The electrician should also clearly identify the location and ID# of the breaker (Panel AA; Breaker #14 doesn’t always tell you enough for you to locate it).
Having testers helps. I use a few different types including a Digital Multimeter, and some toners, a CAT5/Coaxial cable tester I got off e-Bay for $10 and a Fluke cable checker which serves as a tone generator and cable integrity tester.
I learned long ago that beginning my service call by metering everything is a waste of time. But I do use my meter skillfully and frequently; and it never ceases to amaze me when I ask a tech if he has a meter with him, or if he measured voltage, and the answer is ‘no’.
Except for sparks, heat and smoke and possibly a tingle here and there, you cannot sense Voltage, you need a meter. The Internet abounds with tutorials on how to use a meter and advice about how much you should invest in a meter.
I require accuracy, reliability, durability, an easy to read display, and the ability to measure AC/DC Voltage, resistance, audible continuity, and current. I appreciate a meter that can withstand being dropped off a ladder, and one which has abundant electrical insulation to protect me from electrical shock. I am willing to pay a little more for a good the right tools for the job.
You can check a receptacle with a meter or a voltage tester which does not require you to physically touch conductors or stick things in a receptacle.
If the lock is on a timer control, check that. Some timers run on line voltage and if there is a power outage, they resume working when power is restored, only they will be no longer set to the correct time of day. So the doors won’t unlock or relock when they are expected to.
Some timers have their own integral battery backup, and will continue to keep accurate time during a power failure.
If the system is uses credentials or PINs (personal identification numbers), you can try to see if the lock works by actuating a REX (request to exit) or remote door release button if there is one being used. Bypassing the reader or keypad may reveal the issue is with the Electronic Access Control rather than the locking device.
All these steps are in an attempt to isolate the source of the problem.
Perhaps there is not enough voltage reaching the locking device. Does the electric lock buzz weakly instead of click authoritively? Measure the voltage at the power supply and compare that reading to the voltage across the electric lock when the power is applied. This works for both failsafe or fail secure locks. Low voltage will prevent both failsafe as well as fail secure locks from behaving.
If a maglock is not locking, it could be related to the voltage being applied to the lock, the alignment between the armature and the coil, or of course the controller.
If the maglock will not release, it indicates two problems. First, a failure in the controlling circuit is preventing power from being interrupted to the daglock. It could be a shorted wire in a power transfer, or some other failed device
The second problem is that the system is not designed correctly, because any electromagnetic locking system should have redundant means of forcing the electromagnetic lock to unlock for free (safe) egress.
With electric strikes, often the latch loading against the gate of the strike will prevent it from releasing. You can determine if this is the issue by applying pressure on the door so the lock latch is not pushing against the strike gate, and then actuating the electric lock. If it works properly under this test, you need to adjust the door so the pressure is eliminated.
A warped door will cause the problems. Bad hinges can also cause this symptom. A weak or poorly adjusted door closer which is not pulling (or pushing the door in the latch position can allow this problem to occur. A defective door closer which does not control the swing of the door can also lead to the destruction of the door release due to the impact of the door slamming into the frame.
The door may have ‘dropped’ due to wear to a pivot or hinge, and the latch is hitting on the strike frame. Wear marks will indicate if this condition exists. Any binding between the door, the door lock and the strike will cause problems.
Electromagnetic locks are sometimes regarded as an “idiot-proof locking solution” for unskilled installers or for use on problem doors.
Important: Before installing electronic locks, it is important to check with the “Local Authority Having Jurisdiction” (LAHJ). An electromagnetic lock is designed to provide security for a...