Lockitron is having trouble turning my deadbolt

Lockitron Bolt

...when your door is open

The batteries may be low. If Lockitron Bolt appears to be struggling to turn when your door is open and you've verified the batteries are fresh, it's possible that the mounting screws are too tight. These two screws, located under the battery cover, should be loosened slowly until Lockitron Bolt turns easily.

...when your door is closed

If Lockitron Bolt appears to be struggling to turn when your door is closed (but has no problem when your door is open), then you may need to ensure that it is not hitting the strike plate while attempting to lock or unlock. You can test this by closing the door and turning the lock by hand. If your Lockitron "catches" while turning, then it's likely hitting the strike plate. There are a few ways to solve this:

  • Remove the strike plate and see if Lockitron Bolt turns easily.
  • If it does, then file the strike plate down using a metal file until Lockitron Bolt closes smoothly or move the strike plate. See the video below for more information on finding where the deadbolt is hitting the strike plate.
  • If your door doesn't shut fully due to weather stripping, adjustments to the strike plate of your door handle (rather than the deadbolt strike plate) can also help. You can move the door handle strike plate closer to the outside of the door to make it close more tightly.

Here's a quick video showing how to detect if your strike place needs adjustment:

Crowdfunded Lockitron

The best way to confirm that Lockitron is properly aligned is by turning your lock by hand and key after installing the unit. Lockitron should add little to no additional resistance to your door lock; if your door lock was smooth to turn before Lockitron and is difficult to turn after Lockitron then there is an issue with alignment or the rubber insert. If you're having trouble, please send a video of what you're seeing to support@lockitron.com so we can take a look.

While Lockitron was designed to turn slightly sticky locks, it cannot overcome moderately sticky locks. If your lock became significantly more difficult to turn by hand after installing Lockitron, then a few issues may be present:

  • The C-Plate is out of alignment: The most common cause for a difficult to turn Lockitron is a mis-aligned C-Plate. The C-Plate needs to be centered around the spindle (the point at which the lock turns), not the visual center of the lock. Loosen the two screws behind your deadbolt and slowly move Lockitron up or down until it centers around the point at which your lock turns. Keep in mind that some locks may have an extra prong that prevents you from centering the C-Plate properly. If this is the case, take a look at our alternative mounting method instructions.
  • Change the orientation of the rubber insert: Depending on the brand or style of lock you have, it may be best to install the rubber insert with the arrow facing down rather than up. We recommend this for the Schlage Tapered Deadbolts we offer.
  • A decorative deadbolt may be too tall: Certain types of decorative deadbolts can be too tall for Lockitron to accomodate. They will create pressure on the Lockitron faceplate, making Lockitron difficult to turn. While we are looking into ways for Lockitron to accomodate this style of lock by modifying the rubber insert, we recommend contact support@lockitron.com to confirm compatibility or replacing your deadbolt.
  • The rubber insert doesn't fit well or is difficult to press in: the rubber insert included with Lockitron is designed to work well with common deadbolts, however deadbolts with oversize, decorative, or longer knobs may not work well. The rubber insert can be trimmed to match the shape of your deadbolt using scissors or pliers. While making sure to keep the four mounting points for the faceplate intact, remove as much material on from the oblong/oval shaped hole as needed to ensure your rubber insert is installed with ease over your deadbolt. For long deadbolts, trim a notch at the top of the rubber insert.
  • Your deadbolt may be misaligned: If you have recently replaced or modified your deadbolt, or your deadbolt is hard to turn before installing Lockitron, you may need to adjust or remove the deadbolt. Common problems include installing the deadbolt upside down or having the cylinder (outside of the deadbolt) and thumbturn (inside of the deadbolt) higher or lower, thus creating tension. Frequently these problems can be solved by loosening the deadbolt, and carefully tightening it back down while adjusting the cylinder and thumbturn slowly up or down and feeling if the lock turns more easily.
  • The batteries are low: One of the symptoms of low batteries is that Lockitron will turn more slowly and fail to fully lock or unlock. Replace your batteries as soon as possible. We are working to include better low battery notifications in the Lockitron app.
  • The power Lockitron uses to turn your lock needs to be adjusted: While the initial power settings for Lockitron should be enough to turn most deadbolts, you may need assistance to increase the power Lockitron uses to turn your lock. If your lock turns easily with Lockitron installed and Lockitron is still unable to fully turn your deadbolt under it's own power, then take a look at calibrating Lockitron's power settings.

If you are still having trouble adjusting Lockitron, please send a video of the problem your are seeing and a short description to  support@lockitron.com and we would be happy to take a look. Additionally, we can also schedule a phone call or Facetime to help walk through the alignment process.

Take a look at the video below for more information.

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