Monday, April 15, 2024

Lock may have a fatal flaw


I have installed several keyless smart locks, including the one on my home's front door. I thought this keyless lock would work well on the door to a basement storage room that houses my HVAC along with a few valuable items.   

Installation started well. The fold-out instruction sheet had good illustrations and clearly-written text. The latch fit easily into the circular opening that held my standard doorknob. But then things went downhill quickly. 

The lock kits comes with a metal back plate for the inside panel, the one that hold the batteries that power the lock. The backplate shown in the instructions looked vaguely similar to the one in the kit, so I figured it was close enough. And the instructions show two screw holes for attaching the metal plate to the door - but no screws were provided.

I found a couple of screws in my workshop that would do the job, drilled a hole for the screw above the latch. Then I discovered that the hole for the second screw below the latch lined up with the large opening for latch. In other words, there would be no wood to screw into. 

The metal plate seemed reasonably secure with just one screw so I pushed ahead. Then I discovered more problems. The kit includes three sets of machine screws for attaching the inner panel and battery pack to the metal plate. The screws are three different lengths, but even the shortest screws were too long for the threaded posts on the metal plate.   

And even if I found replacements for those screws, I had serious doubts that the whole setup would work. When I tested the outside and inside, neither one moved the latch. That looked like a fatal flaw from my point of view, so everything went back in the box.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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