Go Keyless: Keyless Door Lock Installation Guide

by Team eLocal
Hands working on a door lock

If you're always forgetting your keys, a keyless lock could be a good solution for preventing lockouts.

Below, you can find out how to install a keyless lock with new or existing hardware using simple step-by-step instructions.

What's a Keyless Lock?

Keyless locks are exactly what they sound like: door locking systems that allow you access to your property without a key. They use verification technology to prevent unauthorized access to your home. Many keyless locks require you to enter a numerical code to unlock the door, but others allow you to open the door using your fingerprint or smartphone app.

Some keyless lock products come with added convenience features. Locks with preset timers let you program your door to unlock temporarily at certain times, such as to let your kids in after school if they forget their key. Others allow you to check if your door is locked remotely, which could provide peace of mind if you're unsure whether your home is secure.

How Do You Install a Keyless Lock?

The method for installation varies, depending on the type of lock you have, so start by reading the manual that came with your unit. These are general instructions for installing most keyless locks.

Step 1: Remove Existing Hardware

First, remove the existing deadbolt from your lock and set it aside. You may also need to remove the door handle if you're installing a new one at the same time as your keyless lock.

Step 2: Install the New Deadbolt

Next, measure the existing backset (distance between the door edge and latch spindle) and set the new deadbolt to match. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the new deadbolt, ensuring it's inserted the right way up and fully retracted.

Step 3: Install the Keypad

How to install a keyless lock keypad depends on the make and model, so you should defer to the manufacturer's instructions for this step. Generally, you'll need to screw the new mounting plate and cover plate to the door and attach the keypad, connecting the keypad wires to the battery.

Step 4: Check the Lock

It's essential to check that your keyless lock works correctly before shutting the door or you could accidentally lock yourself out. Check that the deadbolt moves in and out properly. If it doesn't, take the lock apart and reinstall it, double-checking the instruction manual.

How Do You Install One-Sided Keyless Locks That Mount Over Existing Hardware?

Most keyless entry door locks require you to replace your existing hardware. However, there are a few products available that slot into your existing lock, such as the Level Bolt.

Again: Installation instructions vary according to the model, so check the instructions included with your unit. However, installing a keyless entry front door lock with your existing hardware usually requires the following steps.

Step 1: Remove the Existing Lock

Unscrew the existing lock from the door and carefully remove the key housing. Try to remember where each part fits so that you can reassemble the lock more easily later. Taking photos can make reassembling your lock more straightforward.

Step 2: Remove the Bolt

Next, unscrew the bolt plate and remove the bolt. Unscrew the bolt strike plate or plates and set them aside.

Step 3: Adjust and Install the New Bolt

Adjust the new bolt to match the length of the backset and insert it into the door, ensuring it's the correct way up. Screw the bolt tightly in place using a screwdriver.

Step 4: Install the Motor and Tailpiece

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install the motor, tailpiece adapter and tailpiece. You'll usually need to install the motor first and select a tailpiece adapter to match your existing tailpiece. Push the adapter into the motor hole and slide your existing tailpiece into the adapter.

Step 5: Reinstall the Lock

Reinstall your existing lock from the key side, ensuring that the keyhole is the right way up. Slide the key side paddle over the tailpiece and screw the lock securely in place. You can test your new bolt by twisting the paddle to check that it slides in and out of the door smoothly.

Step 6: Install the Strike Plate and Battery

Most keyless entry door locks that are compatible with existing hardware come with a new strike plate. Position the strike plate and check that it doesn't obstruct the bolt before screwing it to the door. Finally, follow the instruction manual to install the battery that powers the bolt motor. You can then set your passcode or connect your lock to the smartphone app, depending on your make and model.