Are Dumbwaiters Illegal?

Although the term “dumbwaiter” has a wacky connotation, the beneficial device has been around since its origins. Dumbwaiters were originally driven by a rope and pulley mechanism that was derived from the elevator industry.

This type of equipment is still being made and sold today. Electric motors are used in most dumbwaiter lifts, but there are a number of other technologies that make the lift work.

At its most basic, the dumbwaiter was an elevator or lift used to move goods from one floor to another. Food and other items were transported between levels of huge homes with many staff members in order to keep things running smoothly. The term “dumbwaiter” was coined since no one could see or hear it.

Where is Dumbwaiter Used?

In the home, dumbwaiters can be used for a variety of purposes, but these are the most common types and applications.


Laundry use of these lifts is common. Installing dumbwaiter lifts can make doing the laundry a lot easier. Washing baskets can be moved from the laundry room to the upper floor with ease. If you don’t want to risk your safety by carrying a basket up and down the stairs, this is a good option.


People who have a woodstove upstairs may keep firewood in their basement. Transporting firewood can be dangerous and complicated, so why not make it simpler by installing a dumbwaiter that transports logs from one floor to the next?


This type of dumbwaiter is typically installed in a corner, where it may be tucked out of the way while still allowing for easy access. Countertops are a commonplace to find them, where individuals could use them to carry groceries or other items. The size of this dumbwaiter tends to be smaller and less noticeable, so it blends in with the room’s decor.


Supply and material deliveries can be made easier with a dumbwaiter installed in the garage. A dumbwaiter in the garage comes in handy for a variety of items, including heavy tools, groceries straight from the car, and other bulky household items.

For Dogs

A dumbwaiter can be a lifesaver for a senior dog or a dog with a disability. Install a dog dumbwaiter so that your pet can travel to the upper floors of your home without being restricted. When compared to other sorts, dog dumbwaiters are much more open, allowing your canine companion to enjoy the journey.

If It Is So Useful, Why Was It Illegal?

When did they become prohibited? Some unlawful dumbwaiters are still in use today. People have adapted machinery like garage door openers into a dumbwaiter-style vertical shaft transportation system.

These types of homemade devices, on the other hand, will not pass any codes and are extremely dangerous. They lack the safety features of modern dumbwaiter systems. This opens the door to the risk of harm or death.

They lack emergency safety switches, as well as, more significantly, door locking devices that are connected to the dumbwaiter controller. This permits the makeshift systems to operate with the hoist-way doors open, posing a significant safety risk, particularly for children.