Oh, er sorry, wrong floor.
July 22, 2015 7:37 AM   Subscribe

If you hit the wrong button in an elevator, is there a way to "de-select" that floor?

When I stepped in the elevator at work this morning, I accidentally hit the 5th floor button when I needed to go to the 4th floor. I then just hit "4" and got off when I needed to. The empty elevator then just visited the 5th floor for no apparent reason. I just as easily could have been forced to stop at the third floor if I had erroneously hit "3". I'm guessing this happens at least daily in larger buildings. Is there a way to end the madness?
posted by grateful to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
push the button again or twice again and it will deselect.
posted by nologo at 7:39 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not on any elevator that I hate on a regular basis.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:45 AM on July 22, 2015 [16 favorites]

@nologo - I just ran out to the elevator to try this...it didn't work
posted by grateful at 7:47 AM on July 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

It might depend on the elevator programming of course.
*But sometimes the button light is burnt out and you can't tell if it's selected anyway so it wouldn't be a reliable method in many places.
*And it happens at least once a day just to me in my building, so I can only imagine how often it must happen, overall.
*And it has caused me to become very quick to ask where people are going and to tell them to check in on 6 before they go up to ophthalmology on 7 and to actually sound friendly and helpful doing it. When what I really mean is "please for the love of all that's holy don't slow me down anymore."
posted by SLC Mom at 7:54 AM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

Deselecting floors works only on some elevator models.
Some work with nologo's suggestion of pressing the button again, or twice.
Other models will allow you to deselect floors if you hold that floor's button down for 5-10 seconds

Some elevators (again, not all) have a hidden express mode function as well: hold the "Close Door" button and your floor number for about 5 to 10 seconds, and the elevator will temporarily bypass all other floors to go to yours first.
posted by zarq at 7:55 AM on July 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

How to Hack an Elevator
Express Trick 1
Press the floor button and the close button at the same time for 5-6 seconds and the elevator will be in express mode. This will also skip any stops and go directly to your floor. This was successful on Dover and Otis elevators. It supposed to work on most Otis models except 1992, the Dover Elevators EL546 and EL0D862, and most Desert models.

Express Trick 2
Pressing and holding a floor continuously in some models might put the elevator in express mode on some select models. However, there is a caveat to this. The option must be turned on in software of the elevator. Older models have this turned on by default, but newer models have this option turned off by default.

Deselect a floor
Press a floor in an elevator and the floor is selected. If you made an accident and you want to cancel the floor selection press the floor button twice (after it has already been selected). This will deselect the floor selection on some models and cancel the elevator to make a stop on that floor.
I know that some Mitsubishi elevators allow you to deselect a floor by pressing the number again.
posted by zarq at 8:01 AM on July 22, 2015 [37 favorites]

I have been on some elevators that are programmed that way, and some that are not. I have no idea why it's not standard, because OMG INFURIATING.

I have also experienced the joy of 'close doors' buttons that work immediately, with no delay, and my god they are so beautiful
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:02 AM on July 22, 2015 [4 favorites]

I've seen elevators with a "CALL CANCEL" button that clears all selected floors. Not lately, though -- I think they've gone out of style.
posted by neckro23 at 8:30 AM on July 22, 2015

Some elevators have this. When I lived in Korea, ALL elevators had this and I was mesmerized by the genius of it.
posted by Brittanie at 8:33 AM on July 22, 2015

I have experienced one elevator where, if you press and hold the button of floor you are currently on, while pressing a previously selected button, you deselect it.
posted by BrashTech at 8:37 AM on July 22, 2015

Also a fair number of Elevators I Have Known automatically cancel any remaining floor buttons pressed after the last person exits, to prevent the Silly Children from pressing all the floor buttons and making the elevator stop on each floor even though the Silly Children have exited the elevator on Floor 2.
posted by janey47 at 9:47 AM on July 22, 2015

[Couple comments removed; I know we've all got our elevator peeves, but please stick to answering the specific question in here.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on July 22, 2015

Can you determine what the manufacturer of the elevator is? They all seem to have their own quirks.
posted by maxsparber at 11:03 AM on July 22, 2015

I'll check in a bit.
posted by grateful at 11:05 AM on July 22, 2015

Modern elevators definitely add to their logic whether someone has gone through the doorway or not. If you are going from the ground floor to the 4th floor and hit the 3rd floor by mistake, the doors will remain open longer on 3 if you do nothing compared to waving your arm through the doorway to tell the elevator that someone has boarded or disembarked, and it doesn't have to wait longer with doors open. It works better than the "Close Door" button, which only genuinely works in earnest when the fireman's key is inserted and turned to the manual/bypass "Fire Service" mode.

Not sure on the legalities of owning or using those keys while not being a Firefighter or an electrical engineer or someone in the elevator business, but it does seem to be relatively simple to obtain them on the internet.

Elevators do clear the buttons, but I don't think they really know how many people are on board (or whether people are on board)-- for decades I've seen elevators do this when they reverse their direction of travel. Completely hypothetical example: Disneyworld Resort Hotel in the early 1980s with >=20 floors; destination is floor 16, and hooligan child, which is not now and has never been myself, presses all the floors that have been passed on the way up so the elevator take an eternity to descend after the hooligan has disembarked. Upon reaching 16, and having no calls (either aboard the elevator, or hallway buttons) for the elevator above floor 16, is ready to start descending. At that point, hooligan child is disappointed to see his beautiful masterpiece glowing floor-button panel blink out as all lower floors are cleared off the board. Hooligan is demoralized and forever deterred from pressing all the buttons ever again.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:24 PM on July 22, 2015

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