How to tell if your deadlatch is working correctly
Submitted by Barry Campbell, owner of Altic Lock Service
Deadlatch operation is critical to maintaining the level of security that entry locks are designed to provide. The deadlatch feature is defeated if the deadlatch mechanism falls into the strike opening. The proper alignment of the lock and the strike will prevent this problem.
There are several ways to check and see if a problem exists. You might need a flashlight, but you can usually observe the operation of the latch as you close the door. On doors that swing in, you can observe the latch operation from the inside as you close the door. The latch should fall into the strike opening but the deadlatch plunger should not. If it does, the problem can be corrected by moving the strike plate towards the exterior.
Heavy weather stripping can cause a problem if the latch works perfectly when the door is closed gently. The weather stripping may compress sufficiently for the deadlatch plunger to fall into strike when the door is closed with more force. Again, move the strike as necessary to prevent the deadlatch plunger from falling into the strike.
There might be an audible clue if there is a problem. If the gap between the door and the jamb makes it difficult to observe the latch in operation, listen carefully. There will usually be an audible click as the latch falls into the strike. If the door can still be moved and a second click is heard, it may be the deadlatch.
Sometimes this problem can be addressed by replacing the existing strike with an adjustable strike and making the necessary adjustments.
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