything to add about the button. But I can tell you that if the transformer or power choke fail, Hubby or I didn't build it! The guy that worked at the machine next to me might have though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastly Despot View Post
A friend told me he "knew a guy" who used to work at an elevator factory (Otis elevator is, indeed, located here in Bloomington). He said the story he heard was that the elevator company added the "door close" button when people got frustrated waiting for the door to close. The catch is, the button is not connected to anything, it's just so people feel better.

I thought that was a funny story, if nothing else. Anyone have a clue if its true?
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  #6  
Old 07 April 2007, 01:23 AM
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Fantine Fantine is offline
 
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I've lived in two different high-rise buildings over the past 5 years, and none of the elevators had "close door" buttons at all. The doors closed after you hit ANY button (except for the "open door" button).
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  #7  
Old 07 April 2007, 04:06 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
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well, in the elevators i've been in I know the close door button WORKS,

the one in my apartment building, (otis elevator btw) had an "individual service" key, which locked out the normal functioning of the elevator so you could load it up with stuff, bring it down to the main level to load up a truck. to make it move at all, you needed to hold down the close door button until the door closed then and only then would it go up or down to the floor specified.

so if some people do disconnect them, they're also disconnecting that feature if available on that particular model of elevator
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  #8  
Old 07 April 2007, 09:33 PM
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I distinctly recall having this same conversation on the old board, and the results were the same. I'm sure it all comes down to the specific elevator and how the owner/operator has programmed it to work. FWIW, the doors on the elevator at my work don't close until you push the door close button--it just sits there with the doors open and if you walk in and press a button the doors still won't close; it'll sit there all day until you press the door close button and only then will it begin its journey. I'm sure this is something that almost any elevator can be programmed to do.
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  #9  
Old 07 April 2007, 10:11 PM
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Eddylizard Eddylizard is offline
 
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I don't know about the door close button, but at the building where I used to work, we used to have some fun with the excess weight sensor. Basically our company was on the top two floors of a six story building, and another company occupied the four floors below. For some reason their employees were all snotty bastards who treated us like something on the bottom of their shoe.

So at going home time (or lunch) a few of us would get in the lift. Nowhere near overloaded. As the lift slowed to one of their levels we would jump up and down a few times. If you get this right, you can trip the overweight sensor.

When the next passenger got in, the lift would stubbornly refuse to move. Then someone would point to the "Maximum weight limit x Kg sign." "Sorry, it's probably overloaded, you'll have to get out."

The snotty would display obvious confusion, but bow to the LIFO rule and get out, at which point the sensor would reset itself and we could carry on down.

Very childish, but amusing.
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  #10  
Old 07 April 2007, 11:38 PM
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Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
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When an elevator is in "service" mode - like when you are using it to move in to an apartment and with a key, you have taken direct control of it - the "close door" button not only works, but is necessary. The typical form of control is that the door must first be closed before you select your destination - all "calls" for the elevator are ignored in "service" mode - but the elevator won't leave to your destination without the door being closed. (In this mode, it also goes point-to-point, rather than to a "queue" of destinations.)
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  #11  
Old 12 April 2007, 05:19 PM
Duckie Queen
 
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Glasses

I ride the elevators many times a day. Cafe is at the bottom of the building and I'm too lazy to make my own lunch. Close button is a sick tease. It does not work at all. In a bank of 5 elevators, 1 of them is horrendously slow closing and no matter how many times or how hard you press the close door button nothing happens. The other 4 close on their own rather quickly. I still press it because I don't like sharing small spaces with smelly people.
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  #12  
Old 13 April 2007, 07:55 AM
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Dactyl Dactyl is offline
 
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At the place I used to work, which had three lifts on either side of the foyer, the close buttons didn't seem to do anything. The doors closed immediately after you'd selected a floor or automatically after a minute or so if nothing was pressed. The close door button itself seemed to make absolutely no difference to the speed in which anything happened. In fact, people even used the phrase "as useless at the close button"!).

After reading this thread it appears that maybe the point of it was for when the lift was in service rather than in general operation.
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  #13  
Old 13 April 2007, 02:05 PM
stalker stalker is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastly Despot View Post
A friend told me he "knew a guy" who used to work at an elevator factory (Otis elevator is, indeed, located here in Bloomington). He said the story he heard was that the elevator company added the "door close" button when people got frustrated waiting for the door to close. The catch is, the button is not connected to anything, it's just so people feel better.

I thought that was a funny story, if nothing else. Anyone have a clue if its true?
I guess true. Because giving frustrated customers a solution that says it does what they want, but doesn't actually do anything is one sure way to appease them.
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  #14  
Old 13 April 2007, 03:59 PM
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DrRocket DrRocket is offline
 
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I worked at an elevator company for two years, and can tell you that, if equipped, the button does indeed work. But it's up to the buyer to determine if that button is needed.

[hijack]I was talking to one of the servicemen one day, and he told me that when he was sent to free up a jammed car in an office building, he always asked how long the passengers had been in there, and did they come out of a meeting. If the answers were "Longer than a half hour" and "Yes, they'd just gotten out of a (coffee soaked) meeting." He always advised people to not stand in front of the door, as the chances were good the by-now desperate people inside would knock any obsticles over on their way to the restroom. He told me the first time he ran into that situation, one unfortunate soul in the way had shoe prints up the front of his shirt.[/hijack]
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  #15  
Old 28 June 2010, 06:17 PM
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Comment: Hi Snopes! Thanks for all the great work. Here's the story:

"In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early
nineties, the door-close button doesn't work. It is there mainly to
make you think it works."

This one is from The New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...act_paumgarten

While the answer is almost certainly "some work, some don't", it would be
nice to shed some light on where the story comes from, if the buttons are
indeed sometimes intended as a kind of placebo solution, if it's a local
(US) phenomenon, etc.
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  #16  
Old 28 June 2010, 06:41 PM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
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Most of the elevators I've been in will close almost immediately after pushing the Door Close buttons. A couple did not. I'm thinking the buttons were just broken and nobody had gotten around to fixing them yet.
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  #17  
Old 28 June 2010, 08:36 PM
KirkMcD KirkMcD is offline
 
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I don't remember where I heard it, but some of the door close buttons have a slight delay built-in. I forget why.
That's why they seem not to work all the time.
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  #18  
Old 28 June 2010, 08:44 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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The door close buttons in our work elevators work awesomely. Sadly, they are positioned right above the door open button, and all the buttons are so low to the ground in order to accommodate those in wheelchairs, that one can often hit the door close button while trying to hit the door open button.

All while you're telling your colleagues on the other side of the door that you're trying! For the love of God, you are trying!!
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  #19  
Old 29 June 2010, 12:50 AM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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In the parking tower I use, completed in about 2007, the door close button definitely works. The button instantly closes the door, whereas just pushing a floor button seems to initiate about a 5 second wait before the door closes. If no buttons are pushed the door closes automatically after about 30 seconds, or sooner if the call button on another floor is pushed.

So, based on my and other posters experience, I think the myth is busted. The button is supposed to work in the vast majority of elevators.
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  #20  
Old 29 June 2010, 05:00 AM
WakeTurb WakeTurb is offline
 
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I'd imagine that it is a programmable feature and that in some elevators it's programmed to work and in some others it's programmed not to. I've been on some elevators where it made the doors close and some where it didn't.

Also, some of the buttons might be there more for when it's in firefighter mode.
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