How to install a magnetic lock

Written by emily beach
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How to install a magnetic lock
Magnetic locks are a safe alternative to conventional locks. (Getty creative)

A magnetic lock is an electronic hardware device used for securing a door within a frame. As long as power is supplied to the magnet, it will stay locked. When the power is disrupted, such as during an emergency, the magnet will be released. This allows occupants to open the door and exit safely. Compared to most electric locks, a magnetic or mag lock is fairly easy to install, though having some experience with wiring and electrical components helps.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Magnetic lock
  • Z-bar
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Wires
  • DC power supply

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    Out-swinging door.

  1. 1

    Choose your lock. Magnetic locks are rated by the number of lbs. of force they are able to withstand. For higher levels of security, choose locks able to withstand a greater number of lbs. A 130 kg mag lock will suffice in most light-duty applications, while units as high as 500 kg are available for more heavy-duty uses.

  2. 2

    Install magnetic locks on the interior side of doors that swing to the outside. This is the most common application for these locks, and is standard on the majority of exit doors.

  3. 3

    Locate the paper template supplied with your lock. This template will consist of two self-sticking sheets. One of these sheets is installed on the door, while the other is installed on the head of the frame. The template will include instructions as to where it should be placed, along with locations for screws and other mounting devices.

  4. 4

    Install the strike plate on the door in accordance with the template. Insert the strike mounting screw through the plate, then secure this screw into the sex bolt on the other side of the door. You must use sex bolts for these locks to withstand the high levels of force. Most mag locks are supplied with appropriate fasteners.

  5. 5

    Drill holes in the head of the frame in accordance with the template. Use the mounting screws to secure the magnet to the head of the frame. Cover the heads of the mounting screws with plug covers, if provided.

  6. 6

    Supply power to the magnetic lock. These devices can be hard-wired into the building's electrical system, or can be connected to "plug-in" power supplies. If you are not experienced with electrical wiring, consider using a plug-in power supply designed for novice installers. You may also wish to install a backup battery power system.

  7. 7

    Wire the device to any access systems or fire alarms, if applicable. Magnetic locks are supplied with wiring diagrams that indicate what colour wires should be connected to these types of systems. Some possible connections include card readers, buzzers and release buttons, and manual fire-release devices. All of these devices can be wired to operate and release the mag lock using the wiring diagrams included with each unit.

    In-swinging doors

  1. 1

    Install magnetic locks on the interior side of inswinging doors using a Z-bracket. The Z-bracket is used to position the lock strike so that it sits above the top of the door. The magnet itself is then installed on the face of the frame's header to align with the strike.

  2. 2

    Use the templates to help you install the Z-bracket to the top of the door using sex bolts.

  3. 3

    Secure the strike to the other end of the Z-bracket using the included fasteners. The strike should face the door, but will be set above the top of the door so that it lines up with the face of the frame's header.

  4. 4

    Drill holes in the face of the frame to accommodate the mounting screws for the magnet. Install the magnet and secure it in place with these screws. Cover the heads of the screws with plug covers if they are included.

  5. 5

    Wire the lock to supply power, and to integrate the lock with other devices as needed. Follow the information in steps 6 and 7 (above) as you complete this task.

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