A Turnstile Maintenance Walkthrough

Oct. 6, 2022
Here’s what security pros should know if they’re called out to perform service on the security devices.

Turnstiles are a security product at commercial and other buildings that deliver a definite step above typical door locks and electronic access control devices with respect to providing security.

Security pros typically don’t sell and install turnstiles, but they might be called upon to perform simple repairs and maintenance on the products. Regular safety inspections, preventive maintenance and basic troubleshooting assure optimal turnstile performance, although service should be left up to experienced providers.

With that in mind, here’s a handy list of tasks that security pros might have to perform if they’re called out to service turnstiles. The list isn’t all-inclusive, but it outlines necessary general preventive maintenance.

Exterior Maintenance

  • Check that the turnstile operates and functions correctly.
  • Check the overall conditions of the equipment, such as wear and tear, age, etc.
  • Wipe down the turnstile and check for tar spots, signs of damage or rust, etc.
  • Check the condition and secureness of any fitments, such as lights.
  • Test the operation of the turnstile and the access control equipment.
  • Check for obvious visual signs of damage to the cabinet enclosure and power supply units.
  • Check that the mounting hardware is secure, and tighten any loose components, if necessary.
  • If the turnstile calls destination dispatch elevators, verify that lane monitor screens are clean, angled correctly for users to read and are bright enough to be viewed, and that the elevator is called when the proper credential is applied.

Interior Maintenance

  • Remove the turnstile’s side panels and inspect for dust and debris. Clean as necessary.
  • Inspect the printed circuit boards, cable assemblies and power supplies for loose connections.
  • Measure and record the supply voltage at the respective power supplies.
  • Measure and record the supply voltage at the CPU card.
  • Test the optical beams, lane-status indicators and CPU functionality.
  • On models that have barriers, measure the belt tension or gear meshing. Adjust either as necessary to tolerances that are within the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Adjust the motor controller to achieve the proper alignment of barriers in all positions as well as the optimal operating speed.

Additional Steps

  • Compile a list of any damaged or faulty components.
  • Replace any minor parts, such as side panel screws, as necessary.
  • Submit a list of major components that require replacement to the facility manager or property owner.
  • Reassemble the chassis when your inspection is complete.

If necessary, you should contact the turnstile manufacturer to learn more about any specific recommendations. In addition, you might consider registering for any training that the manufacturer provides. It can enhance your ability to inspect and maintain turnstiles and potentially add to your company’s revenues.

Adam McGuern is the brand and demand manager for Alvarado, which is part of dormakaba.