By: Gabriela Aidan
Installing an Electronic Strike on a Metal Door Frame
If you’re installing an electronic strike on a metal door frame, there are a few things you need to know about. From preloading the opening, to choosing the right strike and mortise lock, this guide will help you get started.
Identify the proper solution for the opening
One of the most overlooked and misunderstood components in a door is the frame. It’s important to keep in mind that a good strike plate isn’t just a hole in the door, it’s a conduit for electricity. The best way to ensure a smooth and safe installation is to use the proper voltage and connectors.
There are many electric locks on the market today. Some of the more popular options include a combination of magnetic and electrified locks. This allows for a much more flexible and cost effective solution than installing a standard strike on a metal door.
Another option, and one that has a pretty bad rap is the electromagnetic lock. Unlike an electrified lock, the electromagnetic option requires coordination with the appropriate authority to ensure compliance with local fire codes.
Preloading pressure at the opening
Preloading pressure at the opening of an electronic strike on metal door frame is a serious issue that requires proper assessment and mitigation. There are a number of different factors that can contribute to this problem. Some of these include weather stripping, misaligned hardware, seals, and sagging or warped frames. It is important to properly assess the risk of this type of situation before replacing a door or door assembly.
The first step in assessing a preloading situation is to look at the door and frame from both sides. This allows for a deeper dive into the situation. If a door or frame is badly bent, the resulting bind can limit or even prevent egress. Depending on the severity of the problem, a door replacement may be necessary.
Installing an electronic strike on a metal door frame requires a couple of key steps. First, you need to determine if the door is able to support an electrified strike. Second, you need to determine whether or not you’re using an appropriate type of lock for your application.
The best way to find out whether or not your doors will work with an electric strike is to do a site survey. A site survey will identify existing conditions, as well as any current hardware. It will also help you to select the right lockset.
The most common type of electrified locks are the electric strikes. These are mounted on the door frame, allowing the lock to operate through a strike plate located on the frame.
Most “ANSI” electric strikes require minor frame cutting. Often, this means recessing the door frame into the mortise, but there are also no-cut solutions available.
Fail-secure vs fail-safe
If you have an electric strike on your metal door frame, you may want to know what the fail-safe and fail-secure versions of the same product are. These terms are used to describe various types of electronic strikes that lock and unlock doors on both sides, based on a pre-determined timer.
In order to use an electric strike, you need a power transfer device that transfers electricity from the backside of the door frame to the lock. This can be a 12V DC or 24V AC power supply. The most common type of electric strike is a DC current strike.
While electrified door hardware is more visible, it’s not always the best option for your door. For example, tubular aluminum doors don’t often fit the profile of an electric strike. Moreover, misaligned hardware can also cause a problem.