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How to Wire a Magnetic Lock

A magnetic lock uses electromagnetism to securely latch a door. One of the benefits of using a magnetic lock is that it enables keyless entry. The installation of a magnetic lock is in many ways similar to wiring a doorbell, and requires that several different components be configured at different locations to allow the lock to function properly. The magnetic lock consists of three main pieces, the electromagnet, the armature, and the switch.

  1. Install the electromagnet unit to the inside frame of your door. This will provide a firm and strong mounting point for your locking system. Make sure the electromagnet is installed in a place that has easy access to wiring from the power supply. The power supply will either be a separate unit tapped into your home's electrical system or direct power from the home's wiring. When working with your home's electrical, make sure the circuit you will be altering is turned off at the breaker.
  2. Install the armature on the door, aligned with the electromagnet. When an electrical signal passes through the electromagnet, a magnetic field is generated that attracts the armature to the electromagnet unit, locking the door. It is important the armature is properly aligned with the magnet. Also, do not install the armature too tightly. Allowing some freedom of movement will help to guarantee proper magnetic contact.
  3. Connect the power line to one of the terminals on your switching mechanism. This mechanism will allow you to control the lock. It may be a simple pushbutton, a keypad, or a key card reader. Make sure your switch is rated to work with the voltage and amperage of your circuit. Refer to the instructions included with your switch for placement and installation instructions specific to your model.
  4. Connect a wire from the free terminal of your switch to the positive terminal on the electromagnet. Magnetic locks require either 12 or 24 Volts DC power. Make sure your circuit operates on one of these currents, or you may need to install a DC filter to convert AC power to DC power. Your electromagnet may also need to be jumpered to match the current of your circuit. Refer to your magnet's instructions for information on how to convert it for 12 or 24 VDC operation.
  5. Connect the negative ground wire to the negative terminal on the electromagnet. This will complete the electrical circuit, allowing the magnet to be engaged or disengaged with the switch.
  6. Power on your circuit and test that your magnetic lock functions properly. If the lock does not engage, check your wiring to make sure it is correct.

Things You Will Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Magnetic lock system

Tip

  • Make sure the armature is properly aligned with the electromagnet. This will have an effect on the strength and security of the magnetic bond.

Warning

  • When working with your home's electrical system, be sure the circuit you will be working on is completely turned off to avoid electrical shock or injury.

About the Author

Hailed as one of his native Baltimore's emerging writers in Urbanite Magazine, for the past five years Kevin Krause has been writing everything from advertising copy to prose and poetry. A recent grad holding a degree in English and creative writing from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, his most recent work can be found in The Urbanite.