5 Precautions to Take Before Installing EM Locks

Monday, February 26, 2018 TimeTec 8 Comments


Electromagnetic locks or simply known as EM Locks provide a keyless way of securing a door; perfect as well as cost effective for an access control system. With no moving parts, the locks are easy to install and suitable for a large variety of applications. However, we do receive complaint from installers on wrong installation of EM Locks.

This tip will provide you with 5 precautions that you need to take before attempting to install EM Lock on any door to avoid costly errors and frustrations.

The 5 Precautions

1.  Door Type is Super Important

Don’t even think about installing an EM Lock without knowing the door type for the installation. Reason is, different door type requires a different bracket, and you can’t simply assume that all doors are created equal. And different door type swings differently. Therefore, it’s crucial that you know the type of door and which way the door swings so you can place your EM Lock order correctly and you can bring the right tools during installation.

Generally there are 4 types of bracket:

1. No Bracket is for standard installation that doesn’t care about the door swing but it must be on wooden door.

2. L Bracket is suitable for wooden door frame that swings outwardly.

3. U Bracket is made for glass door installation because simply,  you can’t drill on glass door. Please measure the thickness of the glass door and it has to be 10-15mm thickness.

4. ZL Bracket is for wooden door that swings inwardly.

2. Tools Preparation:

Ok now you have the information about the doors, you need to bring the right tools so you can productive. We list the tools below and you have to prepare them before going to avoid having to go again next time because you are careless.

- Electromagnetic Locks and their brackets
- Sticking/Adhesive Sheets
- Bolts
- Drill
- Screws
- Strike Plate

3. Carry out functional tests on the lock.

Before installing any EM Lock onto a door, you need to do a functional test on the lock to make sure that the lock is working fine. Connect the wiring of the lock to a power source, place the strike plate on top of the magnetic side of the lock to make sure everything works. You can refer to some YouTube videos such as this one to find out more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj57B7QL-kk

4. Marking! Marking Marking!

Don’t estimate with your eyes because your eyes are not a ruler. Do proper placement  marking before drilling on the door and install the lock. Please be mindful that the site belongs to your customer and you want to do the neat and best job you can for your company.

Standard Installation of the Strike Plate: As you can see in Figure 1 and 2, before placing the strike plate onto the door, it is best to ensure that the door is closed in order to determine the position to place the strike plate. After confirmation, please mark the strike plate location at the door and drill to install the strike plate. 

(Figure 1)
     (Figure 2)       
Standard Installation of the Electromagnetic Lock: Now with the strike plate in placed, please align the EM-Lock so that it is directly parallel to the plate and mark the location on the door frame. Once the marking is done, you can now drill onto the markings accordingly and place the wirings (please refer to the wiring guide in the package) into the door frame and install the EM-Lock as shown in Figure 4.

(Figure 3)
       (Figure 4)

5. Please do the wiring before install EMLock
In every package of EM Lock there is a wiring guide that you can refer to. Hence, make sure that you have settled the wiring before you attempt to continue with the lock installation.

Now, you have done with the installation but you encounter a few problems. Below are the solutions.

PROBLEM 1: No Magnetic Attraction Between Magnet And Strike Plate.

Firstly,  please ensure that the Electromagnetic Lock is being correctly powered with DC voltage. This includes connecting the power wires according to the correct polarity (Positive into the EM Lock output and Negative into the 0V at the AdapTec).

If the unit continues to malfunction, then it must be electrically checked with a Multimeter. If the unit meters display correctly, the problem exists within the mounting of the strike.

PROBLEM 2: The Lock Does Not Release.

Whenever power is removed from the Electromagnetic Lock, the lock will release. Therefore, the issue with the "lock not releasing" is either caused by a mechanical bonding via vandalism or a failure to completely release power.

Failure to completely release power is generally a wiring problem. Through an installation error, the partial or full power can leak in from another Electromagnetic Lock or other DC devices with similarly abraded wiring. This is most likely to occur at the point where the wire cable leaves the Electromagnetic Lock and enters the door frame.

A good way to check, is to use a meter and look for any leakages between the power supply, the door frame and the conduit. Note that the Electromagnetic Lock should be powered by an isolated DC voltage without any earth ground reference.

PROBLEM: Rust On The Lock

If rusting appears, the most common cause is that improper cleaning (with steel wool) has been carried out thus stripping off the relatively soft plating. Once the plating has been removed, it cannot be restored in the field. Therefore, the lock will have to be periodically cleaned and coated with oil or other rust inhibitors.

Please be informed that a rusty Electromagnetic Lock will still function but at the cost of reduced holding force. Note that if the product is installed in a heavily corrosive atmosphere such as near the ocean, it will eventually rust even with non-abrasive cleaning.


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