"Close Door" Button In Elevators

I’m sure you’ve all seen the “Close Door” button in elevators. My question is, have any of you actually seen it work? You know, you get into an elevator, you are obviously the only one who is going to be taking this elevator, you choose your floor, and then you sit there and wait. And wait. And wait. You would think that a button that says “Close Door” would actually close the door. After all, the “Open Door” button works just fine. But no, it takes just as long for the door to close as it would if you never pressed it in the first place. Is this button just there to make us feel better? Is it even hooked up to any wires? I’ve been working in office buildings for years and have yet to see one that actually does anything. Anyone else notice this?

It only works when you try to walk out,or stick your head out.Then it closes!

Try and run between the raindrops!

It’s not connected to anything.

For safety reasons, it’ll only close when its ready to do so safely.

They work sometimes. Most decent elevator systems have a minimum “door open” time, for safety reasons. If your building has set the standard time to the minimum (as my building has), than no, the button won’t work.

In some busy buildings the elevators have long “door open” times (there’s doubtless a better term, but I don’t know it). On these, the “close door” button works. Most hotel elevators do this, as do the elevators at the World Trade Center. Some residential buildings have elevators that are configured never to close until the magic button is pushed, so the door doesn’t close while you are still loading groceries into it. Freight elevators usually work the same way.

Finally, the “close door” button is the only way to close the door when the elevator is in manual mode or fire mode.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Actually it is there for a couple of reasons.

  1. So you can shut the door on the face of a co-worker that is about to enter the elevator that you do not want on with you.

  2. So that when you are being chased by a madman if you are good or a cop if you are bad and you run into an elevator you can push the button so that the madman/cop has to take the stairs. They of course get there right behind you, but they are too tired to do anything once they catch you.


If you find yourself in a building where the close door button actually functions, the residents of said building LOVE to inform you of the fact.

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StrTrkr777 pointed out

However, this only works in movies and on TV and then it works so well that even Arnold Schwarzenegger can’t keep the doors from closing once they’ve started to shut.

Maybe we should write to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and get some of their elevator close buttons. Stoidela, don’t you live out there? Can you get us some? Wholesale?

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The company line from Otis is that the Close Door button works when they ship out the elevator, but most building managers disable it for fear of injury.

It works in my building, which is a public library. It works on both the staff and public elevators.

It doesn’t really save that much time unless you are among the most impatient people who have ever lived.

The Westin on Michigan Ave (Chgo) the close door button works. If I press it the door shuts immediately. If I wait there is about a 3-5 second delay.

Of course if someone steps in the elevator as you press it the door reopens and you must press it again.

Cecil on elevator door buttons:


I have had the button work in confirmably affirmative fashion in multiple elevators.

Thank you, Nickrz, I was gonna post the link too. By the way, my brother lives in Singapore where he says the close door buttons on elevators really do something.

The “close door” buttons are connected electronically; they read your vital statistics from your fingerprint, and information (telephone number, e-mail address, etc) is sold to spam-e-mailers and to telemarketers.

It’s a really lucrative business.

try www.otis.com www.elevator-world.com

Also, why hasn’t anyone of you opened your phone book, looked under elevators, called them and asked?


[[Also, why hasn’t anyone of you opened your phone book, looked under elevators, called them and asked?]]

Whatchu tryin to do here, Handy, eliminate the reason for this site?
(Yeah, like you can trust elevator people to tell you the truth about this. They’re in on it, too.)

Dex, that is why we love ya. Raging paranoia coupled with TOWERING rage. Bless you and your spawn.


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The CDBs in my building are on the same circuit as the thermostat in my office.

And what about those “press to cross intersection” buttons on street lights? I know damn well they aren’t connected to anything, as (in the small town where I live) I have timed the lights with and without the button having been pressed. You could grow old and die waiting for a green light.

AND ANOTHER THING (I am swiftly turning into a cranky old lady) about elevators–why do people waiting for it press the UP button when it is obviously already pressed? Like, the elevator’s going to hurry just for them, or something?

The little-walking-guy buttons at the intersection near my church definitely work. And they work NOW… the traffic light usually goes yellow within seconds (Exception: if you JUST MISSED the last cycle, you might have to wait a little while before it resets).

However, I’ve seen others that as nearly as I could determine didn’t do anything at all except make a slight clicking noise inside the pole. Maybe there’s a counter, and once every decade the DPW comes out and says “Hmm, 420,000 people pushed this button. Maybe we should increase the Walk signal time from 5 to 6 seconds every half-hour”.