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Sunday, October 20, 2019

How to Install a Smart Lock

A Schlage Encode satin style smartlock installed on a green door.
Josh Hendrickson

When you’re setting up a new smarthome, one of the easiest gadgets you can add to your arsenal is a smart lock. It’s not much harder than changing a standard lock on your home. Here’s what to do.

The Basics

For this guide, we’re installing a Schlage Encode smart lock. Even if you have a different smart lock from another brand, most (if not all) the steps will be the same. You’ll generally find three main components in a smart lock: an exterior piece that may have a keypad, lock for a key, or both, an interior piece that holds the batteries and circuitry, and the bolt that secures your door. The tricky part is connecting them all.

As a quick tip: You may have seen advice to test your smart lock before installing it by inserting the batteries to turn it on. Then you can be sure the lock powers up before it’s in the door.

That seems like sound advice, but the first time a smart lock turns on, it tests if the door is left facing or right facing and adjusts the bolt mechanism to match. Without an actual door to test against, it may guess wrong, and your install will fail to work correctly. If you want to perform this test, you should check the instructions for a factory reset process. After running the test, factory-reset the lock.

Removing the Old Lock

Before you can install your new smart lock, you need to take the old one out. Standard locks are easy to remove, so long as you have access to the interior of your home anyway. Start with finding the two screws on the interior thumb turn piece. Then unscrew them.

A standard thumbturn on a lock,with two red arrows pointing to two screws.
Josh Hendrickson

Open the door (if you haven’t already) and go to the front side of the lock (where you insert your key). The key assembly should be loose, pull that off.

The key assembly of a lock, slightly tilted out of the door.
Josh Hendrickson

Now on the side of your door, look for the bolt that slides out when you lock it. Unscrew the two screws and pull the bolt assembly out.

Installing Your Smart Lock

Now find the bolt for your new lock, and look for the top mark:

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