Smart locks are slowly but steadily becoming a modern alternative to traditional locks, thanks to their convenience and ability to be operated from a distance. Mornings, when you wonder whether you’ve locked the door before leaving home, will become a thing of the past. However, like any electronic device, these locks can also break down for different reasons. Here are some reasons your electronic door lock is not working and how to fix them.
Determine the type of the problem
An electronic door lock is a complex machine and the source of the problem can be either software or hardware related.
- Software issues – check your door handle to see if it moves smoothly. If it does, then there’s likely a problem with the connection between your phone app and the lock.
- Hardware issue – if the lock doesn’t move smoothly, then there’s something jammed inside and you will need to take the lock apart. Your software is good in this case.
Now let’s look at these situations in more detail.
As with your internet router, try to troubleshoot the problem by switching the lock off and on. If that doesn’t help, proceed to the following troubleshooting methods.
Check the lock’s batteries
Begin by replacing the batteries in your lock. Usually, a low battery warning should be displayed, however, your device may have malfunctioned and failed to deliver the warning. A set of batteries will last anywhere from 6 to 9 months but may deplete faster depending on different conditions. The easiest way to check is by removing and re-inserting them.
Another thing to consider is whether you’re using the correct battery type, that being lithium. The wrong type of battery can cause the electronic lock to not function properly.
Restart your device and connection
Try to pair your phone with the lock again. If that fails, restart your smartphone. Afterwards, check if the lock app is up to date and if it isn’t, update it. If that doesn’t help, reinstall the app. You will need to insert all your settings again, but it’s worth a try.
Check your wireless connection
Your wi-fi signal might be weak or might have stopped altogether. Switch your router off and on. If you notice the signal is weak again, or not coming at all, then call your provider as the problem with the signal is likely on their end.
Reset the lock code
The reason your electronic door lock is not unlocking may be the code. How can that be when you’re sure you’re typing it correctly? Well, you may have reset the code by accident. So you will need to reset it again, just in case. Mind you, resetting the lock will delete all the old data, and you will need to insert a new password.
Issues with the mechanical parts of your electronic lock are harder to troubleshoot and may require you to call a specialist. With that said…
How to fix a jammed electronic lock
If your lock gets jammed, you have no other option but to open it.
- Test the lock several times before attempting any disassembly to determine which direction is causing the problem. Is it only capable of locking but not unlocking? Is there any noise when you try to re-engage the deadbolt?
- If this is the case, use gentle pressure to overcome any motor friction and assist the deadbolt in moving into the desired position.
- Resolve the problem by removing the lock’s backplate and resetting the gears. While doing so, be careful not to disconnect any wiring.
- If necessary, remove the gears and axles.
- Clean the lock body with compressed air to remove any dust that has accumulated.
- Reset the gears and test the lock to see if it moves more smoothly.
- Reassemble the lock and put it back on the door.
How to fix your electronic lock if it’s affected by cold weather
The keypad of your lock can become wet in hot and cold weather. Тhus its effectiveness will get reduced. Moisture changes from a liquid (water) to a solid (ice) in winter, and the latter can cause the buttons or mechanisms to jam or the entire pad to give a faulty command when you enter the codes. Either way, you need to take it apart.
- Take off the cover of the electronic lock body on the inside of the door. To do this, unscrew the cover and remove it.
- Now this section can be detached from the door. Before you do that, unplug the wires which connect it to the rest of the mechanism.
- Open the door and hold the front half of the lock. Unscrew the two parts and take them off the door.
- Unscrew the bolts that hold the outside piece of the electronic lock together to open the lock body. At this point, you should be able to remove the lock’s face and latch.
- Inside, two additional bolts keep the interior of the lock body together. Remove these as well. Then, remove the cover that was keeping them in place.
- When this is open, you should be able to identify the issue and determine whether it is something you can address yourself.
- With the door open, enter the security code and test the lock. If you see the actuator is not moving all the way up, you’ve discovered the source of the problem.
- To resolve the issue, you must first remove the plastic actuator hook. Hold the spring-loaded pin in place and pull the plastic hook out.
- You will now observe a spring attached to the actuator. The spring may require tightening or replacement to repair the electronic lock.
Check the wires
For safety reasons, turn off the power before starting this task.
- Find the wires – they connect the lock to the power source and control panel, so look for that.
- Inspect them – repair or replace the wires if you notice cuts, frays, loose connections or other kinds of damage.
- Check the connections – all the connections between the lock, control panel and power source must be tight to work properly.
- Test out the lock – after you’ve finished work on the wires, turn the power back on and test to see if everything is in order.
If you find the problem is not software related, then it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional locksmith instead of opening up the lock on your own. Specialists can fix or replace your electronic lock, should it come to that. They are also insured, so your property is in good hands. You don’t have to wait until last to fix them, as by then you might find yourself stuck outside.