How To Install An Electromagnetic Door Lock To Protect Your Business's Interior Doorway

Posted on: 21 September 2015

An ideal way to protect interior doorways inside your business is by installing electromagnetic door locks. Electromagnetic door locks are relatively simple, using no moving parts, yet they provide at least 600 pounds of strength and are difficult to overcome for intruders. The installation process is also straightforward once you have an electronic entry control system in place with an available lead at the doorway. Below is a list of tools and materials you will need, as well as a step-by-step procedure for installing an electromagnetic lock:

What you will need

  • Electromagnet and mounting plate
  • Armature plate
  • Z-bracket, if mounted on the inward-swinging side of the door
  • Mounting hardware included with the electromagnet and armature plate
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Hex key set
  • Electric drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Pencil
  • Silicone caulk

Step-by-step procedure

1. Decide what type of mounting you want - To prevent tampering, electromagnetic door locks should be mounted so the electromagnet is on the secured side of the doorway. If your door swings away from the secured side, then the electromagnet will be mounted on the underside of the top of the door frame. Conversely, if the door swings toward the secured side, then the electromagnet will be mounted on the side of the top of the door frame and use a Z-bracket to attach the armature plate to the door.

2. Have wiring installed and ready to connect - Before installing your electromagnetic door lock, be sure to have your security system contractor run the appropriate control and power cabling to your doorway. For the sake of both security and neatness, the cable should be run downward through the top of the door frame so just a few inches protrude. Do not route the cable around the outside edge of the door frame where it is vulnerable to damage due to accidents or breach attempts.

3. Locate and attach the armature plate - Once you are ready to install the electromagnetic door lock, the first step is to attach the armature plate to the door. For a door that swings away from the secured side, close the door against the frame and hold the armature plate in position at the top of the door so it is flush with the door frame. The exact position is up to you, but try to keep the armature plate close to the outside corner of the door. Once you decide on a location, outline the armature plate with pencil so you know where to install it. Mark mounting holes with a pencil, as well. Drill pilot holes in the door with an electric drill and appropriately-sized bit, then install the armature plate to the door using the included hardware.

For doors that swing toward the secured side, you will need to first attach the Z-bracket to the top of the door itself. As with the first scenario, you can place the Z-bracket in a position of your choosing, but near the outside corner is optimal.

To install the Z-bracket, hold it in place on top of the door so the bottom vertical metal plate is flush against the inside of the door and the top vertical metal plate extends above the outside of the door. Attach the plate using screws included with the bracket. Following attachment of the bracket, screw the armature plate to the top vertical metal plate so it is facing toward the door frame.

4. Install the electromagnet - After the armature plate is in-place, the electromagnet will be installed flush to the plate. Close the door completely and slip the electromagnet behind the armature plate, so it is flush to either the bottom of the door frame or the side of the door frame.

After finding the electromagnet's mounting location, install the electromagnet's mounting plate using the appropriate hardware. Next, attach the electromagnet to its mounting plate with the included hex screws. Finally, plug the electromagnet's wiring harness to the control and power cable that protrudes from the door frame and secure the wires by tucking them into the door frame and sealing the hole with caulk.

For help with this project, you may want to work with an experienced locksmith. Click for more info on locksmith services in your area.