Ask the Expert


Click to Ask John a Question!
Click to Ask John Your Question!
John Pierce, Rath Microtech Director of Sales
John Pierce
Director of Sales
800-451-1460 Ext. 138

ďThe inspector said that I need to install the 2100-Alarm
(Communication Failure Detection).
Why is this so important?Ē

2100-ALARM Communication Failure Detection

When trapped in an elevator, your first thought is to make a call on your cell phone, however, there is not always a strong signal in an elevator cab. When that attempt fails, your next response is to utilize the "emergency" communication option in the elevator. What if it is not functioning due to the line being down or inactive due to a service lapse?

To combat these line failures and service lapses, the following requirements of the Emergency Communication Device were adopted into the 2010 version of the A17 and B44 elevator codes.

2.27.1.1.6
(a) The two-way communications means within the car shall include a means to verify operability of the telephone line, where:

  • 1) Verification of the telephone line operability shall be automatically performed.

  • 2) Verification may be continuous or periodic.

  • 3) Periodic verification shall be at least on a daily basis.

  • 4) Verification shall not require activation of the two-way communications. If means other than a telephone line (e.g., VOIP, network, intercom, etc.) is used for the two-way communications, similar verification of this equivalent means shall be performed.

If the phone line is disconnected for any reason, the 2100-Alarm will provide an audible and visible indicator that the phone isnít working so maintenance staff can quickly restore communication.

The Rath Phones, along with the 2100-ALARM, can monitor Analog and Digital phones. For VoIP phones, contact us for our 2500-VOIPM - IP Line Monitoring Solution .

Click to watch our "How it Works" 2100-ALARM Video


"On the 2100-907RSA, we are using the alarm relay to trigger the phone monitor. Our inspector insists that the phone monitor should trip without any button being pushed. I explained that it is monitored "daily" per code. What is the exact time frame between self-testing?"

Our SmartPhones are field programmable for the time between self-tests. You can program the test anywhere from 5 minutes up to 23 hours. The standard out of the factory is 10 minutes.

Click the Standard Programming Manual to see how to program this frequency.


"Is there any code that defines what is acceptable with regards to elevator phones on an IP system?"

At this time there is nothing written into the elevator code that specifically calls out an IP line as opposed to an analog line. Everything is lumped together and must meet whatever version of the code is relevant in your particular area.

Rath does have an offering that meets all levels of the elevator code for analog, digital, and IP phone lines. The main ingredient is our 2100 series SmartPhone (version VI). As long as this model phone is installed in your elevator, you have the building block to be compliant with any of these phone line technologies.


"Our Fire Marshal is stating that the jack we provided in our elevators does not meet code and we are required to install an old school phone. Do you have these available without a dialer? The Fire Department will use the phone for two-way communication between the fire service panel and the elevator."

The old style phones are rarely used for elevators anymore because 99.9% of inspectors will not allow them.
With our standard phones you have two options to accomplish what you are asking, depending on what type of phone system is used.

1) Ring Down Line (phone system directs the call to a location in the building): You would program our phone into "Ring Down" mode.

2) There is an Auto Dialer on the Line: You would program a PAUSE into the phone number slot. This will allow the other device to generate the call and our phone will provide the two-way communication.

Our phones require an RJ11 jack for the phone line which is the FCC required connection for communication equipment.


"We have two buildings, one with three elevators and another with two.
We have five phone lines total. Would your products allow us to reduce the number of phone lines? "

Yes, you would be able to drop the number of telephone lines down to one or two with our SmartPhones depending on how far apart the two banks are and if it is feasible to tie them together.
I just need to know the make and model of your existing phones and we can provide you with replacements. An elevator maintenance company or an electrician will need to install them.


"Does your Cellular Interface meet the 2010-2015 version of the A17 and B44 Code for Emergency Communication Failure?"

When the A17 Code was amended to include Section 2.27.1.1.6, stating the elevator phone must check the telephone line at least once every 24 hours, it was written around a standard analog line. In the 2015 version of the code they state that if you are utilizing a line other than analog the phone must function in a similar manner.

We developed our SmartPhone to initially work on an analog line and then expanded that to include Digital, VoIP, and Rath Intercom Systems. Now we have this technology available with a Cellular Line, either CDMA or GSM. Our phone, in conjunction with our Cellular Interface, will monitor the Cellular Network and if it detects the network is unavailable it will cause the same emergency communication failure trip we provide today.

The wording for the Emergency Communication Device adopted into the 2010 version of the A17 and B44 Elevator Codes is as follows:
2.27.1.1.6
(a) The two-way communications means within the car shall include a means to verify operability of the telephone or communication line, where:
1. Verification of the telephone line operability shall be automatically performed.
2. Verification may be continuous or periodic.
3. Periodic verification shall be at least on a daily basis.
4. Verification shall not require activation of the two-way communications. If means other than a telephone line (e.g., VOIP, network, intercom, etc.) is used for the two-way communications, similar verification of this equivalent means shall be performed.
If the phone line is disconnected or is non-functioning for any reason, our 2100-ALARM will provide an audible and visible indicator that the phone isnít working so maintenance staff can quickly restore communication.
Rath Phones, along with the 2100-ALARM, can monitor Analog and Digital phones.


For VoIP phones, contact us for our 2500-VOIPM IP Line Monitoring Solution.
For Cellular, click here
Click to watch our "How it Works" 2100-ALARM Video.


"On the SmartRescue Base Station, what activates the relay contacts?"

When any of the phones attached to it make a call that SmartRescue relay will activate. It will then reset once the call is completed.


"I have a new building and the General Contractor is having trouble getting a phone line installed. What are my cellular options? What about VoIP?"

If you decide to go with cellular, we offer two options:
It would make the most sense to go with VoIP if there was already an IP phone system in place that could be leveraged. You would then need one of our 2100 series phones in the cab and a 2100-VOIPLC wherever your dedicated IP phone line would be (if you have a Base Station, it would be installed there).