Installing the Detex ECL-230X Series Exit Control Locks

Aug. 4, 2011

For many years exit control locks have been installed onto exit doors that have been designated for emergency use only. These include back doors in stores, markets, restaurants, malls, etc. Most of these secondary doors have been equipped with auxiliary exit control locks mounted high onto a door in addition to the exit device, cylindrical or mortise lock. These code compliant alarmed devices provide notification - usually an alarm - when the unauthorized is attempting to exit or gain access.

To eliminate the need for multiple locks mounted onto a door, Detex Corporation has developed the heavy-duty, ECL-230X Series Life Safety and code compliant heavy duty panic devices for use on emergency exit doors. When powered, the ECL-230X Series devices electronic circuitry activates a 100 decibel alarm. The alarm sounds when the push rail is depressed. In addition to sounding the alarm, pressing the push-pad retracts the bolts, unlocking the door. The alarm will continue to sound until the key is inserted into the lock and either unlocks the device or re-arms the device. The bolts remain in the retracted condition until the device is re-armed.

To provide protection against forced entry, the ECL-230X Series bolt panic devices are equipped with large one-inch throw, saw resistant, sintered stainless steel horizontal deadbolt and/or top and bottom rod bolts. The horizontal deadbolt  has a 1” throw with ¾” engagement, and the top and bottom bolts have ¾” throw with 5/8” engagement.

Detex ECL-230X Series panic devices are available in four configurations:

  • Single point device with a horizontal rim mounted deadbolt
  • Dual point (top and bottom rod)
  • Dual point (deadbolt and top rod only) and
  • Triple point device have two bolts and a horizontal deadbolt.

ECL-230X Series Exit Control Locks are designed to protect not only against unauthorized entry and exit, but also to resist back door break-ins.

Key-operated ECL-230X Series panic devices have the option of interior or interior and exterior key control. To arm the panic device and secure the door, insert the key into the lock cylinder in the center case or the outside plate and rotate 360 degrees clockwise. If the alarm is armed, to turn off the alarm and re-arm the device, with the door closed, insert the key and rotate 360 degrees clockwise. To disarm the device, insert the key and rotate 360 degrees counterclockwise. To gain access from the exterior, insert the key into the lock cylinder mounted into the trim plate. Rotate the key 360 degrees counterclockwise which disarms the device. Important: Do not rotate the key more than 360 degrees in either direction.


For this article, an ECL-230X and two Hinge Bolts were installed onto a wooden exterior door, mounted into a cement filled metal doorjamb. The Detex ECL-230X is the single-point device. The door was previously secured using a key-in-lever lock and a single sided deadbolt lock. Building management requested that the deadbolt remain to be used when the building not populated. The Hinge Bolts are designed to prevent the door from being removed from the opening.

This installation included sex nuts, trim plate and lock cylinder, retrofit kit, inside pull and two hinge bolts. The ECL-230D Retrofit Kit is comprised of two approximately 3/16” thick metal plates, reinforcing the face of the door. One plate is located beneath the center case and other beneath the endcap. The retrofit kit is designed to cover existing holes and provide a rigid mount for the device. Note: The center case retrofit plate covers the 2-1/8” diameter cross bore hole for the lever lock. A pull plate with cut-out for a rim cylinder was installed onto the outside of the door. The inside pull is installed adjacent to the back-plate with the contour shape slotted into position.

Installing a Detex panic or exit device begins with the plastic template that is located onto the door to determine the mounting holes for both the device and the strike eliminating any need for measuring. Place the template onto the interior face of the closed door. Mark the seven holes in the door for mounting the device and the opening for the exterior rim cylinder. Mark the two holes for surface mounting the strike.

Four of the holes drilled through the door are used to mount the back-plate and the pull plate. To provide an additional layer of security, I used machine screws and sex nuts.

From the interior side, drill the holes using a 9/32” diameter bit. Use a combination square to transfer the measurement from the interior face of the door to the exterior face. Remember to compensate for the bevel of the door.

From the exterior, drill the holes only part way (the length of the sex nut minus the head and the thickness of the pull plate) using a 3/8” diameter bit or one size smaller when installing the device onto a wood door.

Because this installation will have a lock cylinder on the exterior of the door, the OKC (Outside Keyed Cylinder) screw and the lockplate on the back of the center-case must first be removed and the timing set. Once the lockplate has been removed, rotate the cam until the “dot” timing mark aligns with the arrow on the lockbody to time the mechanism.

The Detex ECL-230X device mounts onto the door using the device’s alignment tab and slot mechanism. The alignment tab is part of the chassis head assembly and the slot is built into the back-plate. Once the back-plate is secured onto the door, slide the alignment tab into back-plate slot at about a forty-five degree angle and rotating the device toward door. When the alignment tab is slid into the back-plate and the device contacts the door, the device stays on the door without having to hold it up. This installation method eliminates the need to position the device on the door and thread enough screws to keep it positioned onto the door.

Level the push-pad before locating the two mounting screw holes. Mount the device onto the door securing the endcap bracket using 2 #14 by one inch self-drilling screws. Detex recommends using lock washers to ensure secure mounting.

To secure the device to the face of the door, drill two 1/8” diameter holes to accommodate the #14 by 1” screws. For hollow metal door installations, drill screws are provided.

At this time, the rim cylinder must be installed if the device was ordered without a rim cylinder. The rim cylinder is mounted onto the chassis using a bracket. Cut the rim cylinder tailpiece to accommodate a 1-7/8” overall length (rim cylinder and tailpiece). Align the arrow on the chassis with the timing mark on the cam. Test the operation of the rim cylinder to be certain the device operates.

Drill two holes for surface installing the strike. A #7 drill bit is used when tapping the hole for a ¼”-20 machine screw. A 1/8” pilot hole is drilled when using a self-drilling screw. Install the screws into the two slotted openings. Snug the screws and test the locking operation to be certain the deadbolt slides into the strike when the door is closed and the panic device is armed. Tighten the screws and install two additional screws into the openings.

Install the included 9Volt battery and clip it into the opening behind the rim cylinder. Test the operation to be certain the device arms, activates and disarms.

Slide the cover over the chassis with the deadbolt retracted. Secure using the four flat head screws. Slide the endcap onto the rail and secure using the two flat head screws.

Next, install the photo-luminescent sign. Peel off the tap backing on the push-pad. Install the warning sign by sliding the bottom edge into the slot at the bottom of the push-pad. Bow the upper edge into the top slot in the push pad.

The final step is to install the hinge bolts. The hinge bolts are mounted onto the door with the tip sliding into a drilled hole in the face of the jamb stop. Drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole is drilled into the jamb for each hinge bolt. Two machine screws and two sex nuts secure each hinge bolt.

Optional features for the 230X Series include the Inside Pull, DX3 bolts, Interchangeable core and the hardwired kit. For maximum protection, Detex offers the ECL-230X- panic device that has six locking points. For outdoor or wet environments, Detex offers the ECL-230X-W-TDB.

For more information, contact your local locksmith distributor or Detex at 302 Detex Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78130-3045. Telephone: 830-629-2900. Web Site:

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